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Corus on the Advance

Corus was the first steelmaker in the world to gain approval to CE mark its structural sections and plates to meet the EU directive on Construction Products (CPD). Now, to make it even easier to specify Corus CE marked sections compliant with the directive, Corus has introduced a new name for its entire range, as Nick Barrett reports.

The new name for the Corus range of structural sections is Advance, which reflects many new technological improvements and the well-established world-class processes of this major manufacturer.

Corus is the leading supplier of steel sections to the UK market, but they offer much more than just a supply of steel. Behind the delivery of a quality assured product manufactured in controlled factory conditions is an in depth back up service giving designers and specifiers access to technical support and the benefit of a continued large research and development effort.

The key driver for introducing Advance is the requirement from September 2006 for structural sections used in Europe to comply with the CPD. Designers need to be sure that sections they specify comply, and choosing a CE marked product is the simplest way to achieve this. The new Advance name covers all section types (channels, angles and bearing piles as well as beams and columns) and they will all have the Advance mark rolled into the web for ease of identification and traceability.

In addition Corus has added 21 new beams and columns to the ‘traditional’ UK section range to increase the flexibility that steel offers designers to achieve the most effective structural solution. Increasingly a least weight structural design approach does not necessarily mean least cost in whole building terms. Often, structural depth has a major impact on overall cost due to the high cost of the building envelope. Where services are to be integrated with the structure, a beam sized specifically for the passage of those services is often appropriate.

21 new beams and columns have been added to the range

The UK understands the benefits of steel construction more than other countries, and this creates a level of demand that makes the market attractive to imports. Alan Todd, General Manager at Corus Construction and Industrial explains: ‘Some people automatically assume that when they buy steel in the UK they are buying Corus steel, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Proper certification of products to be used in construction is becoming increasingly important, using steel whose origins are in doubt could be a very expensive mistake.

‘Our process quality is underpinned by an approval record that is second to none, including Lloyds register, CE marking and JIS. If your job depends on getting high quality properly certified steel then you should specify Advance sections.’

Manufacturing excellence is assured for steel with the Advance sections mark. Advance sections were the world’s first to be accredited under the onerous Lloyds Register marine quality scheme, and Corus is one of a very small number of manufacturers outside Japan to carry approvals from the Japanese Institute for Standardisation.

Corus has recently been investing heavily in its plant and delivery systems. Over £200M of improvements have been made at its Scunthorpe and Teesside long products’ sites. This includes installing the latest in steel rolling technology at the Medium Section Mill to create the world’s first dual rail and structural sections rolling mill. Advance sections will benefit from this quality enhancement.

The new facility can produce structural sections to the most demanding specifications, well inside the minimum requirements set by national and international standards for dimensional tolerance and material performance. Corus’ tight manufacturing controls also enable production of bespoke sections where depth and flange/web thickness of a section can be tailored to the particular needs of a project.

The investments include the construction of a new world class Automated Distribution Centre at Scunthorpe, which will receive Advance sections from the adjacent mill and store and retrieve them as required while sheltered from the elements. This facility will improve customer service by ensuring that all products are despatched on time and in the best possible condition.

Other aspects of Corus’ service leadership, such as a full technical advisory service to assist with all aspects of using Corus products, will continue to be provided. The company’s commitment to technical development, to improving the effective application of steel in construction, will be underpinned by these new investments.

Mr Todd said: ‘Corus is the best-positioned steel manufacturer to serve the UK construction market and these investments underpin that assurance. We have a comprehensive rolling programme and the highest level of technical support at both the product and the application level. For example, the industry will naturally turn to us for guidance during the transition to the steel elements of the new Eurocodes for design.’

Proving steel’s sustainability credentials will be easy for specifiers of Advance sections. ‘About 94% of steel sections were already recycled in the days before sustainability became such a key business driver, and that figure will rise and rise!’ said Corus Construction and Industrial Marketing and Product Development Manager Roger Steeper. ‘Significant work is underway on steel’s contribution to sustainable development. Advance Sections have many of the qualities that help to achieve the balance between the environmental, economic and social performance that is so important to sustainable development. Corus takes its responsibilities towards the environment and the communities we work in very seriously, and designers can be assured that by specifying Advance Sections they are also making a contribution to the sustainability of their own projects.’

What is new?

New identity

Advance is the new name for structural sections from Corus. The new name applies to all sections Corus manufactures for the UK market, including beams, columns, channels, angles and bearing piles.

New section sizes

21 new beam and column sizes have been added to the standard UK section range to better reflect modern design practice.

Easy compliance with the Construction Products Directive (CPD)

From September 2006, all structural sections and plates used in the UK and the rest of Europe must comply with the CPD. All Advance sections will carry the CE mark. Specifying Advance from Corus is the simplest way to guarantee that CE marked sections in compliance with the CPD will be supplied.

New method of specification 

Specifying sections to EN10025 is not enough to guarantee compliance with CPD. Therefore, Corus has introduced a simplified naming protocol for its CE marked Advance sections. For example, EN10025: Part 2: 2004 – S275JR becomes Advance275JR.

New system of section designations

Advance sections will carry new designations. A UK prefix has been applied to all section types. UB becomes UKB, UC becomes UKC, PFC becomes UKPFC and angles are now UKA.

Bespoke section sizes

Corus section mills are state-of-the-art computer-controlled facilities, which can produce bespoke section sizes not included in the standard range. Similar flexibility exists to roll to tighter tolerances than are set down in national standards.

Investment in the UK steel construction industry

Corus is investing heavily at its Advance section mills to maintain its world leading position in steel construction. The Medium Section Mill at Scunthorpe is now the world’s only dual rail and section mill resulting in a new level of product quality for Advance structural sections.  A new Automated Distribution Centre has been added to the mill to store up to 17,000t of Advance.

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