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Weathering Steels

Weathering steels are our specialty. Call our in-house specialists with questions about your application.

Weathering steels are a family of ASTM specifications, as well as several trademarked specifications exhibiting similar corrosion resistant properties.  The ASTM specifications are A588, A242, A606-4, A847, and A709-50W. The primary trademarked product is Cor-ten®. The selection of a particular ASTM weathering steel specification is dependent on the type of product desired. ASTM A588 covers structural shapes, plate, and bar. ASTM A242 covers steel plate through one-half inch in thickness. ASTM A606-4 covers steel sheet and coil and ASTM A847 is for weathering steel tube and pipe. The corrosion-retarding effect of the protective layer is produced by the particular distribution and concentration of alloying elements within it. The naturally developed patina protecting the surface and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of the weather. In other words, the steel is allowed to rust in order to form the 'protective' coating. This protective coating guards against future corrosion.

Extensive benefits of Weathering Steel

Weathering steel has atmospheric corrosion resistance and this enables it to be used without paint for many structural / architectural applications. That would include structures like bridges, some open-frame buildings, transmission poles and sculptures. Weathering steel also has high temp. benefits which make it a good choice of material for many flues, chimneys and high temperature ducting.
Weathering steel’s corrosion resistance gives it major advantages over other metals for structures that are
exposed to the outside elements. These include:

Start up cost benefits
The saving of not needing to use any protective coating / paints should compensate for the incremental material cost of weathering steel. As an example, weathering steel’s cost has been shown to be approximately five per cent lower than conventional painted steel alternatives in bridges using a HA Type 2 paint system.

Low maintenance
Weathering steel is ideal for bridges and other structures where access is difficult or dangerous, and where future disruption needs to be minimized. Inspection and cleaning should be the only maintenance required to ensure the structure continues to perform well.

Project life cost benefits
Nominal maintenance needs of weathering steel structures significantly reduce the costs of maintenance operations and the potential indirect costs of traffic delays.

Construction Speed
With the elimination of paint both on site and in the fab shop – construction is streamlined.

Curbside appeal
The attractive appearance of mature weathering steel often blends pleasingly with the environment. Its appearance changes and improves with age.

Environmental benefits
Use of weathering steel eliminates the need for VOC laden paints and blast cleaning.

High temperature benefits
Steel can suffer oxidation at temperatures above 400°C. This can be decreased by using weathering steels. At temps above 400°C weathering steels form a protective patina. A typical improvement would be an increase of 50°C over equivalent loss in carbon manganese steels. Weathering steels are not suitable for use in significant load-bearing members above 450°C.

Do You Need The Standard?
ASTM Standards

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