Corten steels are a group of alloy steels developed to avoid painting and develop a stable rust-like appearance if exposed to weather for several years. Corten is an aesthetically appealing material, a key characteristic of which is that it is "living" - it responds to its environment and situation and changes accordingly. The "rust" of corten steel is a stable oxide layer that forms when exposed to weather.
Corten’s popularity can be attributed to its strength, durability, practicality, and aesthetic appeal.Corten Steel has many advantages, including maintenance and service life. In addition to its high strength,corten steel is a very low maintenance steel. Because Coreten Resist the corrosive effects of rain, snow, ice, fog, and other meteorological conditions by forming a dark brown oxidizing coating on the metal, thereby inhibiting deeper penetration and eliminating the need for paint and expensive rust maintenance over the years. Simply put, steel rusts, and rust forms a protective coating that slows the rate of future corrosion.
Corten is around three times as expensive as ordinary mild steel plate. Yet looks identical when new, so it’s perhaps not a bad idea to get some verification as to what you are paying for, as the finished look won’t reveal itself for a decade or two.
As a base metal, Corten sheet is similar in price to metals like zinc or copper. It will never compete with the usual claddings like brick, timber and render, but is perhaps comparable with stone or glass.