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Stainless steel has long-term benefit


With regard to 'Intelligent use of stainless steel reinforcement', David Milne's (Highways Agency) example of 50% extra initial cost from the use of stainless steel reinforcement in highway structures (NCE 1 March) is a bit of a smoke screen.

The maximum that we would expect to be specified is 10% which would add no more than 3% to initial costs assuming that the same level of additives, concrete cover, silane coatings, and so on, were still used.

Reduction in these extra sources of protection, unnecessary with stainless steel, would inevitably lead to lower costs and less time on site.

One of the benefits of stainless steel is that it does last for many years, it has residual value after many years and it is capable of being recycled.

Perhaps the Highways Agency does not want to be seen coming down firmly in favour of any alternative even though the logic from both a technical and financial perspective is clear when stainless is used selectively.

Generally, however, we are grateful for Highways Agency's work because it will enable specifiers involved with concrete reinforcement to opt for stainless steel grades with confidence and have knowledge of where they should be used.

Edward James,

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