Corten steel — what it is and why it matters
Corten is a type of structural, corrosion-resistant steel grade. Due to the appropriately selected chemical additives, a natural layer of rust-coloured patina is created on its surface. The patina is made mostly of different types of copper oxides, which are released upon contact with the air. That coating is very dense, therefore the corrosive reaction is suppressed, as the oxygen does not come into contact with the material directly. Corten does not corrode under the influence of environmental factors, so even after many years, it will not be degraded. It also ensures that the steel is resistant to extreme thermal fluctuations.
With each passing year, corten steel becomes even more popular among world-class garden designers. They appreciate the beauty of the material, high flexibility of both the processing and handling, as well as its unmatched longevity. The innovative nature of the metal blends in perfectly with the verdure in the garden. Thanks to this, we are able to create a multitude of different products made from corten — planters, firewood racks, grills, decorative panels, fountains, edging, letterboxes and many, many more!
Corten steel requires very little surface treatment, which means there is almost no maintenance cost to be paid during its usage cycle, which can last up to even 40 years. Corten is not only a very stylish choice but also a cost-effective one if we take into consideration its durability. In addition to low maintenance costs, corten is also more environmental-friendly comparing to other steel compounds, as it saves paint and solvents that are not being used in production.
How to accelerate the rusting process of corten steel?
Corten steel can take several months to stabilize, depending on the climatic conditions and the size of the product. Ideally, it must be exposed to alternating wet and dry cycles, so that the patina shapes regularly before the metal reaches orange colour over the entire surface. But if the weather is a little capricious, it might feel like it’s going to take a long time. Our best piece of advice to speed up the process without any specifically dedicated products is to spray saltwater through the entire surface periodically and let it dry. Repeat this every day and you’re likely to see the rust shape pretty easily. Alternatively, simply put the product outside for a couple of weeks and let Mother Nature take its course — you will achieve the same goal, but this option requires more time.