We continually receive inquiries on various Cor-ten items. Those who are unfamiliar with the material are generally pretty shocked when they see the sticker price. But you really do get what you pay for. Here’s what makes Cor-ten special:
It oxidizes so you get that wicked cool ‘rust’ look BUT THEN THE RUST FORMS IT’S OWN PROTECTIVE LAYER! Basically Cor-ten will never rust through. It uses it’s own rust, which is the weakest point of steel, to overcome further oxidization. That’s the beauty of it.
If you are being led to believe you are purchasing a Cor-ten product, please ask to see the material specs (metuallurgical certifications are provided with every material order from the point of purchase). Please also ensure that the person doing any welding on your Cor-ten product is skilled – if the weld-points don’t weather at the same rate as the Cor-ten sheet steel, this will be extremely problematic. And honestly, we see this all the time, people trying to pass off regular steel as Cor-ten with a too-good-to-be-true price tag. But the difference is apparent once you know what to look for. Cor-ten is weather resistant. Raw, untreated steel is not, and it’s also very easy to spot rusty steel vs. Cor-ten. Cor-ten is MUCH prettier in every stage of oxidization.