An Inside Look at the Stainless Steel “Seven Wonders” in Houston, Texas

Posted on September 9, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

Check out the infamous stainless steel structure "Seven Wonders" located in Houston, Texas.

Today is the first day of the Houston Texans season home-opener against the Miami Dolphins.  This is going to be an action-packed game in one of the most culturally diverse and celebrated cities in the United States.  While visiting this busy, entertaining, shopping and restaurant-filled metropolitan area reserve time to enjoy the city parks and public art works including the “Seven Wonders.”

The ‘Seven Wonders” are 70 feet tall stainless steel pillars located in Sesquicentennial Park.  This is designed to highlight the banks of Buffalo Bayou.  At night, these glowing columns reflect the water illuminating the home of Houston’s own internationally-exclaimed opera and ballet companies at the Wortham Center. The entire project was a way to celebrate and remember the 150th birthday of the region while providing a lovely, enchanting piece of work to admire and enjoy for another 150 years to come.

The seven pillars represent different aspects of Houston’s history. The pillars signify the following industries and Houston’s dominants in each field: energy, manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation.  The way the seven columns came about required a unique collaboration between the artist Mel Chin, Guy Hagstette, Ray and Hollington Architects and 1,050 school children born in 1986.

Chin thought of an idea to request school children born the same year as Houston’s sesquicentennial year to submit drawings representing one of the seven fields listed above.  Amongst these drawings, Chin chose 150 drawings to recreate as a laser-cut steel etching placed within each column.

To find out how stainless steel and nickel alloys can create your city’s next historical monument, call Nationals Specialty Alloys today.

London’s Steel Tower Bridge

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

While visiting London during Olympics 2012 be sure to walk on the steel Tower Bridge.

I just returned from a phenomenal trip through England.  I saw the coast of England, visited different harbor towns and spent time in London itself.  The sites were beautiful, the water was gorgeous, the people were great but one place stood out more than the rest, the London’s Tower Bridge.

The Tower Bridge is not the London Bridge

The need for the Tower Bridge became abundantly clear in the 19th Century.  A significant increase in commercial business occurred in the East End of London requiring a new river crossing but a traditional fixed bridge would not do.  This would cut off the needed access to the port facilities between the London Bridge and the Tower of London.  So the London “Subway Committee” opened up a design competition to the public in order to find the perfect solution.  Over 50 designs were submitted and in October 1844 London’s own architect, Horace Jones and his partner John Wolfe Barry were selected to create the Tower Bridge.

The Tower Bridge took over 11,000 tons of steel to build the framework for the towers and walkways.  Then the framework was covered in granite and stone to shield the underlying steelwork and to provide the Bridge with a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

To find out more about how to use stainless steel for your next project, call National Specialty Alloys today.

Why Stainless Steel is the Preferred Metal for City Furniture

Posted on March 21, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

City planners save tax payers money by using stainless steel.

There are many things to consider when making city improvements to public areas.  The city has to think about choosing materials that are cost-effective and long lasting.  A material that is durable enough to hold a wide range of weight limitations.  A piece of metal that does not fray or fall apart when it is raining, snowing, high winds, flash floods and extreme heat occur.  Stainless steel meets all these specifications making it an easy decision amongst city designers.

Think about city-wide furniture and sights you see.  There is everything from billboards to parking benches to public park garbage cans made from stainless steel.  It is a chosen metal that saves the city money on replacement and maintenance expenses.  In this economy that is especially important.  Too many cities are under the risk of financial collapse while tax payers have no more money to spare.

Check out the local parks where your kids play. What material are the jungle gym, basketball hoops, benches and see-saws made from?  The majority of the time it is all created from stainless steel.

In prior generations, some city parks would use a type of cast iron metal that was painted over with acrylic gloss finish.  This causes issues.  The paint chips exposing the ugly layers underneath leaving it in danger eroding quickly.  But city officials realized it was becoming a money pit.  Tax payer dollars were exhausted on furniture and playground replacement when the entire problem could be resolved by utilizing stainless steel.

To find out more about how your town could benefit from switching to stainless steel and nickel alloy bars, call one of our experienced, specialized and reputable experts today.

New York City and Steel Go Together

Posted on February 2, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

Stainless steel is the metal of choice in New York City.

When I roam around New York City I look up, just like any other tourist.  The locals say don’t do it but how can you not.  The magnificent building structures are impossible to ignore.  Architects manipulated steel in such a manner that architectural masterpieces were created throughout the city.  So I decided to dive into stainless steel more and find out how it is made and other attributes about this strong, resilient material.

One of the most noticeable buildings in New York City is the Empire State Building.  It was first incepted by architects who were set on designing the tallest building in New York City.  But they were puzzled on how to make a structure so tall with the heavy metals used in the past, such as iron.  So they did some tests and eventually concluded that a lighter, stronger material has to be used to complete this spectacular building.  Thus, they chose steel.

What is Stainless Steel Fabrication?

The way steel is bent and cut to create any shape, size, structure is referred to as stainless steel fabrication. The metal is lightweight while still being strong, and resistant to corrosion making it the building designers’ top choice.

Stainless Steel versus Carbon Steel

This preferred metal is commonly used in building bridges, oil rigs, and water pumps.  It is able to withstand many different extreme temperatures without faltering.  It is resistant to corrosion, rust and chips keeping repair and replacement costs to a minimum.  All of these traits make steel a much better choice than carbon steel.  For carbon steel is susceptible to rust and corrosion when exposed to air and water.

To find out more about stainless steel and nickel alloy bars, call National Specialty Alloys today.

Common Uses for Stainless Steel Banding

Posted on January 16, 2012 by Reda Abouleish

Use stainless steel bandings when securing your street signs.

When a city decides to create new signage, the contractors have to consider material sturdy enough to keep the sign together.  What can they use to fasten it with?  If they do not choose something sturdy, durable and resilient then it could fall apart creating the grounds for a lawsuit to be filed by any citizen.  It could come crashing down on flowing traffic or pedestrians crossing the street.  So what material holds together the signage and eliminates this type of worry?  By choosing stainless steel banding you rid yourself, the city and contractors from worrying about such issues.  There are many other uses for it too.

This type of banding has replaced the customary screws, bolts and nails method of attaching street signs and signals to sign poles.  The banding wraps around the pole keeping the pole sturdy and together ensuring it does not fall apart over time.  It is also resistant to extreme temperatures or heat making it a cost-effective option.

The chemical industry is another arena that utilizes steel bandings.  As mentioned above, they hold up under extreme temperatures and conditions.  This makes it an ideal option for the chemical industry.  Furthermore, it is water resistant and is capable of staying together under high, power pressured processing.

There is a tall demand for mobile companies to build network towers.  The competition is stiff.  They want to be certain to deliver reliable service to customers to any location.  Stainless steel bandings help mobile companies achieve this goal.

To find out more about different uses of stainless steel and nickel alloy call one of our specialists today.



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