COR-TEN Steel
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September 1, 2023
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COR-TEN Steel

COR-TEN steel (Corten) is a high-strength alloy made of iron, copper, chromium, and phosphorus, which has high resistance to atmospheric influences. The name “COR-TEN” comes from the words “corrosion resistance” and “tensile strength”. This steel got its name thanks to properties that make it resistant to corrosion and allow it to maintain its strength even under extreme conditions.

Today, COR-TEN is a popular material in modern architecture and interior design. It is used for creating buildings, bridges, ponds, fences, and much more.

When manufacturing any steel products, the main task is to protect against corrosion. Even steel with anti-corrosion additives sooner or later begins to rust in the air – and in extreme conditions (coastal regions, humid climate, temperature changes) this process is significantly accelerated.

But is rust always unequivocally bad? No, and there is confirmation of this. COR-TEN steel, corten steel, is a metal that is supposed to rust according to the technology embedded in it. At the same time, the layer of rust formed protects the deeper layers of metal from oxidation (on the principle of patina on copper and bronze products) – therefore, over time, the strength of the structure is not lost.

We will tell you how COR-TEN steel is obtained and where it is used in our article.

COR-TEN steel production technology

COR-TEN steel was invented in the 1930s by engineers from the American corporation U.S. Steel. When developing the material, they were inspired by the principles of patina formation on ancient statues: a layer of oxides formed on the copper or bronze surface prevents the metal from oxidizing further, so a patinated product can serve for hundreds of years without additional protection.

stall COR-TEN

This idea was the basis for COR-TEN steel:

  • The metal composition is selected so that it rusts in the air (albeit slower than ordinary steel).
  • During oxidation, patina is formed on the surface.
  • A dense layer of oxides closes the pores on the metal, so the base no longer contacts with oxygen.
  • The time for forming a non-washable patina layer is from 18 to 36 months, during this period it is advisable to protect the metal from mechanical influences and minimize contact with precipitation.
  • The more time passes since the beginning of oxidation, the denser the patina becomes, and the more reliable the protection against corrosion will be.
stall COR-TEN

Main components. The components of COR-TEN steel are steel itself and alloying additives. First of all:

  • Copper – promotes the formation of patina, provides the metal with a characteristic color that changes over time.
  • Phosphorus – promotes controlled oxidation of the surface.
  • Chromium – increases the resistance of the metal base to corrosion, i.e. does not allow rust to penetrate deep into the structure, reducing its strength.

Immediately after installation, COR-TEN steel looks like ordinary metal. Over time, it begins to rust, and its shade changes (the further, the darker). When using corten steel for decorative purposes, it is possible to artificially age blanks or structures in factory conditions.

stall COR-TEN

Also, sometimes there is a need to protect the oxide film, which forms on the metal in the first years after installation (for example, if it is a frequently visited object, and the patina can stain people’s hands or clothes). In this case, after the start of oxidation, the product is simply covered with a colorless varnish, which fixes the patina and protects it from abrasion or washing. The varnish coating does not stop the patina formation process, so the product gradually darkens under the varnish layer.

Advantages of corten steel

stall COR-TEN

At first glance, corten steel can be confused with just rusty metal. But this is far from the case – COR-TEN steel has a whole range of advantages that determine its popularity as a building and finishing material:

  • The main advantage is its appearance. The patina formed on the metal has a significantly different structure compared to ordinary rust. It has a more uniform and denser texture, making it far more visually appealing. An added bonus is the gradual color change of the object, enhancing the design potential of COR-TEN steel.
  • The second advantage is the preservation of mechanical strength. Ordinary rust eats away at the metal, making it thinner and eventually leading to perforations. COR-TEN steel, on the other hand, forms a thin layer of patina, whose thickness is predetermined by the design and hardly changes over time. This ensures that the structural integrity of the framework or cladding is not compromised.
  • Ease of processing is another plus. Corten steel can be manipulated using various methods, from bending to welding. There are virtually no limitations here, but it’s essential to consider the material’s specific oxidation characteristics when working with it.
stall COR-TEN

In summary, COR-TEN steel is not just another rusty metal; it’s a high-quality, durable material with unique properties that make it ideal for modern architecture and design. From its corrosion-resistant nature to its aesthetic appeal, COR-TEN steel offers a range of benefits that are hard to ignore.

