Design a stainless steel bridge

Key things to consider when designing a stainless steel bridge

From iconic building exteriors and acclaimed public artworks to everyday street furniture - stainless steel has been a designer's material choice for decades.

Stainless steel for structural design

Stainless steel follows similar design rules that exist for carbon steels.  Where differences exist these are well-documented and for European projects can be found in Eurocode 3  EN1993-1-4, which describes the supplementary rules to consider in the behavior of stainless steels. You can find more guidance in the link below:

The Design Manual for Stainless Steel

Why use stainless steel?

Aesthetic benefits

  • Delivers a modern aesthetic
  • Maintains a long-lasting visual appearance
  • Offers designers more freedom to propose slender, more elegant structures thanks to high strength structural duplex stainless steels

Practical benefits

  • Boasts a high level of durability
  • No need for a protective paint coating
  • Minimizes maintenance costs 
  • Reduces the quantity and cost of materials used thanks to its high strength
  • Lowers the carbon footprint and environmental impact in Life Cycle Analysis 
White paper

Stainless steel bridges

Highway authorities and rail network operators around the world are facing the high costs of maintaining their extensive bridge infrastructure. Most of today’s bridges are based on reinforced concrete, steel girders or a combination of these. When comparing stainless steel and carbon steel using Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), stainless steel is shown to be significantly cheaper in the long term.

This white paper is based on a report, Sustainable Infrastructure through increased use of Stainless Steel (SIFRA), published in 2018.
Download the White paper

How to choose the right duplex grade

While all duplex steels have a similar high strength, the  grades within the family have different levels of corrosion resistance and should be selected to match the environmental conditions.  You can find more guidance in EN1993-1-4 2015, Annex A. Enquire for performance data from controlled long-term atmospheric testing, discover practical tips through our real-world case studies or learn more about our duplex stainless steel grade product range, Forta and Deco:  


Find out the ideal stainless steels for your bridge project

Which stainless steel grades would be ideal your bridge project? Try our simple material selection tool for product recommendations and expert tips.

Open the material selector


Case Pooley Bridge

Bridging to the future


New opportunities with modular bridges

Global megatrends article

Taking the sustainable path towards building bridges that endure and inspire


Materials in bridges: a designer’s perspective


Design standards and sustainability in structural engineering


Welding of stainless steel bridges


Sustainability is driving the adoption of duplex steel

Case Sodertalje bridge

Bridging the way to a more sustainable and economical future


The future belongs to sustainable bridges