Corten steel – properties and advantages

Corten is currently one of the most popular types of steel, which is very widely used in gardens, public spaces and private properties.

Numerous interior designers and planners often decide to use the Corten in modern spaces,  thanks to its specific properties. Corten is also non-toxic, environmentally friendly material, which nowadays is gaining in importance every year.

In the past, Corten was primarily seen as a durable and corrosion-resistant raw material used for manufacturing in heavy industry. Currently, it is being used in building facades or as an addition to interior design and gardens. Corten perfectly emphasizes aesthetic values of modern shape when it comes to industrial, public and private construction.

Reasons to use Corten weathering steel.

Corten steel has a broad spectrum of valuable properties, of which first significant is increased resistance to extreme weather conditions. Corten under the influence of rainfall and air produces on its surface a rust-like coating. However, this coating is much different from the standard corrosion, as in this case, it is not damaging to the material, but instead serves as a protective layer created by several chemical elements such as nickel, phosphorus, chromium and copper.  Protective outside layer made of those elements doesn’t progress deeper into the material, which means that Corten has little to none requirements regarding impregnation or special care. It also does not generate additional costs in the form of the need for regular painting or renovation.

Products made of Corten steel do not require surface treatment. It is an undoubted advantage because the elements made of it usually take on a red-brown colour over time. It makes the appearance of each product unquestionably unique.

Thanks to the industrial character, Corten is increasingly used not only in industry but also in modern architecture and art. The innovative nature of the metal blends in perfectly with the greenery in the garden. Astounding designs of sculptures, benches, water elements, planters, furnaces and wall panels are created from Corten steel.

Corten is currently a very fashionable material used by world-class designers. They appreciate the warmth of colour, simplicity in processing, ease of maintenance and, above all, high durability. Also, the small thickness of the corten plate allows you to create openwork structures for the garden, such as pergolas, lighting elements, gazebos and partitions. Lamps made of Corten steel are also produced, which generate phenomenal visual effects both during the day and at night.

A brief history

But how did the Corten came about? How was it introduced for general use?

Corten Steel has a fascinating history. The United States Steel corporation officially patented it in 1933 (interestingly, corten production around the world is still under license from the United States Steel Corporation). At the time, the United States was looking for a more durable material that, at the same time, would not require too much maintenance. Why? The years 1929-1933 were a period of great crisis in the United States. For this reason, the state tried to seek universal solutions that would limit additional costs as much as possible.

The worldwide spread of Corten steel

Initially, Corten was used to erect large public or industrial structures only. Its unique properties were used to build durable New River Gorge Bridge and Newburgh Beacon Bridge, as well as several models of tanks, chimneys, masts and containers.

Over time, professional designers began to appreciate both the specific aesthetic and practical values ​​of Corten steel. In time, landscape designers and architects took Corten into account more and more often in their arrangements. For example, coffers and panels made of Corten are great in combination with wood, concrete, glass or various types of compositions with greenery.

In public architecture, it was first used in 1964 by the well-known in Europe Eero Saarinen in the arrangement of John Deere World Headquarters in the town of Moline, Illinois. The next project became the Time-Life skyscraper, created by Wallace Harrison and Barclays Center. The facility consists of almost 12,000 Corten panels.

Corten has witnessed many different historical events over the years. During this time Corten underwent various modifications regarding application and processing. Also, related usage techniques and compositional trends have changed.

Compared to other materials, it gives you an undoubted sense of modernity. Although it has been known for almost a century, it still has not lost on its industrial aesthetic value. It carries a vast range of diverse applications and perforation options. If you decide on new interior design for your home, garden or company headquarters – choose a corten! It is a material that will be perfect in any environment. Invest in the future!

Aging of Corten process

Benefits of Corten steel

Extremely resistant

Corten steel is exceptionally resistant to atmospheric damage and vandalism. It works perfectly in urban space!

Highly durable

Corten steel is maintenance-free. It is protected by a coating that forms as the outer layer.

Unique design

Corten steel is an amazing, unique design. The industrial style of Corten steel will perfectly blend into most spaces.

We know it's the best

Unique and charming. That’s the way it is.
Corten steel is something that will make any space
special. How intriguing!

Team Viridi Space