Corten Steel (sometimes known as weathered steel) is a group of steel alloys that are often used in outdoor construction. Corten Steel was designed to eliminate the need for painting and if left outside, exposed to the elements, they will develop a rusted appearance in just a few months.
In the 1930’s, U.S. Steel developed a commodity that they named Corten Steel. The product was originally designed to help build railroad coal wagons. The success of the coal wagons led to it being a prominent material for outdoor art projects during the 1960’s. In America, you can still find some early examples of the delicacy of Corten Steel structures.
A606 TYPE 4? A588? A847 ? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? CAN YOU GIVE ME MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT I CAN ACTUALLY PURCHASE AND WHAT I CAN USE THIS MATERIAL FOR?
Weathering steels, such as ASTM A847, A588, A242, A606 and COR-TEN exhibit superior corrosion resistance over regular carbon steel as a result of the development of a protective oxide film on the metals surface which slows down future corrosion. A606-4 steel is available in metal roofing/siding panels, standing seam panels, flat sheets, and coil form. If you are looking for a panel that will give you a rustic look the two best options are bare cold rolled finish and A606. A606-4 will cost more, but it definitely will last longer. Original COR-TEN received the standard designation A242 (COR-TEN “A”) from the ASTM International Standards Group. Newer ASTM grades are A588 (COR-TEN “B”) which is normally heavier gauge plates and A606 for lighter gauge flat sheets. ASTM A847 is used for pipe and tube. All alloys are in common production and use.
CORTEN STEEL SOUNDS GREAT! I UNDERSTAND THEY USE IT FOR SCULPTURES AND STRUCTURES, IT SEEMS LIKE A VERY NATURAL SELECTION IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT OUTDOOR BUILDING. ARE THERE ANY DISADVANTAGES TO CORTEN OR WEATHERED STEEL?
Just like anything else, there will always be advantages and disadvantages. Using weathering steel in construction can present several challenges. One challenge can be the weld-points that weather at the same rate as the other materials may require special welding techniques. Also, weathering steel is not 100% rustproof, if water is allowed to accumulate in pockets, those areas may experience higher corrosion rates, but as long as provisions for drainage are made you will be in business. Besides that, the increased resistance of Corten Steel to atmospheric corrosion makes this product a great choice for the builder. The layer protecting the surface develops and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of weather; the steel is allowed to rust in order to form the protective coating.