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CORTEN RUSTED STEEL



Editor's intro: Corten is a registered trademark of US Steel for "weathering steel", but US Steel only makes weathering steel in limited shapes anymore. When people speak of Corten, they usually just mean "weathering steel", which is described in ASTM A242 [link is to spec at TechStreet] (Cor-ten A) and ASTM A588 [link is to spec at TechStreet] (Cor-ten B), rather than an extant US Steel product. Weathering steel isn't vastly different than plain low-carbon steel, it just contains a small amount of elements which help to stabilize the rust to slow ongoing deterioration.
To minimize time lost to searching, we've combined a number of previously separate threads, so we apologize if you see a few duplicative Q&As.



Will corten windows & doors survive salty sea air of Mauritius?

++

Q. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO TREAT CORTEN RUSTED STEEL. I ORDERED TO HAVE MY WINDOWS & DOORS WITH A LOCAL SUPPLIER, UNFORTUNATELY AFTER DELIVERY I REALISED THAT THE METAL USED IS SUPPOSED TO BECOME RUSTY IN SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND IS NOT AESTHETIC. I WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF SOMEONE COULD HELP ME KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS METAL AND ITS INCONVENIENCE AND HOW TO TREAT IT. THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR COLLABORATION.

BECHE BRUNO
- MAURITIUS (Indian Ocean)


++

A. Corten steel is a special steel used in architecture to give a pleasing (to some!) patina. The steel is designed to "weather" or "age" to give a coppery colour that will improve with time. It is resilient to many corrosive atmospheres. If you do not like it, I suggest you remove the patina and paint it with suitable paints.

Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


++

A. I stumbled upon this website and found this question. Leave the Cor-ten steel alone. Let it patina. It is beautiful.

Dan O'Mara
- Minneapolis, Minnesota

Corten woman by Willemine van Laarhoven, thumb
Corten Woman by sculptor Willemine van Laarhoven
(see entry of March 28, 2009)


+++

A. It is a beautiful finish aesthetically. And I agree that it should be left alone. Does anyone know the life cycle of this finish and do companies warranty it?

Joeey Poitevin
Joeey Poitevin
- Jackson, Mississippi


+++++

A. Sir;

1. The Corten steel in your case should not be used for windows or doors. Corten Steel in primary used for bridge frame and structure usage.

2. if you must use Corten Steel, you need to get a prepaint or coated type, check with US Steel Construction manufacture. If you leave your Corten steel window and door as it is, it is unsightly and the value of your property will be affected because appearance is important for property value. Also in addition, over a long period, it will just become a pack rust looking, some may find it okay but I can ensure that majority of regular folks will not agree with it.

3. Corten Steel has a very good tensile strength but is not recommended for any residential usage. Anyhow, no one say you have to.

4. You should treat the Corten steel with a VOC corrosion inhibitor. Select the one that will give you the finishing that you want. Normally, a good VOC corrosion inhibitor should give me a long term protection as well as a smooth finishing.

Danis P deleted
engineering service - Ontario, Canada


+++++

A. I am a student at FSU and have been working with Corten material during class. We have a Corten sculpture here on campus and it has a nice dark purple color. It looks black from a distance. the oxide layer will not degrade, our sculpture has been up since 1980 and it still looks great.

Kenneth C deleted
Ferris State University - Big Rapids, Michigan


April 21, 2008

A. In a previous life I have priced work for an award winning architect named Sean Godsell, who regularly specifies Corten as an exterior cladding on the houses he designs (often in coastal environments). To accelerate the corrosion process he requests that "Penetrol" be applied (commonly used as a paint thinner). It proves to be very successful. I also believe that the Corten can be later sealed for internal use, however I'm not certain of the appropriate paint to use.

David Down
construction - Melbourne, Australia

Penetrol


July 9, 2009

A. We are a window manufacturer that produces windows in Cor Ten steel among other materials. The engineer that says it should not be used for windows should know that it is very common in Europe where our system comes from. It is quite expensive about three time the cost of galvanized steel. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I myself do not like the look but some do. It requires no maintenance.

