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The Value-Added Niobium Microalloyed Construction Steels Symposium brought together over 130 specialists from the entire supply chain to share ideas and learn about the benefits resulting from the use of niobium steels in modern building construction. CBMM's subsidiary, CBMM Asia, hosted the symposium in Singapore and welcomed representatives from 85 organizations and 19 countries.

Symposium participiants visited the Singapore Sports Hub construction site

Gustavo Macedo, general manager of CBMM Asia, pointed out in his welcome remarks that the world's population is expanding at a steady rate and with the unprecedented shift of the majority of humanity to urban rather than rural areas, there is more need than ever before to create infrastructure solutions that are efficient, economical and environmentally sound.

During the opening ceremony, CBMM's chief technology officer, Marcos Stuart, described how niobium microalloyed construction steels are an attractive answer to this challenge since these steels allow building designers and structural engineers to do more with less. Because they are stronger and tougher, niobium construction steels can be thinner and thereby lighter than standard construction steels. The savings in weight translate into reduced transportation, welding, construction and labor costs, as well as decreased greenhouse gas emissions related to material production and transportation.

Thirty-four authors submitted 17 technical papers that were presented during the two-day symposium. The works addressed topics ranging from the use of high strength steels in the world's tallest buildings, global application trends in niobium construction steels, the enhanced weldability of niobium steels, fire and seismic resistant properties of high strength steels and intriguing case studies of construction projects using niobium microalloyed materials.

The depth, range and expertise of presenters were noteworthy and speakers included representatives from major steelmakers, renowned architecture firms, academic institutions and CBMM. Technical sessions were followed by lively panel discussions addressing issues raised by audience members.

Participants had the opportunity to see up close some of Singapore's most spectacular construction projects as part of the symposium's site visits, which offered a practical component to the theoretical precepts delivered during the technical sessions. They visited the incomparable Marina Bay Sands and heard a talk delivered by one of the resort's structural engineers on the challenges of building the three-tower, high-rise hotel spanned by a cantilevered platform. Also remarkable was the site visit to Singapore Sports Hub, an immense stadium complex under construction and whose roof was the subject of one of the meeting's technical papers.

The symposium was one in a series of technical events organized and sponsored by CBMM's Market Development Program. The goal of the events is to bring together the top minds in the field of a given application, along with customers and end users, to fully explore the use of niobium in applications where the element's properties make it the unbeatable choice due to improved efficiency, safety and performance. The events provide an unparalleled opportunity to delve into highly technical issues, clarify myths and share experiences at the highest professional level.