A pedestrian and cycling bridge being built in Sölvesborg community in south-east part of Sweden owes its eye-catching appearance to three supporting 60-metre long bridge arches which are manufactured from 150 tons of Outokumpu duplex stainless steel.
The key reason for choosing the material for the bridge arches according to Ronny Södergren, managing director of Stål & Rörmontage AB responsible for the construction of the bridge, was the overall life-cycle costs associated with the structure. Because stainless steel, contrary to carbon steel, doesn’t require surface treatment and only minor maintenance, the benefits of using duplex are significant both from economic as well as environmental perspective.
“We can avoid repainting costs associated with the bridge arches and rails every 15th year. Ultimately this means approximately a 500 000 euro calculative saving in maintenance costs with 2012 price levels”, says Ronny Södergren. Avoided maintenance also brings about another advantage as Sölvesborg community avoids the problem associated with epoxy painting residue and sand blasting resulting from maintenance operations having a negative impact on a nearby bird conservation area.
The high strength of LDX 2101® also enables lighter weight design. Less material is needed for the bridge arches which ultimately mean lower environmental impact of the whole structure. Additional benefit, especially for the customer, is the better price stability of duplex stainless steel since the low nickel content makes it less dependent on the raw material price fluctuations compared to standard austenitic stainless steels like 1.4301 and 1.4404. These steels are affected approximately 10 times more by nickel prices changes.
“Simply put, the customer gets ‘more bridge for the money spent’ with duplex steel”, says Anders Finnås who is responsible for the building and construction segment at Outokumpu in Degerfors, Sweden. “Better price stability together with the effective use of the material provides overall a very cost-efficient and attractive design.”
The bridge will be 756 meters long in total and is estimated to be ready by December 2012. The bridge connects the center of Sölvesborg, with the new district called Ljungaviken Listerlandet.