Why protect Corten steel with a varnish ?

Corten steel, also known as self-weathering steel, is a widely used material in architecture and construction due to its distinctive aesthetic properties and durability. One of the most attractive characteristics of Corten steel is its ability to develop a protective patina that gives it a unique rusty appearance while providing exceptional resistance to atmospheric corrosion. However, while this patina may seem like a desirable appearance, it can sometimes deteriorate and become loose, putting the underlying steel at increased risk of corrosion. In order to preserve the rustic appearance of Corten steel while protecting it against excessive degradation, the application of a protective varnish is recommended. This varnish acts as an additional barrier against environmental elements, helping to maintain the integrity of the patina and prolong the durability of Corten steel. As a result, using a varnish on Corten steel not only preserves its distinctive aesthetic appearance, but also ensures its longevity and corrosion resistance, ensuring its long-term value in various architectural and structural.

How to maintain varnished Corten steel and extend its lifespan?

To maintain varnished Corten steel and extend its lifespan, several measures can be taken. First of all, it is essential to regularly clean the steel surface with water and a mild detergent to remove dirt, dust and residue that could accumulate and compromise the effectiveness of the protective varnish. Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners which could damage the coating. Additionally, inspect the steel periodically for signs of varnish deterioration, such as chips or areas of wear, and apply touch-ups as necessary to maintain the integrity of the protection. If significant damage to the coating occurs, it may be necessary to strip and repaint the steel surface to restore its protection. In addition, it is recommended to regularly check the fixings and joints around Corten steel parts to ensure that they are well sealed and in good condition, to prevent any moisture infiltration which could compromise the durability of the material . By following these regular maintenance practices and making necessary repairs in a timely manner, it is possible to effectively extend the life of varnished Corten steel and preserve its unique aesthetic appearance while maintaining its corrosion resistance.

Steps in preparing the steel surface before applying the varnish?

Before applying a varnish to Corten steel, careful preparation of the surface is essential to ensure optimal adhesion and effective protection. Typical preparation steps include first thoroughly cleaning the steel surface to remove any dirt, grease, oil or other contaminants. This can be achieved using a mild detergent and water, followed by rinsing thoroughly to remove any residue.

Next, it is often necessary to remove any traces of rust or old paint present on the surface of the steel. This can be achieved by using abrasive tools such as sandpaper, a wire brush or chemical stripper, making sure to completely remove damaged areas until the surface is even and smooth.

Once the steel surface is clean and free of any contamination or deterioration, it is recommended to apply a primer specially formulated for metals. The primer helps improve varnish adhesion and provides an additional layer of protection against corrosion.

Finally, after letting the primer dry according to the manufacturer's instructions, you can proceed to apply the varnish. Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding dilution, application temperature and drying time for best results.

In summary, the steps for preparing the surface of Corten steel before applying varnish include thorough cleaning, removal of rust or old paint, application of a suitable primer, and finally the application of the varnish according to the manufacturer's instructions. This careful preparation guarantees optimal protection of Corten steel and prolongs its durability in various applications.