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Sculptor Needs Corten to Rust!

(-----) February 20, 2008

Q. Hello,

What is the most economical and efficient way to remove mill scale from a Corten steel fence? The fence has been in place for 8 months and still looks like scroungy untreated steel. The panels are 10 feet tall and are mostly solid 3/16" thick plate. Acid treatments are out because of containment issues. There is no expectation of a smooth texture so a grinding stone would work, but would a paticular type of sandblasting process or specific abrasive work better?

Thanks for your help.

David Regier
Sculptor - Corpus Christi, Texas

In order for my weathering steel planters to develop that classic Cor-ten rusty look Do I need to remove the mill scale or treat the surface in any way before installation?

November 25, 2015

Q. I'm making 2 large planters of 3/16" A588 weathering steel. It looks like it has a fine and uniform coating similar to mill scale present on typical hot rolled steel except that this coating is a bit more brownish. Is this mill scale or the beginning of the oxidation process?

I'm wondering if I need to prepare the surface in any way for a uniform oxidation to take place.

Also wondering what I can do do make my welded areas rust in a way that matches the core-ten. Is there a special grade of welding wire that I should use? Will pickling the steel with acid to hasten the oxidation have undesirable results?

Thank you.

Gregory Simons
Artist/Designer/Fabricator - USA

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