Posted 1 July 2003
The long-term cost effectiveness of stainless steel makes it a worthwhile proposition even though the initial outlay can be significant. The construction industry is realising that choosing a cheaper, but less durable material can be a false economy.
Eventually repairs need to be made and this can be at considerable expense. Further, there are likely to be logistical problems absent from the initial construction which add to the cost.
For example, when 101 Collins Street – a prestigious Melbourne high-rise office building – was completed twelve years ago, its two 80,000 litre fire water storage tanks were constructed out of bolted steel with a nylon-coated internal surface. Over time the coating had pitted and the steel was corroding, raising concerns about the future reliability of the system.
It was decided that replacement tanks should be fabricated from 4mm thick 316 stainless steel for long-term reliability.
Access was limited because the tanks had been placed in position with the attendant pumps and fire services system plumbing installed beneath them. In fact, a hatch in the floor above the tanks measuring just under a metre square was the only way in and out of the area.
ASSDA member, J Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria was the successful tenderer for the construction and installation of the new tanks.
The 7.4m long x 2.4m wide x 4.8m deep tanks were fabricated in individual panels, 4.8m x 900mm. With a hoist assembly above, the panels were lowered into position through the hatch and welded in situ. Other challenges to be overcome were creating adequate occupational health and safety conditions and providing welding power and services to the site.
The final step in the project was in situ hydrostatic testing for leaks which proved successful.
The owners of 101 Collins Street can now look forward to many years of worry-free service performance.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 25, July 2003.