Corten (or Cor-Ten) steel is a trade name for a type of structural steel, but its popularity has meant the name Corten steel has become synonymous with the generic term ‘weathering steel’. It’s popularity also resulted in equivalent specifications of Corten steel being developed for most application areas.
An alloy steel consisting of copper and chromium, Corten steel exhibits an improved level of resistance to weathering conditions compared to other unalloyed steels. The chemical composition of the steel results in a ‘rust-like’ appearance on the outer layer, which provides further protection against the elements.
The protective layer constantly reacts to pollutants in the atmosphere, developing and regenerating over time. This makes the steel long lasting, economical, and it can be recycled easily. The finish is often considered to be aesthetically pleasing, and it has been used by many high-profile architects for some of the most impressive steel structures around the world.
This blog post will look at some of the Corten steel structures around the world.
The Angel of the North – Gateshead, United Kingdom
The Angel of the North is a Corten steel structure of an angel that stands 66ft tall and 177ft wide on a hill in Gateshead, United Kingdom. Completed in 1998, the structure has become iconic as a symbol of the North of England.
Corten steel was the perfect choice for The Angel of the North, due to the extreme weather conditions that can be experienced where it stands. The structure is built to withstand winds of up to 100mph and will last for over 100 years. The Corten steel also provides The Angel of the North with its recognisable ‘rusty red’ colour.
Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science – Tokamachi, Japan
The Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science is a facility in Japan dedicated to research and educational activities in the field of natural science. One of the reasons that Corten steel was chosen for the construction of the building was an aesthetic one – the designer wanted the building to look like a ruin.
The other reason Corten steel was chosen was due to the extreme weather conditions of Tokamachi. During the winter seasons, the snow can reach 23 feet, leaving the building almost entirely covered in snow.
Energy Farm Visitors Centre – Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert in Chile is the world driest place, so it is generally inhospitable, although it has become a popular tourist destination to visit due to its incredible beauty. In response to the increased tourist appeal, a visitor’s centre was built.
The roofs and facades of the building were all clad in Corten steel to create the image of the building being a giant rock of molten steel in the desert. The steel also has protective properties against the harsh winds and the glare of the sun.
Corten Steel from Masteel
Masteel UK Ltd are suppliers of a range of different grades of Corten steel for a range of applications. If you would like any more information about Corten steel and the grades we have available please contact us.