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Steel Structure Trivia: What on Earth?
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM.


Here’s MSC’s July Steel Structure Trivia question! This 376-ft-high observation tower opens to the public tomorrow and offers visitors panoramic views of a leading world city. Your challenge is to provide the name and location of this spiraling steel structure.


Answer: This shot is of the new ArcelorMittal Orbit at Olympic Park in East London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Congratulations to Jason Squitiere, P.E., a project engineer with The Harman Group, Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.; Andrea Surovek, an associate professor of civil engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; and Troyer Ritter, an engineer with Shoemaker and Haaland, Coralville, Iowa, for being the first three people to supply the correct answer! And thank you to all who participated.


The Olympic motto is “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.”


And one of the many representations of this motto at London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games takes the shape in the form of a 376-ft-tall (114.5) spiraling red steel sculpture that dominates the East London skyline: The ArcelorMittal Orbit.


The tallest sculpture in the U.K., it sits between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and serves as a beacon of Olympic Park during the Games (and then Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the area will be known after the Games).


As shown in the photo, the sculpture lights up the city with its 250 color spotlights. Each can be individually controlled to produce a stunning digital combination of static and animated effects, including a 15-minute moving light show every evening of the Games.


Conceived and designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the observation tower represents a modern “twist” on combining architecture with structural engineering, where visitors can engage with its artistic expression via an incorporated spiral walkway.


Construction took 18 months and was completed late last year. The project is built with nearly 2,000 tons of steel, produced from ArcelorMittal plants around the world. Steel was the only material considered for this project because, according to Balmond, it was the only material that could provide the minimum thickness and maximum strength required for the coiling structure.


You can read more about the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the August issue of MSC, available August 1. Galleries of construction photos and videos of the project can also be found at


Another Olympic fun steel fact: Did you know the London Olympics’ official mascots are two drops of hardened molten steel? Named Wenlock and Mandeville, the animations depict drips of steel from a steelworks in Bolton, part of Greater Manchester. Wenlock is named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games; and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which Mandeville is named after, is a facility in Buckinghamshire that initially organized the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor to the Paralympic Games. See and learn more the steel mascots at Wikipedia.


You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo of a steel structure will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post, based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted at 10 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, August 31.


backscratcher-007_sitn.jpgThe first three people who supply the correct answer will receive a MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.





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