The facade of the skyscraper is decorated with stainless steel from Germany. ThyssenKrupp Nirosta produced the material and rolled it at its Dillenburg plant. German partner company Strukturmetall (near Heilbronn) processed it and supplied it to Dubai in a total quantity of around 400 tons. There it was cut into strips. The 420 millimeter wide strips are fitted on the faces of the story platforms and frame the huge glass windows in the building’s skin. Parts of the record-breaking tower are currently still being clad with the stainless steel.
The Burj Dubai Tower currently stands at more than 600 meters. Including its steel spire it could one day reach 810 meters, but its eventual height is still being kept a secret in the United Arab Emirates. When complete, the 160-story high-rise is expected to have four million square meters of floor space and will house a hotel, shops, offices and apartments. To enable the tower to stand firm in the desert sand it was built on around 300 piles, driven into the ground to a depth of up to 55 meters.
In selecting the material to frame the window front the engineers and designers were guided not only by stainless steel’s architectural beauty and resistance to environmental influences. They also took care to ensure that the material would not reflect the sun too strongly and distract pilots approaching Dubai Airport. “Guaranteeing consistently high surface quality for this huge facade was a particular challenge,” says Gert Weiss, product service manager with ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. Helmut Baumgartl, managing director of Strukturmetall, adds: “The requirements set by the developer Emaar in Dubai were very high. That’s why the client insisted on material and know-how from Germany.” The task of Strukturmetall was to emboss a pattern (5WL) into the smooth stainless steel panels to increase rigidity and reduce weight.
ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, the largest subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Stainless AG (Duisburg), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of stainless steel flat products. As well as plants in Krefeld, Bochum, Düsseldorf-Benrath and Dillenburg and a site in Dahlerbrück, ThyssenKrupp Nirosta operates three steel service centers in Wilnsdorf, Sachsenheim and Langenhagen. In fiscal year 2006/07 the company generated sales of around 3.8 billion euros and employed 4,600 people.