Corten steel is a weather resistant steel that is often used in applications that are exposed to atmospheric elements as it is highly corrosion resistant. This type of steel is unique as it forms a thick layer of ‘rust’ when it comes into contact with the pollutants in the air, and this ‘rust’ provides a protective layer that prevents any further corrosion.
Often known as a ‘self-protecting’ steel, corten steel is a copper, chromium, and nickel alloy that has a distinct ‘rusty-red’ coloring that is considered aesthetically pleasing to many.
Corten Steel is often employed in structural applications, including bridges due to the low cost of maintenance. The appearance of the steel has also resulted in its adoption in many aspects of modern architecture.
The natural finish of Corten steel usually ensures that no maintenance such as painting is required. Making the material a cost effective solution over other structural steels. The only potential scenario where maintenance would be required more often is if the structure is continuously subjected to water as the protective layer won’t form.