CORETEN - WEATHERED STEEL
Coreten, Core Ten, Cor-Ten or just Weathered Steel?
In the 1930s, the United States Steel Corporation developed Cor-Ten Steel that was primarily for use in railway coal wagons. The controlled corrosion that is a feature of the material was a welcome by-product of the need for a tough steel capable of withstanding the rigors of America’s garbage yards and collieries. Because of its inherent toughness, weathering steel (the generic name for Cor-Ten, along with weather-resisting steel) was and still is used extensively for ISO shipping containers.
Meanwhile in Australia we explain it like this: "CORTEN steel is made up of a group of steel alloy materials which when left uncoated and exposed to the natural elements develops a very distinguishable rust patina. Originally developed for its high tensile strength, its unique look and finish has made it a popular aesthetically as a building material chosen by architects and builders Australia wide. Despite the corrosion on the surface of CORTEN Steel, the material still contains twice the tensile strength to that of mild steel making it an ideal structural building material as well. Look out for our Corten cladding and Corten screenings on major commercial buildings along with residential projects throughout Australia.
CORTEN is commonly used as an external cladding system for large and small, private and public buildings. This generally, is a purely aesthetic application of the Corten material. Using CORTEN in this way can give the building a very industrial feel, which is a common trend in modern architecture. The beauty of CORTEN as an architectural material is that you can cut and shape it in so many different ways while still maintaining its strength and rigidity.
CORTEN steel is also commonly used in sculpture. One reason why the material is so popular with artists, sculptors and fabricators is because like marble or cast metals it looks very strong creating another dimension to the art. It is also much more affordable than cast bronze or marble blocks. When CORTEN is paired with the technology of laser cutting you have the ability to make affordable sculpture and structures of all different shapes and sizes.
The warm Ochre colour of the rust patina on the surface of CORTEN steel complements light features and adds to the warmth of the glow. Light features generally appear outdoors so the resilience of CORTEN steel makes it an ideal material for that application. Another huge advantage of CORTEN steel as opposed to mild steel is that the rusting process is designed to occur evenly in colour and texture, whereas mild steel can rust in large flakes. Not only does this look less appealing but it also creates mess when it falls off.
Planter boxes are a terrific example where CORTEN steel is a great substitute for more traditional materials like concrete or terracotta for example. It’s stronger than timber, ceramics and terracotta and it’s more durable then mild steel because the rust patina creates a protective barrier and prevents the material from rusting through. In a way, it is also a much more flexible building material because it remains extremely strong regardless of its shape. The textural rusted appearance of CORTEN steel also naturally complements an outdoor and garden environment."
Taken from Corten.com.au