50 Years of Steel Innovation

Steel has been at the heart of construction for more than a century and in that time has revolutionised the way buildings are constructed. Its exceptional strength to weight ratio has allowed the design freedom to create many of the world’s most impressive buildings as well as revolutionise how homes are constructed.

Over the last 50 years Catnic has remained at the forefront of steel in construction and has been responsible for a number of innovations and industry firsts. In 1969 Catnic launched the original Open Back (Courgar) steel lintel design in the UK. Its considerably lower weight when compared with concrete made it easier, quicker and safer to transport, handle and install. This simplicity combined with its excellent structural strength quickly made steel the standard choice of lintels, especially in housebuilding where volume was fast becoming the focus.

Catnic continued to develop its lintel range and was the first manufacturer to introduce a revolutionary two-part corrosion protection system as standard on its lintels. The company also pioneered the integration of damp-proof measures into lintels – further simplifying the install by removing the need for a separate DPC in many situations.

Quality was also a core part of steel lintel innovation and in 1974 Catnic gained product certification from the Agrément Board (later known as the BBA) and in 1982 was the first lintel manufacturer to achieve the BSI Kitemark to BS 5977. Catnic continued to lead the market by becoming the first lintel manufacturer to achieve CE marking on its products – well in advance of this standard becoming compulsory for all structural steelwork in 2014.

Expanding its range repeatedly over the last five decades, Catnic’s latest lintel innovation is the ground-breaking Thermally Broken Lintel (TBL). It features a unique design that, unlike others on the market, provides a complete thermal break with no brackets connecting the inner and outer leafs. Instead the Catnic TBL comprises two powder-coated, galvanised steel sections bonded to a high density, insulating core. This results in a superior thermal performance and is the only lintel to provide a guaranteed linear thermal transmittance Psi values of 0.05 W/mK or less.