Weathering Steel in Infrastructure

High Strength Weathering Steel Plate

Weathering Steel in Infrastructure

President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure plan signed in November of 2021 secured more than $1 trillion in federal funding to rebuild the nation’s deteriorating roads and bridges as well as fund new climate resilience and broadband initiatives. As one of the largest infusions of federal investment into infrastructure projects in over a decade, the plan allots $110 billion for highways, roads and bridges. Plus, more recently, the Biden administration issued new guidance requiring that the construction material purchased for these infrastructure projects must be produced domestically.

This is all good news for the American steel industry. According to Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and executive director of the National Steel Bridge Alliance, our domestic steel mills are prepared to supply materials for our nation’s infrastructure needs.

As a trusted provider of high strength weathering and high strength steels, Central Steel Service has supplied weathering steels for the most demanding infrastructure projects for more than 40 years.  From bridges and overpasses to buildings and other support structures, weathering steel is an ideal material choice for infrastructure projects. 

Why Choose Weathering Steel for Infrastructure Projects

Weathering steels are a family of ASTM specifications as well as several trademarked specifications. The more well-known term and primary trademarked product is Cor-ten, but all weathering steels share similar corrosion-resistant properties. Weathering steel offers several practical advantages over other metals for infrastructure projects: 

  1. Corrosion resistance. The most practical benefit of weathering steel is its ability to resist corrosion. When exposed to moisture, air, and other elements, most low alloy steels have the tendency to rust. Overtime, the rust layer becomes porous and detaches from the metal surface. With weathering steel, the rusting process happens in the same way, but the steel produces a stable rust layer, called a “patina,” which serves as a protective, corrosion-resistant barrier. This naturally-developed protective patina regenerates continuously when exposed to weather and stops further access of oxygen, moisture and pollutants. 
  2. Aesthetically-pleasing appearance. The patina that weathering steel forms over time blends well in outdoor environments where infrastructure is required. Plus, it even improves with age!
  3. Reduced construction time and costs. Because weathering steel is used unpainted in most structural and architectural applications due to its ability to resist corrosion, there is no need for site painting. When this step of construction is eliminated, both the construction time and costs are reduced.
  4. Minimal maintenance requirements. No initial painting nor future maintenance painting is required! Periodic inspection and cleaning should be the only maintenance required to ensure the weathering steel structure continues to perform well for decades to come.
  5. Cost-effective. When it comes to infrastructure, savings in material can be offset by increases in fabrication cost. With weathering steel hollow structural sections (HSS), it takes less steel to do the same job. Because less steel is required to support a given load, you can save on material costs.
  6. Environmentally friendly. Selecting sustainable materials, like weathering steel, can positively impact the environment when building and rebuilding infrastructure. In addition to the fact that steel is the most-recycled material in the world, the high-strength, low-maintenance (no initial painting nor future maintenance painting is required!), and cost-effective benefits that weathering steel offers make it a sustainable solution.

Supplying the Infrastructure Industry

Weathering steel plate is an essential material for foundations, reinforcements and structural bones that build bridges and other infrastructure. Central Steel Service stocks ASTM A242, A588, A606-4, A709-50W and A871 weathering steel plate to provide infrastructure contractors and builders with the reliable materials they need. Our weathering steel plate is often used to manufacture a variety of infrastructure projects, including:

  • Pedestrian Bridges
  • Highway Bridges
  • Bridge Girders
  • Bridge Components
  • Railroad Bridges
  • Overpasses
  • Waterway Bridges
  • Skywalks
  • Fencing
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Personal Residences
  • Artistic Sculptures

Contact Central Steel Service for Weathering Steel

Central Steel Service stocks high strength weathering steel across all product categories to meet the needs of infrastructure customers. We understand that the unique applications requiring these specialty products require the utmost attention to quality and material traceability. By focusing our entire resources on supplying only these specialty products, we can give you complete confidence in your decision to allow us to service your steel requirements. Contact us today!