The Thames Barrier – stainless steel performance after more than 30 years

The Thames Barrier stands guard astride the river in a location which is classified as ‘corrosive’ because temperature and humidity levels are sufficient to activate salt deposits on a regular basis.

Austenitic grade 316 stainless steel was considered to be the only material which would provide a sufficient level of corrosion resistance to fulfil a planned 50 year design life. Its smooth matt finish was developed for severe conditions such as those found around coastlines. Today, Aperam UGINOX MATT provides just such a surface. Its smoothness minimises corrosive deposit accumulation while increasing the effectiveness of self-cleaning by natural rain washing. As a result, the dramatic curves of the barrier retain both their attractive appearance and functionality after more than 30 years.