Corten Steel Garden Sculpture
Corten Steel or Mild Steel?
David Harber uses both Mild and Corten® Steel. We use mainly Mild – or oxidized – steel for our standard range, although in most cases Corten steel can be specified.
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.
The oxidization process – which takes place when either of the two rusty metal sculptures are exposed to the open air – also means that each piece of Corten garden art develops its own unique patina. “It’s like a fingerprint. They are all different” says David Harber.
The other main difference between Corten and Mild steel is their price. Making Corten is a more involved process so it is more expensive than Mild steel. Corten garden sculptures are as a result more expensive than pieces made from Mild steel.
So Which is Best?
Well, that depends – on your environment, on your budget and whether you want your garden art to last for ever. David Harber will always talk you through the options to ensure that you make the best choice for you.