For many architectural and landscaping applications, Corten Steel is the perfect material. This type of steel has a unique look unlike any other material on the market.

It’s an attractive yet durable material that can be used for commercial and residential projects. This blog post will look closely at Corten Steel to explore its advantages and disadvantages.

Corten steel panels on a building.

What Is Corten Steel?

Corten Steel, also known as weathering steel, has recently become the trendsetter in architecture circles. So, what is Corten Steel? It’s a unique and innovative alloy mix of steel, copper, and chromium that creates a form of ‘weathering’ or corrosion-resistant steel. This provides rustic-looking exterior surfaces that are extremely durable with minimal maintenance.

The most fascinating part is that they get even more striking after they start to weather – gaining quite a distinctive patina over time as no other material can.

Advantages of Corten Steel

Corten Steel is the perfect architectural material for anyone who values minimal upkeep. Its chemical makeup allows it to withstand heat without compromising its integrity, making it an ideal choice for chimneys, log burners, fire pits, and, of course, planters! Our Corten Steel planters come in various shapes and sizes, so you are sure to get the exact planter you need. Additionally, they arrive to you fully assembled, so you can start using them right away!

Many of our customers use these planters both inside and outside. The inside planters may not develop the rust patina, but still look gorgeous in the unweathered, grayish steel color. But for the planters used outside, each one can develop its own weathering pattern, giving you a planter no one else on earth has! Some other benefits include:

1. Increased Longevity

Corten Steel is designed to withstand the elements, and as a result, it has a much longer lifespan than traditional steel. The increased longevity of Corten Steel means that it requires less maintenance and can be left in its natural state for longer periods.

It is a copper chromium alloy steel. Compared to other unalloyed steels, this alloy exhibits superior resistance to atmospheric oxidation.

2. Attractive Appearance

Corten Steel is also known for its unique aesthetics. The patina on the surface of Corten Steel as it weathers gives it a distinctive look that many architects and designers find appealing.

The protective layer of rust on weathering steel creates an attractive reddish-brown appearance that is particularly popular for creating an industrial or rustic appearance. Artistic, outdoor, and modern applications use it. You’ll find landscape designers prefer Corten Steel planters because of their unique weathering capability and versatility in size and shape. This flexibility allows them to create a unique display that their clients love.

3. Superior Corrosion Resistance

As we know, Corten has extremely high corrosion resistance. This is because a protective oxide layer forms on the steel’s surface and prevents further rusting when exposed to the elements and potentially harsh weather conditions.

4. Natural Oxidization

When exposed to air, the natural oxidization process creates a protective rust layer on iron, making it less likely to rust over time. This patina is also known for giving metal objects an antique charm as the warm brown hue changes in tone with the passing years and its external environment.

5. Enhanced Durability

In addition to its increased longevity, Corten Steel is also more durable than traditional steel (e.g., carbon steel). It is resistant to both abrasion and impact, meaning it will not easily dent, ding, or scratch. Corten is suitable for building solid structures.

6. Reduced Maintenance Costs

Corten steel panels lined up in a foundry.

Because Corten Steel is so durable, it requires less maintenance than traditional steel. This can result in substantial cost savings over the life of a Corten Steel structure.

7. Sustainability

Corten Steel is also a more sustainable choice than traditional steel. Because it is so durable, Corten Steel can be reused or recycled at the end of its lifespan without losing any of its strength or durability. Corten Steel naturally recycles. It can be recycled almost 100% by returning to the foundry after the project’s lifespan.

8. Corten Steel Forms a Protective Coating

It is better than other types of structural steel because the patina that develops on its surface provides excellent corrosion resistance. The rust that naturally forms on weathering steel helps it last longer, which keeps costs down.

Disadvantages of Corten Steel

While Corten Steel has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages of which you should be aware.

1. Limited Availability

Weathered steel is available in limited quantities, making it difficult to find the material for larger projects. Additionally, the cost of Corten Steel can be significantly higher than other types of steel, making it cost-prohibitive for some applications.

2. Not Indestructible

Weathering steel certainly protects against corrosion, but it isn’t indestructible. If left exposed to standing water in certain areas, its lifespan decreases significantly. Similarly, if your Corten Steel planters don’t have adequate draining capabilities, it may not last as long as one that does. Still, you can expect a Corten Steel planter to last at least 10 years, and possibly up to 100 if the right drainage conditions exist.

To prevent this, ensure that your weathering steel has adequate drainage capabilities – especially if you live in a humid or subtropical climate where moisture is more likely to linger!

3. Weathering Patterns may Differ

Uneven weathering is a common phenomenon among Corten steel facades, and it’s something to keep in mind when deciding on the material for your planters. This alloy’s unique color characteristics make it attractive, but if you order two different planters at separate times, the weathering pattern may be highly irregular and unpredictable.

For example, if a façade panel needs to be replaced, it may be difficult to locate Corten Steel products with the same weathering pattern. Similarly, if you want to add another Corten Steel planter to your outdoor design, it may not weather the same way your first one did. In this case, it’s better to order two at once since they’ll likely be cut from the same batch of steel.

Order Stunning Corten Steel Planters Today!

Corten steel planters in a courtyard.

Now that you understand Corten Steel’s advantages and disadvantages, you can imagine if they’d be the right planter type for you. Just imagine how exceptional that beautiful rust patina could look in your outdoor space!

At PlanterCraft’s Corten steel rectangular planters, you can easily create a luxurious outdoor area that stands out from the rest. Our modern and stylish planters are built with high-quality materials to ensure they look last for years with little maintenance required. Your outdoor décor will look great for decades!

If you’re looking for something special to enhance your outdoor décor, check out our Corten Steel series. Shop now and create a unique outdoor space!