Stainless Steel, the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Stainless Steel comes in a variety of alloys and other product forms. Stainless Steel products will survive even when they are placed in the harshest conditions. For example, Stainless Steel does not need any added products to protect it from corrosion. It also has fire resistance properties that are helpful for the construction of buildings, roads, and tunnels.

stainlessconstruction

 

Recently, more and more tunnels utilize Stainless Steel. Making use of Stainless Steel is an innovative strategy that helps improve the safety of the tunnels that do employ Stainless Steel for its structure. Many tunnels are built to pass through rocks or mountains. Other tunnels are built under rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water.

tunnelunderrock

Tunnels usually go through a wide variety of conditions daily including surviving through a great range of temperature and high levels of corrosive chemicals. Corrosive chemicals can come from emissions and de-icing salts. Emissions can include many different types of particles including mineral dust deposits, water soluble chlorides, abraded rubber tire fragments, black soot, etc.

Soot coming out of a vehicle
Soot coming out of a vehicle

Since tunnels go through so much, tunnel engineers have chose to rely upon Stainless Steel. To minimize maintenance and heighten durability, operators of numerous tunnels have intelligently chosen Stainless Steel grades that work best for the tunnel’s environment. For instance, some tunnels are built with Stainless Steel that has a slightest molybdenum content of 6% in order to prevent the failure of fixings.

Molybdenum

Other ways that tunnel engineers depend on Stainless Steel are using them for fire doors, barriers, and reinforcements. Also, they rely on Stainless Steel for failure-proof fixings, which are necessary for attaching lighting, fire-fighting equipment, ventilations, etc. Some tunnels use covers of ventilation made from Stainless Steel. These covers are usually subjected to high levels of corrosive atmospheric gases. Furthermore, since Stainless Steel is a strong fire resistant metal, many tunnels have used the material to support fixed fire fighting systems.

Stainless Steel Ventilation
Stainless Steel Ventilation

For instance, the Kehu Tunnel in Helsinki, Finland employs a fixed fire fighting system which comprises of five rows of 16 mm diameter Stainless Steel piping and spray nozzles. In case a fire erupts in the tunnel, the high-pressure system produces a fine water mist that will quench tunnel fires.

kehu
Kehu Tunnel’s Fire Fighting System

As one may realize, Stainless Steel is a very powerful and useful material. Stainless Steel is versatile because of its strength, its corrosion resistance properties, and fi re resistance characteristics. Stainless Steel has been able to increase the safety, to reduce damage, and to prevent many disruptions or closings of tunnels.

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