COR-TEN is a high-strength low alloy weldable structural steel. Also known as weathering steel and developed for low or zero maintenance needs. It eliminates the need for painting as it forms a stable rust-like appearance after a short period of exposure to weather. Weathering steel has become increasingly popular in creating outdoor sculptures, roofing and architectural projects due to its rustic antique appearance, weathering abilities and durability.  

Abbey Metals offer a bespoke service for all your COR-TEN and weathering steel needs, our specialist metalworkers can bring your project ideas to life. Abbey Metals has experience and expertise in this specialist material and has used COR-TEN in a variety of industrial and architectural projects for many years.

COR-TEN has become increasingly popular in creating outdoor sculptures due to its weathering abilities and durability. COR-TEN may appear to be ‘rusty steel’ however in the world of art and architecture COR-TEN steel is being embraced in urban and commercial sculptures and projects.

John McLean, Director of Abbey Metals

John McLean, Director of Abbey Metals says, ‘COR-TEN has come to the forefront as an architectural material due to its versatility, durability and excellent properties. We have previously made a wide range of bespoke weathering steel products for customers, including profiles for sculptures and construction products. Often viewed as a ‘new’ product, COR-TEN has been about for a long time, since the 1930s, and was originally used in the construction of rail freight carriages, bridge components and shipping containers.’

‘I remember one of my first COR-TEN projects was here in Glasgow, many years ago in the 1970s. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the construction project for a new public artwork for the University of Strathclyde.  Famous pop artist and sculptor Gerald Laing was commissioned to create this new public artwork on the highest natural point of the student campus in the Townhead area. Gerald Laing’s Callanish (1974), is based on the standing stones at Callanish in the Western Isles. Four years in development and constructed of sixteen free-standing weathering steel abstract pillars on a concrete base, each almost 4 metres (13 feet) high, are spread over an area occupying half an acre and the sculpture remains in situ today.’

With COR-TEN steel the surface oxidises as normal however due to its protective layer the surface continually regenerates and develops a protective coating which reduces corrosion and leaves the COR-TEN essentially maintenance-free. After a period of months, the COR-TEN weathering will stabilise and produce an attractive and natural rust-like appearance. In addition, surface treatments may also be used to accelerate the oxidation process to as little as a few hours.

Contact John at Abbey Metals on 01294 835294 or via our website to get advice or request a quote for weathering steel plates or profiles.