Outokumpu stainless steel rebar reinforces sea defences at Cromer coast in the UK

Outokumpu delivers Forta DX 2304 duplex stainless steel rebar for the Cromer coast in the UK. Cromer is an English town located on the stormy North Sea coast which needed to rebuild its sea defences and prepare for rising sea levels.

Cromer is a well-known resort with a historic sea front and beloved beach, with original sea defences of a series of walls and timber groynes, some dating back to 1845. With rising sea levels and storms threatening the area, the town launched a coast protection scheme in 2013 in order to refurbish the sea defences and make them ready for the anticipated sea level rise to come over the next 100 years.

The project included refacing the concrete sea walls, improving parapet walls and repairing timber groynes. In coastal protection, timber groynes play a vital role as they keep as much sand as possible on the beach, to absorb the force of the waves before they hit the sea wall and cliff.

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Says Stephen Jones, Rebar Commercial Manager at Outokumpu: “Stainless steel rebar was chosen to support the concrete because of its superior corrosion resistance. With a critical chloride threshold level ten times greater than carbon steel rebar, stainless steel required less concrete cover while retaining its integrity and strength in spite of chloride ingress from the saltwater. It is virtually maintenance-free, has a low life cycle cost and will maintain its corrosion resistance over the designed life of the sea defences.”

Says North Norfolk District Council Coast Protection Engineer Brian Farrow: “In the new protection scheme, our brief to consultants required that walls and groynes needed to be designed to maintain not only the existing level of defence but they would also need to hold up against rising sea levels. At the same time, keeping the visual character of the seafront and preserving both stable beach and beach access were important for us. Now completed, the coast protection scheme ensures that the Cromer Coast beach and sea front is there for the next generation to enjoy.”

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