Material Selection Guide for Severe Environmental Conditions

The environment can impact the performance and durability of steel roofing significantly. Selection of appropriate materials can mitigate any negative effects from a variety of environmental situations.

Environmental factors can be effectively categorised into two sections:

  1. Atmospheric Conditions
  2. Intensive Farming and Industrial Conditions

Atmospheric Conditions

Australia has a wide range of climatic conditions ranging from hot, arid, desert regions to the monsoonal areas in the north as well as alpine conditions in the southern interior regions. Australia’s huge coastline also merits special consideration when determining material selection.

In Industrialised zones, the emissions from concentrated burning of fossil fuels and other sources of dangerous airborne pollutants have to be taken into consideration. Local wind and weather patterns play a large part in how these will effect surrounding areas.

Locality, unwashed areas, geographical outlook, prevailing winds and the geographic formations around marine influence are a few of the essential factors that are required to determine the corrosive impact on a building.

The following information is presented as a guide only. BlueScope Steel classifies atmospheric conditions under four major categories: very severe, severe, moderate and benign, as shown in Table DD SEC MS 001. This table should be used as a guide for selecting BlueScope products in regard to their performance in marine areas.

BlueScope Steel issues a material warranty that varies according to individual circumstances. Fielders® also adds its own five year screw fix warranty or a concealed fix warranty for up to 20 years on top of these material warranties for your peace of mind on properly registered projects (see Appendices A and B for details).

For a more detailed analysis of your project’s material selection requirements, please free to contact your local Fielders® representative. Fielders® offer specialist advice on the most suitable choice from our huge range of materials and profiles to suit all your needs.

Intensive Farming and Industrial Conditions

Industrial activities and processes constitute a major factor when considering the impact of the environment on a project. Industrial use of chemicals, acids, heat, moisture and combustion affect any area adjacent to the site. Intensive animal farming will also increase the severity of corrosive conditions. Consult Fielders® or BlueScope Steel before undertaking projects subject to these environmental factors.

For optimum performance and durability under these severe conditions, Fielders® recommends profiles that are roll formed from a heavy coating mass, zinc coated with a Z600 coating class, in G300 or G550 steel (depending on profile).

Material Selection for Severe Environmental Conditions

Exposure SeverityApproximate Distance from Marine InfluenceRecommended Products
Very Severe Marine<100m from breaking surfSuperDura Stainless steel
Severe Marine100-200m from breaking surf or <100m from calm still water (eg. harbour)COLORBOND® Ultra steel
Marine200-400m from breaking surf or 100-200m from calm still water (eg. harbour)COLORBOND® steel
COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel
Moderate>400m from breaking surf or >200m from calm still water (eg. harbour)COLORBOND® steel
COLORBOND® Metallic steel
COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel
Benign>1000m from breaking surf or >1000m from calm still water (eg. harbour)COLORBOND® steel
COLORBOND® Metallic steel
COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel
Table DD SEC MS 001
1. Absolute performance is subject to local conditions (eg. prevailing winds) and unwashed areas (to regions of the roof not naturally washed by rain).
2. The above table applies to roofing products only.
3. The above table applies to salt marine influences only. For installations subject to severe, heavy industrial conditions, it is essential to consult a BlueScope Steel sales office for advice on the appropriate product.