The architecture, building and construction (ABC) market is among the most challenging for its architects, engineers, and construction teams. ABC applications require materials that often have 100-year service requirements, needing high corrosion resistance to endure exposure to salt, chemicals, and pollution while also requiring little to no maintenance or cleaning. Building applications often also must meet government standards for sustainability or green building, which is satisfied by stainless > 85% use of recycled materials.
ABC is common to other applications in needing high strength and aesthetically pleasing presentation, however specialty metals also have the versatility to have intricate surface patterns rolled into the base metal. Flat rolled 316L stainless steel is most often the choice for building facades whereas 304, 203 and 17-4 are used in structural members for construction. The Americas alone consumes over 700 metric tonnes of stainless steel in flat rolled and bar forms.