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Environment


The Stainless Steel Advantage:
Stainless Steels, and LDX 2101 in particular offer significant environmental advantages over galvanised steels for lintels, in every step of the process: foot LDX 2101: probably the lowest carbon footprint of all construction steels!

Raw Material

The energy requirements of producing carbon and stainless steels, and the associated waste are similar. However, typical lintels are manufactured from pre-galvanised stock, which adds an extra (energy intensive & emission critical) step in the steel production process.

Delivery to factory

LDX 2101 Stainless Steel is considerably stronger than Carbon Steel, so less is required; a lorry load of LDX steel makes more lintels!
Another interesting fact about stainless steels is due to their specialist nature, the steel is usually delivered direct from the steel mills to the manufacturer. Other steels usually go via a stockholder, adding an additional transportation and handling burden.
Aso, stainless steels have less onerous storage requirements since they don't corrode so readily if left exposed.

Manufacture

Galvanised coatings must be removed prior to welding, using additional energy, and heating of the zinc coating releases toxic fumes that must be delt with. The weld must then be painted or it will corrode. Stainless steels can simply be welded and that's it.

Delivery to Site

LDX 2101 is around 75% stronger than typical S275 lintel steel, and so the lintels are lighter than galvanised lintels - this translates into energy savings in transport, and on site.
In our case, we typically deliver direct to site rather than via a stockholder, making additional savings in transportation.

Installation

Because LDX 2101 lintels are lighter, they require less effort & and are safer to install. Not only that, because they don't need coating to protect against corrosion, a potential additional step is saved. They can also be installed more quickly, since product performance is not dependent on an unscratched coating.

Performance

Apart from superior corrosion resistance and high strength, LDX 2101 has 1/4 the thermal conductivity of galvanised steel, and it will be thinner anyway due to it's high strength. This means LDX lintels offer U-Value advantages over galvanised lintels, particularly if a cold bridge is unavoidable.
In some buildings, corrosion of pre-galvanised steel lintels could foreseeably dictate the lifespan of the building, this won't happen with LDX 2101 stainless steel.

Maintenance

Unless you want to paint stainless steel lintels for aesthetic reasons, you can forget about them. Galvanised lintels will typically require painting to last the full building life.

End of life

In the majority of cases, stainless lintels will still be 100% functional at the end of the building life. This means the steel can be 100% recycled - saving on demolition costs and aiding the environment!
By contrast, there may not be much left of a galvanised lintel at the end of building life.

And if you're thinking 'corrosion of galvanised lintels hasn't been a problem in the past' then try to think of galvanised items left outside more than 30 years that are still in good condition. Then think about how long galvanised lintels have been in wide spread use - around 30 years? The fact is, galvanised lintels haven't been in widespread use long enough for us to be demolishing significant numbers of buildings in which they're fitted.

A badly corroded lintel may not immediately cause a building failure, the masonry in many cases will be self supporting if undisturbed, but not necessarily safe.

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