Maintenance free structural metal

OK, I know it exists but been unable to find much. Looking for info on maintenance-free structural metal (other than Al or SS) for constructing tower to hang bell in front of church. Dark color to blend w/ red/black/brown brick desired (hence not SS) and preferable to not require painting or similar maintenance. Am thinking 4x4 square tubing would be reasonable dimension combing adequate strength as well as appropriate visual "heft". (Bell weight is uncertain but estimated at 3000 lb based on data found for similarly sized cast bells.)
What alternatives are available and links to information would be appreciated...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cor-ten
Cor-ten is steel that rusts on the surface. The rust protects the underlying material. Guardrails along highways are often made of the stuff.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

... Thanks, I "knew" I should know the trade name. But, unfortunately, seems only comes in plate unless require enough to make a mill run--no indication of standard structural shapes available routinely (that I can find, anyway). Don't think we can afford that! :) (The possibility exists since we're in a relatively dry area to simply use steel and let it go--it'll last a _long_ time here simply unpainted but would undoubtedly leave some ugly rust stains on the mounting pads. I initially thought of just using SS, but in looking at the area where it would sit I think the bright surface would "stick out" excessively... :(
I've a call in to local metal dealer, so we'll see what I can learn there (if anything).
I didn't realize it was an issue to find the stuff in whatever form one wanted it...
I'll search some more for other high Cu/Ni alloys. I surely thought there were a variety of materials readily available but don't seem to find what I thought I would.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't ask for cor-ten, ask for weathering steel, available in structural shapes and used in many bridges.
JTMcC.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JTMcC wrote:

...
All the references I've found so far to the alloy class to which Cor-ten belongs for all fabricators have same general result -- it's all in the sheet goods and forms for bridges, etc., all seem custom. Not found a single point for standard structural shapes from any distributor. I've sent of a couple queries asking about small quantities or alternatives to them as well. If you happen to know a link/distributor, that would be kewl...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Like I said, stop asking for corten, I believe it's only available as coils stock, which is a far, far cry from rolled structural shapes and will only get you funny looks. The people who sell structural (particularly in Service Centers, and that's where you would find it in stock) will know and understand the term "weathering steel", it's commonly used in that world. In hollow structural shapes you would specify it as A847. In W, M, S, HP, C and L shapes you would most likely spec it as A588 Gr. 50. Keep in mind if you do use this stuff, you have to use the proper welding consumables for a good color match as the steel weathers.
JTMcC.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JTMcC wrote:

...
...
While I wasn't precise, that's what the previous posting (of "alloy class") was intended to imply--per your suggestion I did a search on "weathering steel" which got me the A588 and A847 ASTM numbers but no distributors/service companies of other than coil stock.
I then did the search by the two alloys and so far have found only a single service company (Central Steel Service in AL) who have structural shapes listed in their product lines. They have angle/channel/beam/flat but no square tubing. Of course, one could fabricate the square from angle or change the concept to use what one can find.
If you know of any further service companies/distributors to contact/pursue, I'm still open.
My conclusion at this point is that the material doesn't seem nearly as widely used/available as I had presumed for other than for very large projects like bridges/transmission poles or sheet applications.
Bob's idea looks more promising all the time assuming the vo-tech can do the powder coating or other finish which I'm pretty confident they can...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No it's not used commonly for little jobs. I don't have any idea what the availability is in your area, I don't even know what area you are in. But sevice centers will many times have small amounts in stock. You have to search for and find steel service centers in your region of the world. If it was me (and I know it's not), as a welding contractor, and if'n I was making this for my own personal bell tower, I would fab it out of regular structural steel (or pipe more likely), put one of the many industrial epoxy coatings on it, about three coats and forget about it. We have fabricated steel products bolted to intake structures at the bottom of 250' lakes that are spec'd that way and they will outlive my kids. Personally I wouldn't powdercoat any structural steel. If your piece has to be field erected your powdercoating is garanteed to be chipped during loading, shipping, rigging, landing, or during the bolting up process. Of course it can't be field welded if powdercoat is to be your finish. Plus it can be hard to find powdercoaters who can handle long or wide or oddly shaped sections. Industrial epoxy paints are more chip resistant (a large factor on steel) easily touched up in the field, and can be applied/touched up after field welding/bolting. None of this may apply to your situation so take it for what it's worth.
JTMcC.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JTMcC wrote:

(look for)

...
SW KS, so there aren't many choices...I'll talk to local ironmonger :) Monday and see who/what he knows.

