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  • Camelia Ujang Jilan

Steel Structures in Corrosive Environments


Cost effective corrosion protection of structural steelwork should present little difficulty for common applications and environments. There are many steel structures that have continued in use satisfactorily for many years even in adverse conditions.


Today, modern durable protective coatings are available which, when used appropriately, allow extended maintenance intervals and improved performance.


The key to success lies in recognizing the corrosion rate of the environment to which the structure will be exposed and in defining clear and appropriate coating specifications.


A steel structure exposed to an aggressive environment needs to be protected with a sophisticated treatment and may need to be designed with maintenance in mind if extended life is required. The optimum protection treatment, which combines appropriate surface preparation, suitable coating materials, required durability and minimum cost, is available with modern surface treatment technology.


Structural steel is well recognised as an excellent construction material. In an era where more emphasis is placed on the reusability and recyclability of materials, steel certainly fi t the bill.


Steel can be recycled repeatedly without any degradation in performance or properties.


Amongst all construction material, steel has one of the highest strength to weight ratio. Steel can span long distances offering larger open space and greater design flexibility. It is fast to construct and highly buildable and this minimizes any possible impact to the surroundings during construction.


To ensure that steel structures offer optimal performance during their life span, careful consideration on corrosion protection and fire protection are important. Guidelines on Fire Protection and Corrosion should be followed. They provide useful information on the application of different corrosion protection methods, the inspection and maintenance aspects of protected steel structures and detailing on how to minimize corrosion.

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