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Fasteners made to stand the test of time

Fasteners made to stand the test of time

Available through Hobson Engineering, BUMAX’s high-strength stainless-steel fasteners are redefining structural durability, finding applications even beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

With a legacy spanning over a century, BUMAX is a pioneer in stainless-steel fastener production, earning acclaim for consistently delivering high-quality steel products and boasting the “world’s strongest stainless-steel bolts” in its impressive portfolio.

Nimeka de Silva, head of marketing at BUMAX. (Image: BUMAX)
Nimeka de Silva, head of marketing at BUMAX. (Image: BUMAX)

Nimeka de Silva, with over seven years of experience at BUMAX, attributes the company’s success to its steadfast commitment to innovative products, advanced manufacturing techniques and delivering unparalleled technical solutions. As the head of marketing, de Silva, is responsible for exploring various markets and identifying new opportunities to align solutions with emerging trends and needs. “BUMAX takes pride in crafting unparalleled products – innovations that have never been seen before,” says de Silva.

“My role involves evaluating the adaptability of our products across various market sectors and applications, understanding the problems they address and highlighting the advantages they bring to the table.

“Thanks to the high strength, durability and exceptional quality of our range, we continuously discover new and diverse applications, spanning from construction to infrastructure, and even extending into space aboard the International Space Station.”

As BUMAX expands its global footprint, its collaboration with Hobson Engineering – the authorised distributor for BUMAX products in Australia – has proven instrumental in advancing its position within the Australian market.

“We are actively working to increase our visibility on the international stage, and our partnership with Hobson Engineering plays a key role in this effort in Australia,” says de Silva. “Our collaboration is marked by a close working relationship, aimed at developing opportunities within the Australian market, especially within the construction and infrastructure sectors where we see the ability to introduce new design capabilities utilising stainless steel.”

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Bolstered by their proven efficacy in challenging conditions, BUMAX’s fasteners are ideally suited for deployment in Australia’s construction and infrastructure projects, particularly in coastal, tunnelling, offshore and wastewater environments. The nation’s evolving coastal society, with more than 87 per cent of the population residing within 50km of the coast, emphasises the need for corrosion-resistant, long-lasting materials like BUMAX.

Traditionally recognised for its corrosion resistance rather than its strength, stainless steel is frequently employed in exposed conditions, such as environments near saltwater. However, engineers often acknowledge compromises in terms of strength and mechanical properties in such applications.

In contrast, BUMAX disrupts this conventional wisdom. The company employs in-depth knowledge of stainless-steel materials and advanced manufacturing processes to enhance the strength and mechanical properties of its fasteners.

“Our offerings not only excel in corrosion resistance but also boast impressive strength levels and mechanical properties,” says de Silva. “With our stainless-steel fasteners, any lingering drawbacks or disadvantages are eliminated.”

“We provide a comprehensive product range spanning different types of stainless-steel materials, all marked by their exceptional strength and mechanical properties, compared to the industry standard.

Fasteners made to last forever. (Image: BUMAX)
Fasteners made to last forever. (Image: BUMAX)

“Some of the strengths and properties we are able to achieve are unparalleled by any other manufacturers.”

De Silva highlights a common limitation in global stainless-steel knowledge, stating that despite its widespread use, awareness about its various grades remains limited. While most people are familiar with one or two common grades, there are more than 200 grades beyond those most commonly known.

“Stainless steel is our specialty, and we take pride in offering an extensive range of various grades to suit a variety of applications and environments,” says de Silva. “When it comes to stainless-steel fasteners, we are recognised as experts in the field.”

BUMAX’s product range encompasses grades starting from A4/316, extending to duplex, super-duplex, nitronic, nimonic, super-austenitic and martensitic grades. Distinguishing itself from many companies in this field, BUMAX offers a source of unrivalled technical expertise coupled with premium product solutions, going above and beyond to meet the diverse needs of its customers, including offering reportedly “the strongest stainless-steel fastener in the world” – the BUMAX ULTRA 159 – based on current industry standards.

“For the construction industry, our BUMAX 88, 109 and DX 129 grades are most likely the optimal choices for the majority of applications, matching the strengths of carbon steel commonly used in construction,” says de Silva. “The ability to produce stainless steel with equivalent strengths as carbon steel in diameters up to M36 is a unique aspect that sets BUMAX apart in the industry.”

Unlike carbon steel, stainless steel eliminates concerns about susceptibility to rust and corrosion, offering a superior alternative in construction applications. Engineers benefit significantly from this, gaining durability advantages that were previously challenging to achieve with traditional stainless steel.

Beyond its corrosion resistance and high strength properties, the BUMAX range boasts substantial sustainability benefits. Stainless steel’s exceptional durability surpasses materials like carbon steel that are prone to corrosion, thereby avoiding structural issues over time.

“One of the prevailing challenges is designing structures that last longer,” says de Silva. “With stainless steel, designing structures or building components to last well beyond 100 years becomes more achievable.”

A key element in addressing this challenge revolves around minimising both the ongoing maintenance efforts and the associated costs of a structure over its lifespan. De Silva highlights that traditionally, structures have been designed with a focus on upfront affordability. However, the true challenge emerges as costs accumulate over the structure’s life, driven by ongoing maintenance needs and the inherent risk of structural issues. This is now a growing concern in countries such as the US and UK, where older infrastructure traditionally utilised a higher proportion of carbon steel materials.

“While stainless steel does incur a higher upfront cost, this expense is offset over the structure’s lifetime,” says de Silva. “The significantly reduced maintenance costs and prolonged structural integrity contribute to a substantial overall cost reduction.”

Moreover, an important sustainability aspect lies in the recyclability of stainless steel. A large proportion of stainless steel comprises recycled material. This consistent, circular utilisation of stainless steel presents a compelling case for the use of BUMAX fasteners in projects targeting sustainability ratings or a net-zero impact.

“This is why we passionately advocate for the increased use of stainless steel in the construction industry,” says de Silva. “We’re currently supporting a number of research projects with various universities, exploring diverse facets of the built environment and the potential for greater utilisation of stainless steel.”

“BUMAX 88 and 109 are also supported by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) – we were one of the first fastener manufacturers to complete this product lifecycle assessment.”

BUMAX’s commitment to quality and sustainability is exemplified in projects like the Slussen area redevelopment in central Stockholm, where approximately 15,000 BUMAX fasteners were used for the Slussen sluice hatches. The selected fasteners comprised a combination of BUMAX 88 (A4/316L) and BUMAX SDX 109 (super duplex), chosen for their high strength and corrosion resistance, addressing the unique challenges presented by the brackish water from Lake Mälaren and the higher salinity of the sea water from the Baltic Sea, ensuring durability and performance in these harsh environmental conditions.

“A significant aspect of this project was the commitment of the client and general contractor to achieving a 100-year design life for all elements,” says de Silva. “This goal was successfully realised with the utilisation of our durable, high-strength stainless-steel fasteners.”

In today’s construction landscape, notably within Australia’s major infrastructure projects, it is increasingly common for clients to pursue designs with a lifespan surpassing 100 years.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if these expectations continue to rise in the near future, reflecting a shift in attitudes across the global construction industry towards prioritising long-term sustainability and resilience of buildings and infrastructure,” says de Silva.

The success of projects like the Slussen area redevelopment is a testament to BUMAX’s dedication to delivering superior performance and consistency, upheld through stringent quality control standards.

With the support of Hobson Engineering in Australia, BUMAX is poised to seize opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sectors, ensuring the longevity of projects in Australia and beyond.

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