Richard Sussman
- Port Washington, New York


July 16, 2009

A. We are a distributor of high end architectural windows. One of our products is available in Corten steel. The way we treat the finish is after fabrication it's allowed to weather for 2-3 weeks to develop the desired patina. The loose "dust" is then removed and a coat of wax sealer is hand applied giving it a very unique leather-like look. This finish lasts indefinitely. Corten if left alone will take 2-4 years to reach it's peak patina and then should remain in that state with very little change.

Bill Polinsky
steel window supplier - Bridgeport, Connecticut



A. Hi. I don't claim experience with weathering steels, but based on my reading I disagree with some of the responses. Weathering steels are not resistant to salt air, both because the salt causes pitting, and because it is hygroscopic and the steel tends to stay wet, which prevents the proper patina from forming. What is beautiful and stable in Minneapolis, Jackson, and Big Rapids might still be a rusty mess on a small island in the Indian Ocean. Along with the Corten successes there have been major failures; for example, Aloha Stadium in Honolulu has never stopped rusting and has required millions of dollars in rust treatments.

But Corten's composition differs only slightly from standard hot or cold rolled steel; so from my reading I would agree with Trevor and others and not anticipate any problem in waxing it or pretreating & painting it. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey




Corten for Ship Repair

++++++

Q. I work in ship repair. We need to weld double patch on corroded area of gas air heater water washing drain hood and basket casing. Can anybody help how economical if we use Corten steel. Roughly how much is Corten steel in USD per kg.thanks

James Jimenez
- Singapore


October 9, 2010

A. COR-TEN IS GOOD.

While reading, I noticed that someone wanted information on price of Corten.

It is around 1350 USD/MT.

VIMAL JAIN
- INDIA

March 5, 2008

Q. Is Corten Steel good for manufacturing boats? Is it good in water environment if painted?

Norman Parmley
student - New Bern, North Carolina


May 19, 2011

Q. Someone asked if it was OK for making boats. No answers yet. Has anyone any thoughts on this?

Stamford Stoddard
buying a 16 metre boat - Chichester West Sussex UK



Use on interiors: does it rub off?

++++++

Q. Hello, I am a builder and my architect has specified Corten steel for use above an interior fireplace and on the face of the hearth. Once installed the steel will not be subject to any moisture. I assume I should pre-rust the steel before installation to get the corroded look that is so attractive with Corten.
My questions are:
1. Will it corrode in a dry environment?
2. If I am to pre-rust it is there any treatment I should use on the steel to remove oils or other contaminants.
3. Should I use sea water to hasten the corrosion? I have actually tried a few samples using sea water and have had varying success, some with pretty good results, others that the corrosion is very spotty, as if something present on the surface was preventing the corrosion.
4. If I achieve the desired level of corrosion before installing the pieces, can I seal it to prevent people in the house from getting the rust on them or their clothes?

Mr. Courtney G deleted
construction - Santa Cruz, California


January 31, 2008

Q. Looking for the follow up on Mr. Courtney G's interior Corten questions. I too am building and we are using Corten to clad fireplace, hearth and surrounding wall. We are looking for help in areas of thickness used, mounting, and sealing so customer won't get it on themselves.

F Heathen
- Madison, Wisconsin


February 12, 2008

Q. Should Corten steel panels rust to the point that you can rub the color off easily?

Robert Vtinreo
installer - Watertown, Minnesota


June 17, 2013

A. Hi. The rust will brush off, and the customers will get it on themselves. I think it is may be more practical to paint the steel a nice rusty color if people will be touching it. Companies which supply Corten roofing also offer painted steel in very closely matching colors. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


+++++++

A. If you have to paint it and want it to last, wire brush off the worst till you have reached an acceptable finish level, it does not need cleaning back to perfect, then paint with Hammeriteamazoninfo, this is a bonding paint available in many colours.

it will last for years and should prevent further rusting.

Friends and I have used it for over 30 years and never found any problems, we have even used it to cover the bottoms of cars to delay salt corrosion, as our local authorities believe in very liberal applications of salt on our roads.

