Corten Steel

Corten Steel Garden Sculpture

Corten Steel or Mild Steel?

David Harber uses both Mild and Corten® Steel. From a visual point of view, it is difficult to tell the two apart. They are both an attractive natural looking rusty colour with an appealing textured surface that makes the metal look almost like a living material. Visually, both steels react strongly to outside conditions, changing colour in the rain, and looking vibrant and colourful when the sun comes out. Both rusty steels are easy to work with.


One of the key difference between Mild and Corten steel is how well the different metals stand up to difficult outside conditions. Corten is a modern invention which develops a protective coating in response to the oxidizing weathering process. This makes Corten very long lived and suitable even for critical structures like bridges. Mild Steel is less robust. It is not hardy enough for garden sculptures located near the sea, for example. “Mild steel in the right environment should last for centuries; Corten steel will last for centuries” explains David Harber.

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