When the Gold Coast City Council was seeking a stable and visually stunning medium for use on their Kirra Point board walk project, they looked no further than stainless steel!
Geoff Clemence, Design Coordinator, said Council engineers chose stainless steel for the upright posts and moveable hand rail system for safety, corrosion resistance and aesthetic reasons.
"Stainless is far superior to wooden handrails in terms of safety and lasting life and will require far less maintenance," Mr Clemence said.
"From an aesthetic point of view, the stainless steel fits in beautifully with both the concrete pavement and the timber board walk that we will be installing in the near future," Mr Clemence said.
"Once the board walk is built, there will be a vertical drop to the beach below - an important safety issue met by using stainless steel handrailing.
"We had to choose what the best solution would be to the issue of safety that the steep drop off on the side of the walkway would cause," Mr Clemence said.
"Stainless steel was the safest option."
The board walk project is being undertaken in two stages, the first of which involved constructing a cement walkway and handrails along the Kirra Point foreshore.
The second stage will see the construction of a timber board walk out over the foreshore onto the beach.
ASSDA Sustaining Members Tom Stoddart Pty Ltd supplied 186 custom made upright posts and supplied and installed 326 metres of stainless steel tubular handrails.
Both were made from 316 grade stainless steel with a number 4 finish.
The upright posts were passivated in nitric acid after manufacture to ensure a clean surface and promote corrosion resistance.
During the installation, the welds in the posts were fully grounded and polished on site to stop sand and salt deposit build-up.
The hand railing is made up of 6 metre segments of tubular stainless steel welded on site.
Expansion joints are included every 7.2 metres.
The expansion joint allows for thermal movement and the inclusion of additional railings when a timber board walk is built in 2001.
The Gold Coast City Council engineers acknowledged the assistance provided by the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association in highlighting the possibilities and advantages of stainless applications, in meetings leading up to specification in the project.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 15, February 2000.