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Chinese Metal Works of Art

Recently, I took a short trip to Shanghai, China on a last-minute request. I didn't know what to think or expect from this country, but was very interested to see what the architecture and cityscape was like so far away from home. Though it wasn't my favorite trip I have ever taken, the city of Shanghai boasted some of the most interesting metal buildings I have ever seen in person.

One side of the city consists of very, old traditional buildings while the other "financial district" side has new, modern buildings. I was blown away by the many of the new, large structures that were erected along the riverfront, more specifically, the newly finished Shanghai World Financial Center.

This 101-story skyscraper opened in August 2008, and was created in an attempt to be the world's tallest building for a split-second. Architects of this building faced a unique challenge because of the high winds in the area (along with the substantial height of the structure) and decided to add a rectangular cut-out at the building's apex to reduce the stresses of wind pressure. And of course, steel was an important material used in facilitating the building's unique design:

"The supporting structure of the skyscraper consists of a central reinforced concrete core and a massive framework of steel columns and girders. For the first time in China, the steel elements making up the mighty structural skeleton were put together from special steel profiles: the Jumbo profiles (W 14"×16"), made from Histar grade steel (ASTM A913-Grade 50), guaranteeing high strength and the possibility of using smaller sections equal in performance to the traditional grade of steel. The total tonnage used for this project was in excess of 13,000, of which 10,000 tons was the special Histar steel supplied by ArcelorMittal."


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