If there was ever an industry that requires a tough product, and a resilient method with which to carry goods. Steel shipping containers are exposed to extremely harsh elements during transport, and have the potential for major damage. When steel is exposed to air or water, due to having a relatively porous oxide layer, it holds moisture and promotes corrosion. In the 1930’s, a company called United States Steel Corporation developed a weather-resisting compound utilizing certain elements comprised in the manufacturing of steel that gives it corrosion resistant qualities. This became know as weathering steel, or Cor-Ten.
At the outset, Corten was mainly used in Intermodal Coal Transport, and was very effective in the harsh environments of Rail Yards and International Collieries. Weathering steel was developed in America around 1972 and with it’s continued ability to maintain structural integrity in tough conditions, the Shipping Industry soon brought the compound in as the primary element to manufacture Steel Cargo Containers. From the mid 1990s Corten steel has become the standard in modern container manufacturing. Today, many of the used shipping containers for sale are made using Cor-ten steel.
Cor-Ten is alloyed steel mixed with other types of metals that reacts with exposure to air and water in a similar manner to other non-porous metals. When exposed to oxygen (or water) it forms a layer of oxidization that prevents further corrosion. The surface of the steel will become dis-colored as does brass and copper, and may have the look of corrosive rust, but is actually a preventative layer. Many containers are manufactured Corten steel storage containers, and then painted in a controlled environment, further extending the life of the product and of course improving the overall appearance of the container.
Due to the success of Corten steel storage containers in the shipping industry, industrial engineers soon became savvy, and the weathering compound has since become very prevalent in bridge building and other major feats of industrial or commercial construction. The development of Corten steel has had an extremely significant impact not only on how we transport cargo, but how our cities and communities are developed. We have learned that the longer steel lasts the better investment it is for manufacturing.
If you are in the market to rent or purchase a container, if you are looking into building structures with cargo boxes or simply need something for portable storage, Corten steel storage containers are your best and most reliable container option. When speaking with any sales representative, make sure that you request Corten steel shipping containers, as there are still some older containers out there that are made of traditional steel compounds will not last as long as a Corten steel container. Corten steel is the way to go, bottom line.