​How Vallourec enabled the quick and easy construction of the World Cup soccer stadiums

Hundreds of thousands of fans gathered in Brazil for the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, while with millions more were watching from around the world – and Vallourec was right in the middle of things.

Its tubular solutions ​played a crucial part in making possible the construction or renovation of 9 of the 17 Brazilian stadiums that hosted official matches or training sessions during these two global events. A total of 10,500 tons of tubes were supplied by Vallourec’s Brazilian mill in Belo Horizonte to equip nine stadiums – including five of the twelve stadiums which will host official matches during the FIFA World CupTM and four others, which were used during the tournament as training centers.​

​Thanks to their high performance which allows the construction of unsupported wide-span structures, Vallourec tubes were used to build the stadiums’ roof and related equipment. For instance, Vallourec designed an innovative roof of approximately 13,000 square meters with special corrosion-resistant steel tubes for Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão stadium, Brazil’s third largest football stadium with its 62,000 seats. For the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Vallourec supplied the tubes installed in the stadium’s maintenance catwalk. And last but not least, Vallourec supplied all the four thousand tons of tubes for the roof of Arena Corinthians, in São Paulo, where the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World CupTM was held. ​

Whether concerning new stadiums or renovation programs, each project had to meet specific technical requirements, combined with budget and deadline restrictions. When compared to conventional solutions, structures based on Vallourec tube profiles were more resistant and 30% lighter. In most cases, Vallourec steel tubes contributed to reduce the work site completion time, as well as overall costs, thanks to a reduced number of junctions and welds.

 

​Thanks to their high performance which allows the construction of unsupported wide-span structures, Vallourec tubes were used to build the stadiums’ roof and related equipment. For instance, Vallourec designed an innovative roof of approximately 13,000 square meters with special corrosion-resistant steel tubes for Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão stadium, Brazil’s third largest football stadium with its 62,000 seats. For the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Vallourec supplied the tubes installed in the stadium’s maintenance catwalk. And last but not least, Vallourec supplied all the four thousand tons of tubes for the roof of Arena Corinthians, in São Paulo, where the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World CupTM was held. ​

 

Whether concerning new stadiums or renovation programs, each project had to meet specific technical requirements, combined with budget and deadline restrictions. When compared to conventional solutions, structures based on Vallourec tube profiles were more resistant and 30% lighter. In most cases, Vallourec steel tubes contributed to reduce the work site completion time, as well as overall costs, thanks to a reduced number of junctions and welds.

Key figures

Brazilian stadiums9of the 17 that hosted official matches
Tubes supplied by Vallourec's Brazilian mill10,500tons
Improvement of metal structures30%lighter
Special corrosion-resistant steel tubes for Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão stadium13,000square meters
 

Top-notch structural engineering for a global event​

Vallourec’s premium tubular solutions were chosen for the roof renovation of Brazil’s second largest football stadium. The competitive, quick and easy to build solution proposed by Vallourec’s R&D and business teams surpassed local authorities’ expectations. A guided tour with Afonso Henrique Mascarenhas de Araújo, Chief Expert at the Vallourec Research Center in Belo Horizonte. ​

 

“When the bidding opened in 2010, we reflected as a team on how to combine the concrete structure and steel tubes, which were barely represented in the initial plans,” recalls engineer Afonso Henrique. Today the Chief Expert at Vallourec’s Belo Horizonte Research Center, Afonso joined the company in 2000 to develop and promote the structural tubes business, then in its infancy. For Mineirão, we partnered with an engineering company to design and patent a roof made of steel tubes that would be leaned against the concrete structure to reduce pressure and preserve its originally-designed shape.”

 

Vallourec’s high performance tubes make it possible to design structures up to 30% lighter than conventional metal structures. “Beyond the advantages of our solution,” says Afonso, “we were able to demonstrate competitive prices, the ability to work simultaneously with other entities, thus shortening construction deadlines, and simplicity of implementation.” As a result, the stadium roof designed by Vallourec was built in just ninety days, six months less than the projected time for competing projects. The design also preserved 2,000 seats, maintaining the stadium’s 67,000-seat capacity. In total, 1,500 metric tons of tubes were needed to construct the roof, an innovative solution that respected the venue’s historical legacy. Inaugurated in December 2012, the newly renovated Mineirão stadium hosted its first match in February 2013.​