Could You Abseil Down Big Ben?

Stainless, Steel

It seems unimaginable, but this is the typical day in the life of this team of experts hired to maintain the iconic Elizabeth Tower, better known as the Big Ben.

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A team of experts has begun a job that requires a head for heights and the ability to keep a close eye on the clock at one of Britain’s most famous landmarks. The specialists abseiled by rope to clean and inspect the faces of the Great Clock at the Palace of Westminster, and they wear ear defenders to protect their hearing from the chimes of Big Ben. A working week has been set aside for the job, one day for each of the four clock faces, with a contingency day in case the weather makes it too risky to work on the 95.7 metre high Elizabeth Tower. There are steel girders and lintels to support the tower, with copper clock hand that have been frozen in place to avoid injuring the cleaners.

newyorkworkers

This prompts memories of the photograph of eleven men eating lunch, seated on a steel girder with their feet dangling 256 meters (840 feet) above the New York City streets without harnesses. The Daily Mail recently reported that, although the models were real workers, the moment was staged by the Rockefeller Center to promote their new skyscraper 80 years ago. Nonetheless it was no mean feat.

russiansclimbing

Another daring act that I am sure required the same bravery would be the two Russian men Vadim Makhorov and Vitaly Raskalov who scaled Shanghai Tower. The building is set to be completed in 2014 to be China’s tallest building at 632 metres (2073 feet), and the second tallest in the world. Shanghai tower used 25% less structural steel than a conventional design of a similar height. As a result, the building’s constructors are expected to save an estimated US $58 million in material costs. In an interview, Vadim claims the ascent was ‘to see the city from an unusual angle’, as part of his photography, and not a feat to be proud of or to have repeated by others.

ShanghaiTower

If you’re interested in these buildings or how they are made, why not check out our websiteLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code.  Shanghai Metal manufactures value added steel products used when building skyscrapers. As Stainless Steel Industry Professionals, we take pride in the manufacturing of those products which are held to such esteem in the architecture industry .

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Sources: Daily Mail , Huffington Post , Gensler

Siobhan R.// SMC Editor

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To Escalate Or Not To Escalate? That Is The Question

Stainless, Steel

We’ve all been there. Rushing to catch that last train, looking to rush down and escalator – but wait. Someone is standing in the walking lane. Great. Will you say something? That is indeed the question.

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Escalator etiquette differs from country to country. Tokyo considered banning walking on escalators but it was never enforced.  And in the UK, people of a certain age will remember the chilling public information films of the 1970’s that featured a pair of children’s blue wellington boots getting sucked into the machinery. “Stand still and don’t walk down,” it urged. Confusingly walking on the left is signposted in the UK nowadays and is adhered to by 90% of people according to a The University of Greenwich study in 2011.

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In Toronto tension has been defused since the signs telling people to walk on the left were removed, says commuter Tom Robertson. “You can tell some people get a little annoyed when they are standing behind someone on the left but I’ve never seen anyone say anything about it. I think many people have forgotten about the signs.”

rushhour1Conversely, Shanghai defeats all of these social norms, and it was measured that just 2.6% adhere to the stand right walk left custom, despite yellow lines being painted along the escalator steps. Additionally Australia turns the system on its head by walking right and standing left. In Wyoming it’s a non issue as there are only two escalators in the entire state.

So what is there to do to standardize this seemingly universal etiquette? You would be urgently but ever so politely be told to move aside in London, whereas in Shanghai more likely you would be pushed or elbowed in submission – whether you were in the way or not.  

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So what is the solution? There are walkers and standers as Michael Bloomberg Mayor of New York has said – he always walks on escalators. And since they study says walkers are the minority (25% in London, 3% in Shanghai), ultimately they shouldn’t get to dictate the rules – so the silent majority of standers prevails.

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Shanghai Metal manufactures value added steel bars used in the production of escalators. To find out more, please visit our websiteLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

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You can also read more articles by our team at SMC:

Revising The Facts – Car Fatalities Are Actually Falling

Like To Get A Souvenir From The USA – Why Not A 335 Metre Steel Bridge?

Are Locks As Easy To Pick As In The Movies?

Modernity In Cinema-Friend Or Foe?

How To Survive an Elevator Crash

Umbrellas – Can You Guess Where They Are From?

Pylons – The Under Appreciated Life Bringer

Imagine A Summer Without Air Conditioning

The Secret To The Perfect Shave – Stainless Steel Razors

Man Of Steel: Why It Wasn’t Called ‘Superman’               

The Science Behind Saw – Could It Really Have Cut Through Bone?

What Hollywood Finally Got Right About Science

Modern Metal Revamps Ancient Weapons

Why You Should Thank Carbon Steel for Your Flavorsome Stir Fry

Good News for China’s Steel Sector

Quiz – How Much Of Your High School Chemistry Do You Remember?

How You Can Get Your Own Game Of Thrones Valyrian Style Blade

Tired Of Wasting Money On Expensive Morning Coffees? Why Not Invest In A Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

Sources: BBC, BWG

Siobhan R.// SMC Editor