Traditionally carbon steel has been used for the construction of steel structures and reinforcement of buildings. Its high strength, low cost and availability has made it a popular product for the building industry. It however, does have its drawbacks. It is prone to corrosion especially in marine environments, has relatively low fire resistance, and aesthetically, it leaves much to be desired unless it is extensively painted. This is where stainless steel comes into play, as it addresses the drawbacks of normal carbon steel.
The use of stainless steel is relatively rare; they are usually used as external cladding for its aesthetic value. The Chrysler Building in New York is an excellent example. It is rarely used for structural purposes, as it is relatively more expensive. To exacerbate matters, there is relatively less research conducted on it and therefore the existing codes like the AS4673 employ old data to form its requirements and these requirements are considered by a number of researchers to be too conservative. Information on recent test results has the potential to reduce the conservativeness of the codes and this will translate into substantial cost savings in a large building project.
The report examines the strengths of stainless steel grades as stipulated in the codes, and further research is available in journals and various sources. This improves the understanding of the mechanical properties of stainless steel. The aim of this project is to present a reasonable and acceptable value for the material properties of stainless steel from a range of available test data. The outcome of this research should lead to an updated version of the AS4673 code and translate to greater cost savings in future constructions.