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The intelligent use of any material requires a knowledge of its properties, its capabilities, and its limitations. Many architects, unfortunately, have a rather limited knowledge concerning the proper and efficient use of the architectural metals. The inherent characteristics of stainless steel which are of chief concern are its mechanical properties, its resistance to corrosion, and its compatibility with other materials. As there are many types of stainless steel, and various tempers with corresponding degrees of formability, the proper choice of type and temper is important. Architectural components are formed by various methods, each imposing certain limitations. Since most applications use sheet or strip material, brake forming and roll forming are the most common. Assembly methods include both welding and soldering, and selection of the proper method is often critical. The designer is concerned also with appropriate finishes, protective coatings, and the flatness of large smooth areas. Available choices, problem areas, and recommended practices are discussed, with case histories illustrating how minor changes may improve design and reduce costs. A list of specific “do's and don't's” summarizes the more important design principles to be observed.
stainless steels, architecture, fabrication, metal products, design
Koppes, W. F.
Technical Director, National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers, Chicago, Ill.