Peter Nixon
- Middlesbrough, UK

----
Ed. note: Rustgrip was engaged to repair Aloha Stadium in a similar manner in 2003. You can google the terms and get an update from them.



December 16, 2011appended

Q. Is it possible to stop weathered Corten from ending up on the clothes of the general public. Can it be sealed after weathering?

Tim Farrow
landscape architect - England

June 2013

A. Hi Tim. The rust will rub off. Clear coating or painting Corten should not be difficult, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; so, with the rust not tightly adherent to the substrate, the clear coat adhering to the rust may not be much help. I'd try a clearcoat that is really watery, and really "wets", and hope for some bite onto the steel.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



January 30, 2009

A. The Corten steel finish can be coated using a water based coating Perma Coat then finished coated with Master Clear from Modern Masters. I have seen this effect extensively used in Spain and Portugal.

neil cody
design - Vancouver, BC, Canada

----
Ed. note: Thanks much, Peter &Neil -- but this specialty metal finishing site focuses on educating people in technologies, rather than brand names & secret ingredients. As far as possible, please try your best to talk about the technology employed, rather than brands (which we try to restrict to supporting advertisements to avoid drowning under spam). Thanks!



April 16, 2010appended

Q. Want to use container to build a house project in Thailand Bangkok.
Like to know the was brand to protect corten steel from rusting after I send blast.

Jean Ferron
- Thailand



Does that come in Black?

++++++

Q. I am using Corten steel (6 mm thick), but would like to achieve a almost uniform black color for a special application. Does anyone knows any 'tricks' or procedures ?
thanks for any reply.

Michael P deleted
- Adelaide, South Australia


+++++++

A. I work as a contractor and we have had rust stain problems with the Corten steel. I am not sure this helps with the original question, but we have used a "blued" metal with a clear powder coat finish to achieve a nice mottled, but rust free look. The "bluing" is done by hand, I believe it is the same chemical used to maintain gun barrels. (at least, that is where I first heard of it).

Colin Thompson
- Los Angeles, California



Graffiti issues

++++++

Q. Can anyone assist in what material should be used to clean spray paint (probably cellulose) graffiti off the face of CorTen steel cladding without damaging the surface.

Michael W deleted
architects - London, England


+++++++

Q. All of my impressions of Corten is that once up it doesn't need to be maintained. I am using this material as part of entry sign for the community of San Pedro, California.

I am concerned with graffiti and general wear as it will be in a maritime climate.

Thanks

I am a Landscape Architect with the City of Los Angeles, Recreation and Parks, Advance Planning.

Craig R deleted
- Los Angeles, California

Sustainable Landscaping



Achieving even rusting

April 3, 2008

Q. Even rusting of weathered steel? I am creating an outdoor sculpture (about 2.2 m high x 2.5 m wide) of 6 mm thick weathered steel and need the surface to rust uniformly and quickly. I have only a couple of months to get it to a reasonably even surface, and there are laser cut outs in the steel. The sculpture will be installed outside. Any suggestions?

Chris Cathie
sculptor - New Zealand


+++++++

A. I AM BUILDING CUSTOM HOMES MADE OF CORTEN. WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TO GET THE WHOLE HOUSE TO RUST EQUALLY IS TO HAVE IT SODA BLASTED. IT IS LIKE SAND BLASTING, BUT USE A BAKING SODA TYPE MEDIUM. AS FOR THE INTERIOR WALL PANELS THERE IS A PRODUCT THAT DOES SEAL THE MATERIAL, BUT IT IS AN OIL BASED PRODUCT AND DOES TAKE A LONG TIME DRYING. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REMOVING PAINT OR GRAFFITI IS TO SODA BLAST IT. THE BLASTING WILL NOT ROUGHEN UP THE SURFACE.

CHRIS MILLER
STRUCTURAL STEEL FABRICATOR AND INSTALLER - PHOENIX, ARIZONA


June 25, 2010

A. Abrasive blasting is the way to go for an even rust finish.

I have found that the original rusting stage does produce staining but once this has been achieved the run off is minimal. The nature of corten, as I understand it, is that the oxidation layer becomes very dense and this protects the underlying material. There is not a continuation of oxidation into the material so there is no more oxides running off!

