Australia knows the true value of stainless steel, says Outokumpu Australia MD


Leading stainless steel producer Outokumpu staged an Open Day event at its plant in Melbourne earlier this month, which was attended by representatives from the building and construction, mining, manufacturing, architectural, hospitality and chemical industries.

Ken Bridges, Managing Director of B&R Enclosures with Peter George at Outokumpu Open Day
Ken Bridges, Managing Director of B&R Enclosures with Peter George at Outokumpu Open Day Provided image

By opening the doors for a major customer and industry event at its Melbourne facility – which is the only dedicated cold rolled stainless steel coil service centre in the country – the Finish conglomerate displayed to the Australian public its broad range of surface finishes, many of which adorn some of the world’s most famous buildings.

Stainless steel is corrosion resistant, durable, strong, recyclable and aesthetically pleasing. It is widely lauded as the material that lasts forever, and, according to Australian Managing Director, Peter George, has found a broad application in many Australian industries.

“The Marina Bay Pedestrian Bridge in Singapore is a stunning work of architectural and engineering design with Outokumpu Australia supplying the steel,” he said.

“It features high strength and corrosion-resistant duplex to ensure low maintenance and continuing beauty in hot and humid maritime conditions.”

Outokumpu also supplies stainless steel coils to Australia’s top enclosure manufacturer B&R Enclosures whose list of customers includes distinguished companies such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Telstra. These coils are sourced from Outokumpu’s plant in Finland and polished in its service centre in Melbourne.

“B&R customers put what’s important to them inside their enclosures. If external conditions are aggressive – in mining, marine conditions, or even the food business where you have constant wash down – then stainless steel is critical,” Mr George said.

According to him, the long-term prospects for stainless steel consumption remain robust, driven by key global megatrends in urbanisation, modernisation and increased mobility, combined with growing global demand for energy, food and water.

Outokumpu’s stainless steel is used to build water and energy plants, factories, consumer goods, medical supplies, transportation machinery and systems, as well as cities and urban infrastructure. The company has supplied the material to build several landmark objects, including the Chrysler building and One World Trade Centre in New York.

“These landmark buildings are more than just beautiful architectural masterpieces. They also tell about the advantages of high-quality stainless steel and underscore Outokumpu’s position as one of the world’s leading innovators in advanced materials,” Mr George said.

He said the 80-year old Chrysler building was a testament to the low lifetime cost of stainless steel and stressed the importance of technical expertise and support for customers.

“The requirements for cost-efficient, high-performing, sustainable buildings are growing and those stainless steel suppliers that can offer technical expertise, innovation and end-to-end project support will lead the pack. Outokumpu is one of the suppliers, one which takes building and infrastructure to new heights.”