Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 13:08

* “Build it using quality Australian steel that is manufactured to the highest standards and operates under an ISO 9001 Quality Management System and they will come.”

In New Zealand, it was found that an infrastructure project on the North Island outside Auckland used 500 tonnes of steel that did not comply with structural steel standards and cannot be used on a $2 billion expressway.

Imported steel from China was found to be too weak to be used on four bridges on the Huntly bypass, 93 kilometres south of Auckland.  It was only after all the tube arrived and additional testing was undertaken by the contractor and NZ Transport Agency that it was discovered the steel did not comply with relevant steel standards.

To ensure the safety of the bridges, concrete reinforcement was used on two bridges, while contractors needed to buy replacement steel for the remaining bridges.

According to the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) the supply of an unacceptable degree of non-compliant, unsuitable and often faulty structural steel is just as much a problem in Australia as it is for our trans-Tasman neighbours.

“The repercussions of resultant structural failures have been experienced across the construction industry, causing costly rework and greater public safety risks,” a spokesperson from the ASI said.     

Orrcon Steel Quality and Procurement Manager David Haynes said it takes something like the Huntly bypass project to open people’s eyes to the real risks involved in sourcing cheap steel that may not comply with industry standards or end-user expectations.

“It’s up to the industry to operate ethically and with a view for the long term,” Mr Haynes said.

As a Quality and Procurement Manager at Orrcon Steel Mr Haynes is responsible for providing technical oversight when it comes to product development, third party certification and product conformity assessments, while also liaising with the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) to ensure Orrcon Steel meets third-party accreditations.

Orrcon Steel is third party certified by the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels, it is certified by the British Standards Institution (BSI) for product and process conformance and operates under the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

In 2010 Orrcon Steel relocated its NATA accredited laboratory to its structural steel manufacturing operations in Salisbury.

Mr Haynes has attributed this onsite laboratory to an increase in productivity, as well as improving Orrcon Steel’s in-house testing and compliance capabilities.

Orrcon Steel’s laboratory enables improved testing onsite, while the consistency of steel quality supplied by parent company BlueScope Steel instils a high level of confidence in the finished product.  This ensures Orrcon Steel meets stringent product certification requirements of ACRS and BSI and readily complies with the requirements of AS/NZS 1163.

By undergoing a regime of internal testing and independent third party product compliance assessment, Orrcon Steel can take pride that its products are safe and provide the building industry with guaranteed quality material. 

For more information on Orrcon Steel’s products call 1300 665 757.