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They are also one of the best choices in tough environments, such as leisure centres and swimming pools.
Polished and satin stainless steel handles, lever furniture, locks and cylinders, are sufficiently robust for heavy traffic areas and are suitable for wet and humid pool areas because the metal is a strong, corrosion-resistant chromium/nickel alloy steel.
Using higher grades of stainless steel will provide greater resistance to corrosion, but even these need care to maintain their appearance in harsh conditions such as those found in pools and leisure centres. To ensure the ironmongery continues to perform and look good for years, it is vital that a regular cleaning programme is put in place at the outset.
When Laidlaw provided stainless steel architectural ironmongery for the £17 million Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre development in Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, it selected products that would be robust and would cope well in the humid environment.
Graham Construction, which delivered the building project, chose Laidlaw because it needed a partner that could rise to the specific challenges within the leisure sector. Laidlaw worked closely with Cre8 Architecture during the specification process to ensure that the architectural ironmongery integrated with the centre’s design, were suitable for each application and that the products met building regulations and building standards.
Peter O’Brien, Managing Director of Laidlaw Ironmongery, said: “We have the technical know-how to understand the complex performance and design needs of leisure sector projects. Modern leisure centres offer a wide range of facilities, from swimming pools and fitness suites to offices and cafes, which means that our bespoke, high-performance ironmongery has to meet a number of exacting standards.”
Because chlorine and bromine, which become increasingly corrosive when coupled with the humidity and heat, are commonly used in leisure facilities, cleaning and maintenance are important factors in choosing the right products.
Putting in place a quick and simple cleaning and maintenance programme is the easiest way to keep the stainless steel’s natural protective chromium oxide layer intact, thereby providing the layer of protection to the product’s surface finish, said Peter.
“Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent corrosion and add to the service life of your stainless steel ironmongery,” he explains. “It slots into any routine cleaning and maintenance schedule and will make all the difference to the longevity of the products. It’s also important to know that if the cleaning regime is not maintained and corrosion starts to occur, steps can be taken to rectify the issue.”