Corten steel’s natural patina has gained popularity in recent years as its subtle tones of orange and brown complement a more naturalistic approach to landscaping and garden sculptures. It is widely used in less ambitious settings such as private and public gardens, parks, and terraces. The patina is caused by the oxidation of the steel, creating a fine layer of rust.
Mild steel will form a thin, crumbly layer of rust that retains moisture and allows oxygen to penetrate noncorroded metal, so corrosion will continue until the steel is completely corroded. Corten steel, due to its alloy composition, forms a denser layer that acts as a barrier to oxygen and moisture, inhibiting corrosion.
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When corten steel planters are exposed to weather and moisture, the metal oxidises and forms a protective patina. During this oxidation process, the rust particles are carried down by water to the surface of the planters.
In order to avoid the appearance of rust staining when using corten steel planters, it is best to install them in a manner in which the rust doesn’t run off onto concrete, pavers or patio stone.
Weathering steel is a family of steel alloys developed specifically for coating surfaces with a rust-like appearance, eliminating the need for painting. US Steel’s weathering steel formula is known as Cor-ten.
Architecture and art are increasingly using rusted metals, such as weathered steel and Corten. All over the world, rust-weathered steel is being used to enhance the patina. Rusted metal can cause stains that drip onto areas beneath the metal. The Everbrite Coating seals rusted metal, preventing further rusting and preventing problems like rust drips and staining.
The Best Way to Prevent Rust Run-Off
Often, the surfaces below and around weathering steel products and structures are concrete, stone, or brick, which can be difficult to clean, so it’s important to think about how to prevent rust run-off and stains. As a result of the weathering process, run-off cannot be prevented. Run-off can be managed, however, so that the drainage does not flow over vulnerable surfaces.
The best way to prevent staining from initial run-off is to install a gravel border around the weathered steel structure to catch the run-off and prevent it from running over permanent surfaces like concrete or stone. The gravel border can be easily replaced as necessary.
Pre-patinating the weathering steel with an acidic spray can also prevent staining. Prior to installation, this spray will initiate the patina process and minimize further rust run-off.
The best way to prevent rust is Galvanizing.
Zinc is applied to steel or iron to prevent corrosion or rust. There are two types of galvanizing:
The process of hot-dip galvanizing involves immersing iron or steel in molten zinc to form a protective, galvanic coating.
Cold Galvanizing Compounds are zinc-rich corrosion-preventative coatings that can be applied like paint. For rust prevention of entire projects, not just touch-ups, this process is easier, more convenient, and more reliable than hot-dip galvanizing, which can be done on-site.
In the dried film of cold galvanizing, 95% metallic zinc is present. They are recognized by Underwriter’s Laboratories, Inc. as an equivalent to hot-dip galvanizing under the Component Program. As a result, you get the same level of protection that is provided by hot-dip galvanizing in the convenience of a can; shipped to you directly for application on-site. Compounds for cold galvanizing comply with the same level of Federal Specifications as hot-dip galvanized products (DOD-P-21035A, formally MIL-P21035A).
Cold Galvanized Compounds can be project savers!
If a metal for a project shows up ungalvanized, you have two options, either send it back to a manufacturer for hot-dip galvanizing and deal with long delays in getting your project finished, or use a high-quality cold galvanized compound that meets the same requirements and keeps your project moving.
In spite of the fact that Cold Galvanized Compounds are the perfect solution to prevent corrosion in iron and steel, they are not all the same. To provide the same level of protection as hot-dip galvanizing, Cold Galvanizing Compounds must have enough zinc in the dried film by weight–in a non-encapsulating binding system. Learn more about ZRC and Cold Galvanizing Compounds.
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