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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Steel Structures and the Aussie Identity

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Australians have been building with steel from as early as the 1850’s, building all sorts of structures from important rural sheds and water tanks, to homes, shops and even churches. Such a lightweight and durable building product made it much easier to construct critical pieces of rural infrastructure, faster and stronger.

Steel rainwater tanks have remained a part of the Australian outback ever since, as the need for reliable water storage has endured much like these tanks, allowing farmers to provide water to livestock, crops and gardens, as well as for themselves and their families.

In the decades since, these tanks are now constructed on-site, which makes transport easier, while allowing for larger water storage capacities, and advances in science, engineering and tank wall design have led to water storage tanks with higher durability and lower required maintenance.

Corrugated Iron and the Australian Identity

Corrugated iron quickly became synonymous with outback living, in stark contrast to the brick and stone structures that defined the capital cities of Melbourne and Sydney at the time, which had inherited their architectural style from Britain, mostly thanks to the British architects who were designing them.

The idea of corrugated iron is so intertwined with the outback that for many the image of rural Australia is the image of a shearers’ shed, a Southern Cross Windmill or Pioneer Water Tank against a backdrop of red dirt, perhaps surrounded by some grazing sheep or cattle.

The convenience of corrugated iron for rural Australians led to Australia quickly becoming the world’s largest consumer of the product. Despite this, however, all of Australia’s iron was still being imported from Britain for many years.

The opening of two iron manufacturing facilities within the continent led to not only cheaper materials and a faster transport time, but also caused a boom in the mining of Iron Ore in Australia which has continued to this day.

The Sydney Olympics opening ceremony even titled the segment of the opening ceremony dedicated to European settlers the “Tin Symphony” – with performers dressed as Ned Kelly, alongside steel water tanks, corrugated iron sheets and windmills all used to showcase the importance of the material for these settlers.

Improvements in Engineering and Technology
Zincalume® Steel

The modern-day equivalent to – and what many still refer to as – corrugated iron is Zincalume® Steel, a lightweight steel alloy, composed of iron, zinc and aluminium, the latter two lending their parts to its name. The discovery of the added strength of the zinc and aluminium coating was made in the 1970’s, forever changing the building and construction industry in Australia.

Possessing the iconic metallic finish so synonymous with the Aussie outback, Zincalume® Steel has been made stronger, lighter and more robust, thanks to technological advances over years of improvement. This modern product - used all across the world - is much harder to damage, and also more resistant to rust or corrosion.

Colorbond® Steel

With the popularity of galvanised iron products growing in remote and harsh locations across the globe, many people – particularly business owners – were painting these products to make them more vibrant and aesthetically pleasing, often doing so with dangerous lead-based paints.

This led to two companies in the United States, Lithostrip Corporation and Pre Finish Metals, establishing a way to bond the paint directly onto the galvanised steel sheets, greatly prolonging the colour quality and vibrancy of the steel products.

Shortly after this the Colorbond® Steel began production in Australia, available in six different colours, and allowing people all across Australia to spend less time and money – and potentially health – on painting these steel products.

Today, Colorbond® Steel is available in a far wider variety of colours, and is used for a vast range of building applications, from water tanks, sheds, sheds and roofs, to being used for the construction of entire homes and businesses. Today every second new home built in Australia is built with a Colorbond® roof.

Pioneer Water Tank Colours

Pioneer Water Tanks are available in a variety of Colorbond® colours, with both a standard and non-standard range, ensuring that your rainwater tank meets your needs, and can seamlessly blend into any environment.

As well as the range of Colorbond® colours the tank is available in, all size water tanks from Pioneer are available in the traditional Zincalume® finish.

For more information on the standard and non-standard range of Colorbond colours that Pioneer Water Tanks are available in, follow this link.

Lower Environmental Impact

Another great benefit of using Colorbond® and Zincalume® products is the continued life cycle of these products, with both being 100% recyclable, meaning if they are not reused, they can be melted down and repurposed once they have become damaged or reached the end of their service life.

In Australia, metal products have the highest rate of recycling, with 84% of all metals produced in the country being either recycled or repurposed.

According to Environmental Resources Management, the current iterations of Zincalume® and Colorbond® Steel have between 10 and 25 per cent less environmental impact than their predecessors.

Australian Made and Owned Since 1988

Pioneer Water Tanks is proud to have been producing rainwater tanks for Australian families and businesses for over 30 years, and remain Australian owned and operated to this day, with the support of dozens of family businesses across the country, who live and work in the communities they provide water storage for.

These family businesses make up the more than fifty dealers that comprise the Pioneer Dealer Direct Network, making delivery and installation of your rainwater tank as easy as possible, with the assurance your tank is being installed by an expert.

This means that Pioneer’s dealer network is also there to provide expert local support throughout the service life of your Pioneer Water Tank. All of Pioneer’s rainwater tanks are made in Australia from Australian steel, and come with a 20-year conditional warranty.

Talk to the Water Tank Experts

If you’re interested in having a steel rainwater tank installed on your property, or have any other water storage related questions, call Pioneer Water Tanks on 1800 999 599. One of their experts will take the time to understand your needs and offer you knowledgeable advice on the best plan for your water storage solution.

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