I love the dry dusty appearance of the corten and have never sealed it because I don't want to loose this. Is there any processes or materials that can seal the surface but leave the dry finish.

From my reading of any material about corten I understand that a coastal situation is not recommended but as David Brown has stated above he has done this.
I am trying to convince a client at the moment that corten will be suitable for a balcony ballustrading on a house right on the beach here in WA.

can any body help me?

Rob McCulloch
- Perth,W.A. Australia


March 10, 2010

Q. After blasting the Corten steel surface is within no time black.
Is this copper, chrome or phosphor oxide which is left behind the surface and can we paint over this surface?

Erwin Nijman
inspector - Holland



Corten staining its surroundings

May 28, 2008

Q. I want to follow up on the discussion of Corten steel in signs. I'm interested in using Corten as dimensional letters/graphics on a monument sign. As the material oxidizes to its stable state should I anticipate streaking on the face of the sign?

Gary Fedota
- Atlanta, Georgia



A. Hi Gary. The runoff continues, and is a definite problem when buildings are put on concrete with no allowances for it. But whether it's enough to be a staining issue on the balance of your sign is harder to know. I suspect that if the sign is not absorbent, it's not going to be a problem.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



Speed up Cor-Ten weathering process

+++

Q. Can you please advise how a person can speed up the weathering process on Cor Ten steel to get the uniform rusted look. I have a customer fabricating a sculpture and would like the total surface rusted before placement. Can any chemical be used?

Thanks,

Don Rau
steel supply - Manistee, Michigan


+++

A. A slightly acidic, iron chloride solution should work. Take a 5-gallon plastic pail, add some rusty steel scrap, 3 gallons of tapwater, some salt and a gallon of hydrochloric (muriatic) acid. Let it react until the fizzing slows down, then apply to the sculpture with a paintbrush, polypropylene bristle broom, or similar. If dripping would be a problem in the location, use a polyethylene dropcloth. Let dry overnight, then hose off.

Ken Vlach
- Goleta, California  

Ken received a special
"Contributor of the Year" award
from finishing.com for his numerous
helpful and well researched responses


August 5, 2008

Q. I wondering if I could get the same results as Corten with any other metal? I am looking for some other product which give me the rusty look but no stain or at least not too much.

Thanks,

mario gonzalez
architect - NYC, New York


June 2013

A. Hi Maria. I think a low grade of stainless steel, perhaps a 4xx, will work. Try soda blasting it for evenness and to remove any passivation, then maybe wiping with diluted vinegar a few times over the course of a few days, then neutralizing with baking soda and a hard rinse.

Corten / weathering steel is only "better" in that it has very little expensive ingredients in it so it's very affordable. If the project can afford stainless steel, my bet is there will be far less staining.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



May 13, 2009appended

Q. MY ISSUE IS A SIMPLE ONE. I HAVE USED CORTEN SQUARE TUBING, SQUARE BAR, AND FLAT BAR TO BUILD A BEAUTIFUL GAZEBO AND RAILING IN MY BACKYARD. IT HAS RUSTED TO A BEAUTIFUL DEEP REDDISH RUSTY COLOR THAT ONLY CORTEN CAN DO.
BUT IT CONTINUES TO DRIP RUST ONTO MY GRAY GRANITE PATIO, DISCOLORING AND STAINING IT. I DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD NOW SEAL IT TO STOP FURTHER RUST DRIPS, WHETHER ANY TYPE OF SEALER SHOULD BE USED THAT WILL NOT DISCOLOR MY EFFORTS AND HOLD UP OVER THE YEARS, OR ANY OTHER SOLUTION TO MY PLIGHT. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY AND ALL HELP.

LOUIS HOWARD
- WESTPORT, Massachusetts


July 9, 2009

Q. Hi I saw a person rolling on what he called an Oil based smelly coat coat to seal that sexy rusty metal artwork.

What is it called? Please name a brand or two.

