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Stainless Export Defies Elements


Posted 5 January 2001

Sixty tonnes of stainless steel has been exported to Hong Kong as part of an innovative Australian-designed and manufactured kit form, large span skylight project worth three quarters of a million dollars.

The 42 gable trussed skylights and sub-frames in varying sizes up to four metres wide and eight metres long were installed in a $90 million dollar treatment plant commissioned by the Hong Kong Government.

Grade 316 stainless steel was used for the skylight's precision pre-cut sub-frame members, welded maintenance ladders, lntalok mechanism assemblies, special profiles, on sight assembly jigs, pivots and fixings.

The project specified that the skylights be easily removed from the roof to allow crane access to equipment in the building. However, the skylights also had to be strong enough to withstand Hong Kong's coastal gale force winds. Sky Roof International (Victoria) undertook the project.

Sky Roof Director, lan Howe, said the specifier's requirements and environmental concerns were met by adapting stainless steel to the company's lntalok cyclonic glazing frame system.

"The government specified that they wanted something striking, low maintenance and durable," Mr Howe said.

"As the frames had to be robust for lifting and withstand the conditions inherent in a coastal region, the obvious choice was stainless steel."

The skylight was designed to use wind uplift force to operate the lntalok hold down mechanism.

When the aluminium skylight structure is forced skyward by wind suction on the glazing, the small surface area of the stainless steel sub-frame is unaffected. This creates a differential force between the skylight and the sub-frame which is transmitted to the lntalok mechanism via the stainless steel ladders. The stronger the wind uplift on the skylight, the tighter the stainless steel lntalok engages the building.

All the prefabricated stainless steel components for the skylights were produced in a zircon glass bead blasted finish by ASSDA member Hart to Hart Fabrications (Dandenong, Victoria).

The skylights were then shipped to Hong Kong in fully fabricated kit form for easy on site assembly.

Mr Howe said ASSDA's Australian Stainless Reference Manual was vital in providing stainless steel technical and supply information.

"I found the Reference Manual and other pieces of information very useful in learning more about stainless steel and also in helping me find a fabricator for the job - Hart to Hart Fabrications," he said.

Following the success of the Hong Kong project, Sky Roof International is working on a design for a skylight featuring stainless steel glazing frames.

This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 17, January 2001.

Lissel Pilcher