No special actions are needed to begin the weathering process. Once it is exposed to water, Corten resistant weathering steel will start to rust. It won’t stop rusting until it fully forms an outer layer of rust that shields the rest of the metal from corrosion. The rust actually acts as an efficient protective barrier.
So far, Corten resistant steel seems to have a very long lifespan. Some of the earliest artwork and structures made from this metal are still holding up well after five decades, with no deterioration in sight. To get the most life out of Corten steel, we recommend using a heavy gauge steel and keeping it in an ideal environment where it can cycle through periods of wetness and dryness.