Max Golem
artist - Australia, Melbourne


October 1, 2009appended

Q. Has anything conclusive been offered in terms of stopping the rusting process of Corten?

I have a client who now likes the dark gray of the initial Corten state (and I do in this instance as well) and would like to know if there is some proven or tested method of removing what little rust that has formed and then seal it to remain as a raw, deep gray metal.

Thank you!

Mario

Mario Cdeleted
- Los Angeles, California


June 2013

A. Hi Max. If it was smelly, it was probably linseed oil.

Hi Mario. We appended your inquiry to a thread which, if not offering a universal silver bullet, at least tells you what other people have been doing. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



sidebar

Q. I am looking for some Cor-Ten samples; including corrugated, and perforated.
Can anyone recommend a reputable company that will provide specs with the sample?
Any ideas for other interesting metals for exterior uses?
Tim Koelle
artist - NYC, New York


Hi, Tim. Major national roofing companies will do this. But we don't offer opportunity to commercially profit from postings because it's like raw meat to hyenas: it attracts shills posing as satisfied customers, and precipitates a race to the bottom as each sales manager posts 5 reasons his company is better than the previously mentioned one :-)
Our postings are restricted to technical issues; we don't print any recommendations of suppliers. Sorry.
Regards,
pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



Sculpture

March 28, 2009

I love Corten steel for its color and turn it into women.
You get a kind of black color if you leave 2 pieces on top of each in a wet environment.
This is one of my women. Height 1.60 m.

Willemine van Laarhoven
sculptor

Willemine van Laarhoven
- Holland


March 28, 2009

thumbsup2For cold steel, she's quite "hot", Willemine :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

Corten woman by Willemine van Laarhoven


December 8, 2010

Q. We have a metal sculpture fabricated in Core Ten that was graffitied. The only way we could remove the graffiti was with a wire brush which took us back to the bare metal. I know that eventually the patina will weather out but as this sculpture is "high visibility" and I know will get "hit": again, is there any way the bare surfaces can be treated to promote quicker oxidation.

Fred West
Marble West - South San Francisco, California USA

February 3, 2011

A. To obtain a quick patina on Cor-ten you can try to use some sulphuric acid or hydrochloric acid. You will have a rusty surface within a day :-)
Careful when applying!

Endre Kalmar
- Budapest, Hungary



Cor-tens in a Fountain . . .

May 28, 2009

Q. Has anyone tried - or know of - using Corten Steel as a planter in a fountain? Wondering if it will completely corrode, or it will retain its structural integrity. The architect is using Corten and we'd like to stick with the same material.

Barry Miller
Design Studio - Miami, Florida


. . . which one will the fountain bless

May 31, 2009

Q. Greetings,

I am a licensed contractor specializing in water feature design and construction. Currently I am writing an article about one of the three projects we have worked on using Cor-Ten.
Please be so kind to answer the following questions I have not been able to answer.
1. I have Cor-Ten as a metal alloy, is there a better way of describing it?
2. Is it a type or cousin of Stainless? is it welded like stainless?
3. We made a 40'x60' perimeter of 3/4" Cor-Ten and I want to include the weight in the article. What is the approximate weight of a Cubic foot of Cor-ten?

In cooperation,

Jim Wilder
pond and fountains - Santa Rosa, California



A. Hi Jim. You seem to be the absolute perfect person to answer the question immediately above yours. But I'll break Desert Pete's rule and answer you anyway :-)

1. Cor-ten is "almost" plain steel, just a tiny bit extra of some standard ingredients in steel making, totaling well under 2%. The best description may be "weathering steel".
2. It's welded like steel. Stainless has much much more alloying ingredients; for example, 3xx series stainless steel is 18% chrome and 8% nickel -- at least 10x as much non-iron ingredients.
3. Like other steels, the approximate weight is .284 pounds per cubic inch.

Good luck with the article.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


May 20, 2010appended

Q. I am an architect and have designed a fountain that has a rusted panel. We like the level of the rust in terms of a patina and want to keep at this level. If I apply oil to the surface should this suffice? If so, what type of oil should I use?

Edwin Folk
archtiect - Osaka, Japan



February 16, 2010

Q. I assume Corten has no fire rating? We want to use it as a facing on an external boundary wall situation which requires 30 minutes rating. Can it be mounted over a suitable rated board behind?

