Corten Steel


Corten® Steel is a weathering steel widely used for both sculptures and building cladding. It is also used in the construction of frame structures, bridges, tanks and containers, exhaust systems, vehicles and equipment constructions. As it ages it takes on a orange/brown appearance dependent on the salt level of the atmosphere, over time it forms a protective layer or skin against the elements. It was originally developed to eliminate the requirement of painting surface finishes.

This corrosion-retarding layer is produced by the distribution and concentration of elements in the steel; these elements include small amounts of Chromium, Nickel and Copper. The outer surface of the metal reacts to changes in the weather, as it develops and regenerates continuously it produces a rust to form a protective barrier. It can be welded, bolted or riveted.

The nearer you place it to the sea coast the more intense the orange effect is seen on its surface, due to the salt content in the atmosphere. This surface protective layer develops and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of the weather and atmospheric corrosion.

Hollywood Design © 2012

Natural weathering six months later

Developed by the United States Steel Corporation (USS) as COR-TEN® in the early 1960's, it is available in three standard grades, COR-TEN® A applies to plates up to 12.5mm in thickness, COR-TEN® B applies to plates up to 50mm in thickness, while a third standard is available for thin steel sheets. Basic guidelines for the use of this type of steel in its unprotected condition are described in EN 10025-5.

Weathering steel is not without its problems, careful consideration must be paid to the specific design requirements that the project will undergo. Natural weathering of the material can cause rust stains on the surrounding areas. It is not fully rust proof and water should not be allowed to gather on its surface for any sustained length of time, as it will eventually corrode as any other steel fabrication would.

Hollywood Design has a long standing reputation in the use of weathering steels with architects, sculptors and designers. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your design requirements.

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