That is more than likely what we'll end up doing--I was just trying to find out what options were available and (as is obvious, I'm sure) figured the weathering steel wasn't anything all that out of the ordinary when I began the hunt. I'm not nor was I committed that it had to be a finish-free material, just didn't realize it was as little-used as is. There is certainly a lot of stuff built out of pipe around here (being in oil-patch country it's everywhere, cheap) but I've seen a couple of open structures for bell towers of the square tubing that I think are quite nice but not particularly involved in construction so I am really leaning towards that as opposed to pipe. I've not done any detailed design yet other than try to research the probably upper limit of the bell weight based on its size and data I could find for similar bells of same size. We have the original cast mounting brackets so all that really is required from that standpoint is a frame on which they can be mounted.

Good points, all, and I was aware of the limitation on field welding powdercoated material, obviously. I know the Vo Tech kids have done several really nice painted decorative signs some of which were quite large and I suspect something similar is what they used on them. I'll check in w/ the school when classes start again here in another week or so.
This is still in the conceptual phase at the moment--the church committees who have the say-so about doing it have said "ok" and the bell is an old one which has been in storage for the last 30 years or so, so waiting a few more weeks (or months) to get something designed and built won't make any discernible difference... :)

Thanks for the input--it did lead me further down the path than I had gotten previously--as noted, I was just trying to find out what material(s) would be readily available and had started w/ a notion that turned out to not be so...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Your chances are very slim there.

It's not out of the ordinary or little use, it's just used normally on large commercial or public works projects. The square tube will be cheaper and easier to work with, and of course give you that vintage timber look.

A good industrial epoxy coating will be as close to "maintenance free" as you will find in SW Kansas. I have thousands of tons of iron coated that way in Eastern Kansas (Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, K.C. Kansas, K.C. Mo area, ect., quite a bit of it in very corrosive enviroments such as chemical plants)
Anyway good luck, I hope it looks nice when you're done. JTMcC.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JTMcC wrote:
...

So's he. :)
He's got to have a supplier somewhere.
...

...
The "vintage timber" look wasn't much in my mind...but I suppose w/ the right color and some consideration of how it was joined it could leave such an impression...the examples I had seen were pretty simple and didn't remind me of that at all, however. :)
...

At least it is in town instead of on the farm so it does have a fair amount of protection we don't out here. UV is big killer of most finishes out here, of course.

Any supplier/distributor in the KC area you can recommend? Denver is equidistant to KC, while OKC, Wichita, Amarillo are all roughly equidistant and about half as far...

I think it will in the end. Thanks for the input.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In a previous post dpb wrote...

Make the support frame with regular structural steel and get it powder coated in almost any color you wish. Should be no maintenance.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE R L Morrison Engineering Co Structural & Civil Engineering Poulsbo WA bob at rlmorrisonengr dot com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob Morrison wrote:

...
...
Not a bad idea at all, Bob...I _knew_ I could count on you! :)
Now I'll have to see if I can find a local somebody who could handle the size of pieces they would/will be (it's a small place here and the Trailmobile facility closed a couple of years ago--they built reefers for a while here and I think they did the frames here, but the building has been vacant since they folded. :( )
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
powder coating in Indy area is dirt cheap & they can handle car size parts with ease. epoxy paint or galvanizing would be another couple options.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
longshot wrote:

Yeah, if I were only in Indy... :) Checking local yellow pages finds nobody in town and one shop about 60 miles away in the area-wide directory. When school opens I'll call the technical school who has a auto-body shop and good facilities and are always on the lookout for projects. They're probably the best bet locally.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

there a company that sales power coating equipment for small to meduim work.
http://www.eastwoodco.com /
call them they may be able to help. also you would be able do any thing else you would like.
Charles
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bronze if you have the budget.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CWatters wrote:
...

Church --> Budget --> Nil :)
(Actually this project is from the Memorials Fund, but it doesn't have pockets that deep, I'm sure. The structural steel w/ an industrial coating will probably end up being the choice.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How about structural tubing with a PVC coating? http://www.johnsonrollforming.com/display.php/display/C2/category/10
wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.