What is Corten?
Corten is actually COR-TEN but the latter is rarely used. Originally a trademark, nowadays the term is generally used to describe any weathering steel.
How does weathering steel work?
It's corrosion resistance is unique in that the initial thin layer of rust is what protects the steel underneath. The steel can survive harsh climates and conditions without any need for additional protection.
How long does weathering steel last?
Like all metals, its longevity will be based upon its environment but make no mistake, it lasts decades not years. The Angel of The North was started in 1994 and has only looked better with age and the John Deere HQ in the U.S was clad with weathering steel in 1964. It’s also important to remember how the colour of the steel alters with time.
Why is it so expensive?
Corten is different to mild steel because of the additional metals it contains, namely copper, chromium, manganese, and nickel. This, and the fact that it is manufactured in much smaller quantities and by fewer companies, keeps the price high.