The Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) has launched a competition to promote its life cycle costing (LCC) app, which was developed in 2016 to boost the use of stainless steel in the local market.
To stand a chance to win a trip to Paris worth R125 000, entrants will need to download the LCC app and use it to calculate the significant long-term maintenance savings that could have been achieved had the Eiffel Tower been built from stainless steel.
The app uses the standard accountancy principle of discounted cash flow, so that total costs incurred during a stainless steel structure’s life cycle period are reduced to present day values.
“The app calculates a realistic comparison of the options available. In terms of material selection, it considers the reduced maintenance and the longer life span that stainless steel offers,” Sassda executive director John Tarboton said.
“Had the Eiffel Tower been constructed from stainless steel, a fortune would have been saved on maintenance costs – instead of these long-term benefits, the tower has required painting every seven years, using 50 t of paint each time, taking 25 painters up to 18 months to complete the job.”
The competition was designed to bring the functionality of the app to life, using the tangible example of the Eiffel Tower.
Other parameters in the competition include a choice between a lean duplex and a utility ferritic.
The lean duplex is more expensive and requires cleaning every 20 years to maintain its brilliant aesthetics; however, it is stronger, allowing thickness and hence weight savings.
The utility ferritic is cheaper than the lean duplex and does not require cleaning but will weather to a brown patina.
Competition entrants will need to calculate and compare what the operating costs would be for the Eiffel Tower for the next 100 years if it were built out of mild steel, and either utility ferritic or lean duplex stainless steel.
Tarboton noted that the app is invaluable to professionals in the field who want to bypass the complicated steps normally associated with this type of calculation; unless they also have an accountancy qualification.
“In this way, we’re hoping to educate the market on the inherent benefits of stainless steel which include minimal maintenance, a minimum 60-year lifespan and significant ‘green’ benefits,” he said.