Bluescope spends upwards of $100mil on next generation

Bluescope steel has invested more than $100 million to develop a more resilient line of steel for the Australian market.

The innovative “next generation” ZINCALUME steel sees magnesium added to the aluminium, zinc and silicon coating in a new manufacturing process that purports to form a unique protective barrier.

The enhanced coating is designed to better protect the base metal layer, meaning that exposed surfaces are more resilient when drilled, cut or scratched during construction.

ZINCALUME also offers a higher level of protection against corrosion which is especially important in the Australian environment.

"ZINCALUME® steel is renowned in Australian building and architectural circles for the galvanic action of the zinc in its coating, which gives it a self-sealing property and increases its lifespan," BlueScope Steel market manager, Manu Siitonen said

"With Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel, we have perfected a new formula that improves the galvanic action of the zinc. With the addition of a new magnesium compound, it activates the aluminium in the coating composition to provide even more effective corrosion resistance,” he said.

In a statement, the company stated that ZINCALUME steel has greater resistance to corrosion and weathering, and is more durable in a wider range of environments.

Siitonen added that the new line of steel “will provide multiple benefits for architects, builders, project managers and end-users”.

Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel metal coating formulation has undergone 10 years of accelerated laboratory testing and 17 years of environmental field testing to ensure it exceeds the durability of the current ZINCALUME® steel product.

The new ZINCALUME steel product also carries a reduced environmental footprint in comparison to its predecessor.

"The improved coating also enables a more efficient use of natural resources through the reduced use of zinc and aluminium, lessening Next Generation ZINCALUME® steel's environmental impact," Siitonen said.

"As a profession we are thinking more and more about how responsible we need to be in making buildings," said Hassell Studio architect Ken Maher in the company’s video.

"That pressure is changing our way of thinking but also changing the way materials are made and thought of."

The new ZINCALUME® steel will be available nationally from August 2013.