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Debate: Steel facade cladding

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What are the pros and cons of steel as a material for facade cladding?

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Weather resistance: Can steel withstand prolonged exposure to wind/rain/snow, protecting the building?

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Pro

  • Special kinds of steel resist the weather fairly well. While it is true that steel is generally prone to corrosion, especially when exposed to wind and rain, it doesn't mean that all steel will necessarily change into rusty dust within decade(s). Apart from the obvious possibility to use stainless steel, there are cheaper alternatives. In these special kinds of steel, natural initial corrosion of the outer layer creates a protective sheath, that prevents the corrosion from advancing further into the bulk of the material, similarly as in the case of e.g. copper.


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Con

  • Steel corrodes fairly quickly. Steel, from its very nature, is a very corrosion-prone material. It is therefore not a good choice for outer cladding of buildings.
  • Steel surfaces need to be repainted frequently. In order to protect steel cladding from corrosion, it has to be painted. The outer paint has to be renovated every now and then in order to keep the cladding in good condition.


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