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Sports stadiums, skyscrapers and airport terminals are just three examples of the increasing number of new buildings going up in metropolitan areas at a breathtaking rate. They predominantly feature roofs and frames made of steel, because steel skeletons have a low dead load, but a high load-bearing capacity and are usually quick and easy to assemble. However, the higher and larger the building, the greater the importance of fire protection.


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n order to prevent the steel frames of skyscrapers and stadiums from buckling within minutes during a fire, they are provided with special fire protection coatings. As the binder, a new


dispersion by WACKER ensures the necessary elasticity, strength and adhesion of the protective layer. Come 2014 when Brazil hosts the World Cup Finals


and then the Olympics in 2016, entire nations will be glued to their screens. They will see tens of thousands of fans flocking to gigantic, futuristic stadiums where sporting rivalries will be fought out against a striking backdrop of steel frames and roofs designed to convey an impression of lightness and airiness. Steel frames, or “skeletons,” have a low dead load, but a high load-bearing capacity. They are supplied prefabricated and are bolted together quickly and easily on site. This makes steel constructions statically ideal as skeletal structures for exhibition halls and airport terminals. It’s a construction method that is especially


popular for office tower blocks in the booming cities of the Far East. But wherever people congregate in large numbers, safety aspects must play an equally “weighty” role alongside structural efficiency and aesthetics.


42 PCE APRIL-JUNE 2013


The Shard in London is a good example of a modern steel frame skyscraper Photo credit: by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0


Foam Jackets forSteel Columns


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