So, what were the client and the architect looking for in a product to clad the heavy footfall areas of this high profile urban station?
Firstly the material and the finish had to be robust, durable and resistant to corrosion and anti-social behaviour. Secondly the cladding is very prominent, therefore the aesthetics had to be contemporary and in keeping with a modern regenerated environment.
Finally the product needed to be totally recyclable, hygienic and easy to clean.
In order to confidently fulfil the specified and exacting cosmetic criteria, Wheelabrator was chosen to produce the specialist shot peened finish on the stainless steel cladding material supplied by main cladding contractor McGrath Group of Northern Ireland.
A shot peened finish has a variety of benefits all of which match the specification requirements. It is created by impacting spherical particles onto the surface of the material under controlled conditions.
The particles generate an even, continuous, unbroken pattern and simultaneously create a work hardened surface.
The effect of work hardening increases the material’s resistance to anti social behaviour scratching and also increases the resistance of the stainless steel to corrosion.
There is no coating applied to the surface and the finish is potentially ever lasting, resulting in no environmental impact from paint product application or tatty degenerating coatings requiring expensive maintenance in years to come.
With health and safety in mind, the surface is smooth to touch and importantly for train drivers, low in reflectivity. Cleaning is uncomplicated with just soap and water or with a recommended stainless steel cleaner.
Chris Pallot, business development manager for the Impact Finishers peening services, said: “This project represents yet another milestone in Wheelabrator’s established relationship with London Underground (LUL).
We have completed numerous shot peen finishing contracts on station refurbishments over the last ten years and all of them have been completed on time and to a very high finish specification.
We were delighted to be chosen to undertake this project at Wood Lane because of our proven ability to provide the particular finish required at a competitive price, and crucially, within stringent delivery times.
The regeneration project is a considerable undertaking for all involved, so it’s key that each company delivers on their promise and that’s exactly what we’ve done. The consistency, durability and longevity of a Wheelabrator shot peened finish is now evidenced by the repeat projects we are receiving and the fact that the finish supplied is as good today as the day it was installed.”
Cladding contractors McGrath have also benefitted from the Wheelabrator philosophy of strong communication and backup when lead times are of the upmost importance.
In short, when it comes to large or small infrastructure finishing projects Wheelabrator has proved time and again it can deliver and continues to have an excellent reputation in this field.