National Steel Bridge Alliance

Uncoated Weathering Steel Reference Guide

UWS Guide

Want an easy and attractive way to speed up steel bridge construction while reducing long-term costs and environmental impacts? Use uncoated weathering steel (UWS)!

For more than 50 years, bridge owners have relied on UWS to deliver excellent performance in diverse environments, and its benefits go way beyond aesthetics. UWS has inherent corrosion protection and doesn't require any coating applications, so the steel is ready for erection much faster than coated members. This shaves time off the construction schedule, and even long after construction, it minimizes traffic disruptions due to decreased maintenance needs.

In addition to the cost savings from eliminating coatings, UWS is also a friendlier choice for the environment. Less painting means less release of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. Plus, you won't need to worry about the containment and disposal of removed paint nor the abrasive blast media used for surface preparation.

With the long and successful history of UWS in bridges, many best practices for achieving favorable performance are well-established. Numerous studies have confirmed the successful outcomes of using UWS best practices in bridges, and now you can find out all the important takeaways with NSBA's new Uncoated Weathering Steel Reference Guide!

Download the guide today to learn about site and location considerations, design recommendations, structural design, detailing, maintenance, and more! The Uncoated Weathering Steel Reference Guide is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about UWS.


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Learn more about UWS with a replay of the "Advances in Uncoated Weathering Steel for Steel Bridges" presentation from the 2022 World Steel Bridge Symposium. In this video, Marta Sitek, PhD, Jennifer McConnell, PhD, and Thomas Murphy, SE, PE, P.Eng., PhD outline some recent advances in research and guidance for using UWS for corrosion protection in steel bridges.

Jennifer McConnell, PhD, also presented the 2023 T.R. Higgins Lecture, titled "Steel Structures to Withstand the Elements: What Structural Engineers Need to Know About Corrosion,” at NASCC: The Steel Conference. View a recording of her presentation for free.