What is Corten steel?

Stal Corten W Architekturze - cortena.pl
Stal Corten W Architekturze - cortena.pl

Corten steel, which can be distinguished by its increased resistance to weathering, forms a protective coating that reflects rust. That coating guarantees uniqueness, style, elegance and durability.

Architects, engineers, sculptors, designers and decorators use Corten steel as a material which color changes constantly during the rusting process, and also thanks to the light effect and weather conditions. The rust layer formed on the surface of this steel becomes more stable over the years, unlike the steel in the cover color, which due to aggressive atmospheric conditions loses its color and gradually decomposes. The natural, reddish color becomes increasingly integrated with its surrounding.

During the initial stage of corrosion, it forms a well-adhering layer of impermeable oxide. This layer consists of iron oxide enriched with alloys such as copper, chromium, nickel, and phosphorus. This compact layer of oxide that forms on the surface, which develops slowly or quickly, according to the environment that surrounds the part made from Corten steel, prevents additional spreading of oxygen in base metals and eliminates internal corrosion.

Corten steel in a rust color

Stal Cortenowska - cortena.pl
Stal Cortenowska - cortena.pl

The level of exposure has a significant impact on formation of the protective layer. When it is situated in a place that is directly exposed to rain, sun and wind, a layer of oxide forms faster, unless it is protected. In the latter case, oxide is more rough, less dense and homogenous.

Frequent changes in humidity and drying are conducive to acceleration of the aging process. Air pollution contributes as well; therefore, this steel has moderate industrial conditions, usually faster, protecting against the darker shade. On the other hand, in rural environments the protection process is slower and the rust shades are in general more distinct.

In climates with acid environments the protection process is slower, but it can be successfully used.

Protective coating made from Corten steel

Corten steel is in general resistant to weather conditions and is used without additional protection or coating. However, in areas where moisture can collect, for parts immersed or buried, sunk or embedded in concrete, soil or gravel, we recommend application of an additional layer in the form of corrosion inhibitors.

Protective coating: When water flows through overlap joints, due to capillary action, water can penetrate the joint and cause corrosion. Therefore, the overlap joint area should be protected in order to prevent moisture penetration.

Painting is not necessary in order to protect against weathering (rain, snow, wind, sun).

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