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Fire resistant structural steel opens up new perspectives in architecture

ThyssenKrupp Steel : 14 January, 2003  (New Product)
FR 30 is the simple abbreviation for a fire-resistant steel which was recently approved for building use and could revolutionize architecture and the building industry. While architects are not unfamiliar with steel as a material of construction, they are still very reluctant to use it due to strict fire protection regulations.
For safety reasons, steel structures today often still have to be covered with fire protection coating or cladding. As well as costing time and money, this also detracts from steel's esthetic appeal. Now ThyssenKrupp Stahl has found a solution to the problem: with FR 30, fire doesn't have a chance. Moreover FR 30 allows architects and building engineers to build with bright, filigree steel and present it as a visual element without coating or cladding. All this is made possible by a special alloy which combines good toughness and enhanced high-temperature strength but is nevertheless easy to process. Beams and other structural members can be welded under the same conditions as conventional structural steels; preheating or subsequent heat treatment is usually not necessary.

This opens up completely new opportunities for facade and interior design. As the unprotected steel complies with fire resistance class F 30, i.e. it withstands fire for 30 minutes, it can generally be used for building heights of up to three stories, which makes it ideal for low-rise residential and office buildings as well as industrial buildings.

And ThyssenKrupp Stahl already has the next innovation lined up: FR 30 can be combined with an extremely thin fire protection coating, the coat is so thin that it even allows industrial precoating, to achieve fire resistance class F 90. This combination is expected to be approved for building use sometime in 2003, and it's already clear it will open up new architectural possibilities in high-rise building with steel.

Whether unprotected or thin-coated, FR 30 permits cost-efficient building with steel even when high fire protection requirements have to be met. It saves costs and cuts construction time. FR 30 is manufactured and supplied in the form of plate for welding or as finished profiles in thicknesses from five to 50 millimeters and widths up to 3,500 millimeters.
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