If you’re planning a construction project and are looking for a material that combines durability with aesthetic appeal, look no further than COR-TEN steel. Its unique properties make it a popular choice for architects and designers alike. Discover the advantages of COR-TEN steel and why it could be the perfect material for your next project.

stall COR-TEN

Additional Advantages of COR-TEN Steel:

  • Deformation resistance
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Absence of toxins and other potentially harmful substances
  • Durability

One notable drawback is that during the formation of the dense patina layer, the oxides may smear or leave marks upon touch. To avoid this, initial oxidation is often done in workshops, artificially aging the steel. Alternatively, a protective layer can be applied after installation.

stall COR-TEN

Applications of COR-TEN: Modern Building Exteriors and Interior Design

COR-TEN steel panels in shades of yellow-orange, copper-red, or almost brown are increasingly used for decorating various structures. The applications of COR-TEN steel are vast:

  • As an alternative to regular steel in civil and industrial construction.
  • Steel panels and cassettes for cladding facades, which change color over time while maintaining strength and durability.
  • COR-TEN steel panels, slats, and posts are excellent for making fences.
  • Recently, garden furniture made from COR-TEN steel has gained popularity.
stall COR-TEN
  • The dense oxide layer allows COR-TEN steel to be used in interior decor as well. Metal wall and ceiling panels with a rusty texture fit perfectly into ‘loft’ and ‘steampunk’ styles. While rarely used in residential homes, it’s common in commercial properties like clubs and restaurants.

Finally, COR-TEN steel is a great material for sculptures and other art pieces. If direct human contact is expected, consider applying a protective coating in the initial years after installation.

stall COR-TEN

Here are 5 examples of famous buildings that used COR-TEN steel:

  • U.S. Steel Headquarters in Pittsburgh, USA
  • Pompidou Center in Paris, France
  • Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain
  • Solna Centrum Metro Station in Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami, USA

Plus, a few examples of Cor-Ten in the interiors of popular buildings:

  • FSC Certification Pavilion in France
  • Camp Adventure Tower in Rønnede, Denmark
  • Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, Netherlands
  • Casa TEC 205 in Monterrey, Mexico
  • 15 Renwick, a residential complex in New York, USA

METAL COR-TEN FENCES

Cor-ten is a special type of steel that develops a corrosion-resistant patina over time. This material has become popular in architecture due to its aesthetic and functional advantages. One of the most intriguing uses of Cor-ten steel is in the construction of fences. In this article, we will explore why Cor-ten steel fences deserve your attention.

HISTORY OF COR-TEN STEEL

Cor-ten is a trademarked steel that was developed in the 1930s. The primary idea was to create steel that could withstand the impact of atmospheric conditions without the need for additional coatings.

AESTHETIC ADVANTAGES

  • Natural Appearance: Cor-ten steel has a unique, living appearance that changes over time. Initially, the metal is gray, but it develops a brownish-red patina over time due to atmospheric influences.
  • Harmony with the Environment: This material blends seamlessly with natural landscapes, creating no discord with the surrounding space.

FUNCTIONAL ADVANTAGES

  • Durability: Cor-ten steel is renowned for its high resistance to corrosion. The patina that forms on the metal serves as additional protection.
  • Low Maintenance: Cor-ten steel fences do not require regular painting or other forms of maintenance.
  • Weather Resistance: This type of steel can withstand various weather conditions, from snow and rain to direct sunlight.

Cor-Ten steel allows for various design solutions, from classic to modern. While the cost of Cor-Ten steel may be higher than traditional materials, its durability and minimal maintenance make it a justified choice.

Fences made of Cor-Ten steel are an investment in durability, functionality, and aesthetics for your home or commercial property. This material will not only secure your area but also beautify the landscape.

COR-TEN STEEL FACADES

Cor-ten steel, known for its unique ability to self-patinate, has become one of the most popular materials in modern architecture. This steel is used not only for creating sculptures and bridges but also for cladding the facades of buildings.

