Just over a year ago, a worldwide audience saw the spectacular opening ceremony of the London Olympics. This culminated in the completion of the Olympic Cauldron. The most obvious aspect of this was the copper “petals” which each country’s representative athlete brought into the stadium. Less obvious, but equally important, were the same number of stainless steel pipes (205) onto which the copper petals were fixed. Gas was then fed along the pipes and lit at the petals. The pipes were then slowly lifted to the vertical position to form a ring of fire which became the Olympic Flame for the duration of the Games.
The designer of the cauldron, Thomas Heatherwick, chose stainless steel for the gas pipes for its strength, shiny appearance and heat resistance