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[STEEL Talk] What If a Building Was Like a Human Body?

2020/10/14

STEEL Talk presents to you interesting stories of Science, Technology, Energy, Environment, Life — and of course STEEL!

l Buildings: Standing Firm Like ‘Giants’

Bones are like solid columns supporting the entire human body. And the buildings that we see around us function similar to the human body. They are like ‘giants’ standing tall — a much bigger version of the human body. The columns of the building support the entire structure, just as bones support the human body, and this column is steel! The steel used here is called construction steel and it is applied to various structures such as buildings and bridges around us.

Just as the bones inside our body are invisible to the naked eye, the steel material for construction, the bones of the building, is also placed inside the building and cannot be seen easily. However, It is considered as the most important material because it is closely related to safety.

The tallest building in Seoul is the Lotte World Tower! A huge amount of POSCO steel plate and high-performance construction steel were applied in its construction. If you take an x-ray of this building, you might be able to see POSCO steel supporting it entirely, just like you can see the bones inside your body in an x-ray!

l Looks Matter Too!

Supposing a building is a human body, the skin would be its exterior wall. Architects struggle a lot to make a building aesthetically pleasing. That’s why the exterior walls of buildings are decorated with shiny glass or ornamental stone. Recently, steel is often used as well because of its strongness and artistic properties.

Do you remember Pengsoo House that POSCO had built for the EBS mascot Pengsoo? The exterior walls of Pengsoo House, where Pengsoo’s face is printed, are also made of steel. The steel plate applied here is POSCO Advanced Resolution printing Technology (PosART). PosART allows high-resolution inkjet print hence emulating the textures and patterns of various materials, including marble, wood, and fabric. As long as there is an image file, anything is printable. Last year, POSCO had launched INNOVILT, a premium brand of steel products for construction. PosART is one of these INNOVILT products, and it won the worldsteel Steelie Awards ‘Innovation of the Year’ in 2019.

Steel is used not only for exterior walls but also for roofs. The roof of Incheon International airport’s Terminal 2 was made with POSCO stainless steel fabricated with reduced reflectivity to prevent glare for aircraft pilots during takeoff and landing.

l Keeping the Building Alive!

Blood vessels of the human body serve as channels to deliver oxygen to every corner. Just as we have blood vessels and nerves, buildings also have invisible “blood vessels” and “nerves” that keep them alive — “pipes”.

Most of the pipes in the building are made of steel. If the pipe is rusted, water or gas may leak inside the building, which might trigger a big accident. Also, if water travels through the rusty pipes, it will be contaminated and harm the health of people. Therefore, corrosion-resistant stainless steel is appropriate in making the pipes of buildings.

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