Dave Varney
architects - St Austell, Cornwall, England


June 2013

A. Hi Dave. Corten is just steel -- whatever that means in terms of fire rating :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey



July 30, 2011

Q. I have leased a building that has a large Corten fascia. The previous owner had large letters on the fascia. After removing the letters and wire brushing the surface, you can still see the out line of the letters. Is there a product to remove all the rust before applying new sign?

James DeGroff
- Palm Desert, California USA


Bonding stuff to Corten

June 10, 2013

Q. If I want to construct a sign of Corten and have some acrylic plastic mounted inside of the steel, what bonding agent would be correct and what preparation to the steel would be correct?

larry glickman
- Portland Oregon


June 17, 2013

A. Hi Larry. Corten is just basically steel. There is very little difference in composition. So soda or bead blasting is probably fine; you don't want to try to glue to rust.The right solvent for cleaning the plastic probably depends upon the type of plastic, but I think acetone would work if you don't overdo it (the acrylic may be soluble in acetone). There are lots of adhesives but I don't like to say one is better since any of them should be fine.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey

3M Spray Adhesive #90


August 19, 2013

Q. Can you drill CorTen plates and I beams? What is the best bit? I know go slow and use oil but any other tips would be appreciated. Thank you.

Lee Ann Pantalone
- Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA


August 22, 2013

A. Hi Lee Ann. Corten is virtually identical to plain old mild steel, so any advice about machining mild steel applies to Corten. Yes, it's very easily drilled and doesn't require exotic drills.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


October 7, 2013

Q. I have Corten fencing around my home which is rusted and the look we want to keep. Have noticed we are getting marks on it..from bird droppings and cats paws, as well as oily markings from people who push the gate to open it.

Corten fence

How can I get it to return to the rust in these areas?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Deborah Johns
- Melbourne, Australia
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^



November 26, 2013

Q. Hi, I was wondering if it's possible to purchase corten rivets or screws for fixing corten?!
Cheers Grant.

Grant Jamieson
Owner Builder - Rye Victoria, Australia
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^



April 17, 2014

A. For the person whose outside Corten sculpture is staining the concrete below...I would suggest that you go with the flow (of rust off the Corten)...and stain the concrete to a color as close to the Corten color as you can find...and then let the Corten be...as to sealing Corten...IMHO it defeats the purpose of the material...to create an oxidized layer that, supposedly, prevents further oxidation...speaking of which...how can it really prevent that if that rusty junk keeps flowing off? Isn't it, slowly, but continually oxidizing?...if you have to seal the Corten you are better off just painting "regular" steel

William McNally
- Madison, Wisconsin USA



April 11, 2014appended

Q. Hi, My name is Deanne and I am a Community Strategies Coordinator involved in heritage programs and projects for the region. One such project is the installation of heritage plaques throughout our community. we have installed 14 plaques in 2013 and noticed that many of them are not oxidizing uniformly. There appears to be rust stains along the bottom as well as rust 'runs' down the front of the steel.

16945-3   16945-4   16945-5

Is this a natural part of the transformation of the patina or is something else occurring that we need to take action on? I thank you in advance for any information or advice you may offer.

Deanne Lawrence
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo - Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^


April 2014

A. Hi Deanne. We appended your question to a thread which may answer it for you. Please see the 'Achieving even rusting' subheading; it suggests abrasive blasting. If you were to use soda blasting or dry ice blasting, it should be safe with little or no cleanup. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, New Jersey


April 22, 2014

A. The "pattern" of rusting is highly subject to environmental conditions. Blotches can come from spills of various sorts, vertical streaks from dripping water, etc. It's also generally not a totally uniform process.

If those are steel plates supporting those plaques, then what is shown in the photos is about what I'd expect after a year or two of sitting outside. You can take action if you don't like the way it looks, but if the question is just between "is this normal?" and "is something goofy happening?" I would go with "normal".

If those are stainless steel plates, you have a major problem and they should be cleaned up and passivated immediately.

Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.

McHenry, Illinois


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