Weathering steel is usually referred to by its trademark name COR-TEN (or simply Corten) and is known for its superior corrosion resistance. This is because the surface of the steel forms a protective oxide layer when exposed to the weather. In other words, the steel is allowed to rust in order to protect itself. This protective surface layer continues to regenerate over years of exposure.
The protective properties of this steel offer the following benefits:
- The steel never requires treatment for longevity before installation.
- It creates a unique industrial look that works as an interesting design feature.
- It makes for hard-wearing, cost-effective cladding.
- It removes the need for painting. In fact, painting Corten steel actually eliminates its corrosion resistance because it prevents the protective film from forming over time.
Popular uses for Corten steel include:
- Outdoor sculptures
- Marine transportation
- Large structural applications such as Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, the Leeds Metropolitan University, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), and MONA.