Stainless skin for memorial

Three stainless steel spires soar skyward above the greater Washington DC area, evocative of the “bomb-burst” flying formation performed by US Air Force jets. The design is truly representative of flight, with the tallest of the spires reaching the height of 82m. The stainless sculpture is the most visible feature of the US Air Force Memorial, dedicated on 14 October 2006. The memorial was designed by the internationally renowned architect, the late Mr James Ingo Freed. The stainless steel plate for the skin of the spires was provided by Outokumpu’s plate mill in New Castle, Indiana. To achieve the uniform rough texture chosen by the architect, the surface was polished, pickled and glass-bead blasted. A high level of plate flatness was required to ensure a high-quality result. Outokumpu was able to provide the plate to one-fourth of commercial flatness despite its 19mm thickness. Another requirement for the desired finish, as well as for improved corrosion resistance, was low sulphur content (no higher than 0.001%). Grade ASTM 316L stainless steel was selected. Outokumpu was selected as the stainless plate supplier for reasons of both technical competence and level of service. First, Outokumpu’s New Castle plate mill could provide the necessary high flatness over the desired width and length, coupled with a low sulphur content. Second, Outokumpu spent two years providing technical assistance to the designers, including samples and answering questions about flatness.
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