Advantages of using Cor-ten steel for modern facades:

  • Aesthetic Elegance: Cor-ten steel lends a sense of refinement and uniqueness to modern facades. The patina that develops on its surface imparts character and dynamism to the building, which is crucial in contemporary design.
  • Durability and Reliability: One of the key benefits of Cor-Ten steel is its high resistance to corrosion. The patina that covers the steel serves as a natural protective layer, ensuring the longevity of the facade.
  • Environmental Compatibility: Cor-ten steel does not require additional paint or varnish coatings, reducing its environmental impact. This makes it the top choice for eco-conscious projects.
  • Low Maintenance: Cor-ten steel facades require minimal upkeep. They do not need periodic painting or other expenses, reducing overall building maintenance costs.
  • Visual Cohesion: Cor-ten steel pairs excellently with other contemporary materials such as glass, wood, or concrete, creating a harmonious and unified facade.
  • Adaptability: Cor-ten steel can be used in various climatic conditions, from cold to tropical, thanks to its high anti-corrosion properties.
  • Architectural Versatility: The material allows architects to experiment with shapes and textures, opening up broad possibilities for creative architectural solutions.
  • Economic Efficiency: While the initial cost of Cor-ten steel may be higher compared to other materials, its durability and minimal maintenance expenses make it an economically efficient choice in the long run.

Utilizing Cor-ten steel for modern facades not only ensures high functionality but also allows the realization of ambitious architectural concepts. This makes it one of the most attractive materials for contemporary architecture.

Project from Mehbud Factory

Rack facade made of Cor-ten steel for a wellness complex in the Carpathians

In the enchanting Carpathians, in the heart of the picturesque town of Yaremche, Mehbud Factory has implemented a wonderful project – a rack facade made of Cor-ten steel for a new wellness complex. This project is not only an embodiment of modern design but also a vivid reflection of our technical capabilities.

Discover a new level of design with Cor-ten steel facades from Mehbud Factory! Our rack facades combine elegance and strength, creating a unique style for any home. Capture the attention of your neighbors and make an impression that will last forever.

Corten Steel Manufacturers and Sellers in Ukraine

Let’s take a look at the key players in the Ukrainian market for Corten steel.

1) DECOR STEEL: Corten steel in Kyiv is represented by the design bureau Decor Steel. Our creative team offers a full range of services, from producing decorative materials to crafting unique products and project management.

Decor Steel will impress you with its expertise in creating unique products—true masterpieces of modern architecture. From unique installations and art objects to facades and landscape design elements for homes or restaurants, everything is possible with Decor Steel!

COR-TEN steel is a registered trademark of the United States Steel Corporation.

2) RAUTA: An engineering and construction company, Rauta is a leading supplier of reliable building solutions in Ukraine and the European Union.

Rauta offers comprehensive solutions that include building design, frame supply, sandwich panels, ventilated facades, quick-build buildings, fire protection, as well as installation and related services.

Ventilated facades with Corten cladding make your building stand out, giving it a distinctive appearance. When used correctly, Corten steel is expressive, durable, and requires no maintenance throughout its lifespan.

3) EUROMETAL: This company offers Corten steel for sale in Ukraine. They specialize in supplying European metal products, ensuring quality for their customers. Advantages of collaborating with this company include:

  • Providing all necessary documents for metal products
  • Helping to choose the best Corten option based on project requirements
  • Importing large quantities of products, reducing transportation costs
  • Offering round-the-clock delivery
  • Providing steel cutting services before shipment.
corten

4) CORTEN IN UKRAINE: A sub-brand of EUROMETAL, this company has been a leader in supplying European metal products since 2020. They also manufacture a wide range of products from original COR-TEN steel, including art objects, interior solutions, grills, fences, facade cassettes, and landscape solutions.

Their professional approach has made them a market leader in Ukraine within just two years, as evidenced by dozens of diverse projects outfitted with Corten steel from LLC “Eurometal”.

5) DAMET: This company has been in the roofing material market for over 8 years. They offer Corten steel sheets of various thicknesses and purposes (cor-ten A and cor-ten B), as well as ready-made Corten products. They also offer cutting, bending, welding, and other related services. Their range includes self-assembly cladding, fence elements, and more. They also sell their own Corten-boosting liquid, known as “cortenol”.

For more information on the services and products offered, visit the respective companies’ websites.

The use of Corten steel in Ukraine is just gaining momentum. In recent years, more and more projects featuring this “rusty metal” are appearing. This is partly because not all professionals are well-versed in working with this material, leading to occasional issues (e.g., protective lacquer not applied in time, causing rust stains on clothing or hands). However, the potential for this material is vast, and we are confident that it will become increasingly popular and in-demand over time.

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Олександр
About the author:

Руководитель проектов.  Разработка проекта с момента подготовки  проекта и до момента его реализации. Предоставление квалифицированной консультации в области ограждающих конструкций и фасадной отд...

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