Rust on Your Shipping Container Is Not a Bad Thing

If you’re searching for shipping containers for sale, you have or you may have heard the term “weathering steel” or “Cor-Ten Steel.” This is usually the kind of metal utilized in the making of shipping containers, but why the two titles you may ask? In this instance it is like the difference between Kleenex and tissue. Cor-Ten steel is the brand name United States Steel utilized in the 1930’s while weathering steel was developed to be utilized on the railroads. Nowadays, as other steel manufacturers make a comparable product they refer to it a weathering steel.

ASTM A242 Type 2 Plates, A242 Type 2 Corten Steel Plates

Cor-Ten Steel is an extremely robust and dependable product which had been designed to remove the need to be painted. Weathering steel regulates the rate at which oxygen in the environment can respond with the surface of the steel. Iron and steel both deteriorate in the presence of air and water, non-weather-resisting steels contain a somewhat porous layer that tends to maintain moisture and encourage deterioration Korten. With time, this rust layer will de-laminate the metal, exposing the surface and producing a steady pattern of corrosion damage or rust as we know it. Cor-Ten Steel displays remarkable deterioration resistance over regular carbon steel due to occurrence of a stable rust-like appearance when subjected to the environment for a few years. When the rust layer forms the protection starts! Weathering steels are now utilized in a variety of uses, in addition to shipping containers, weathering steel may be found in bridges, rail cars, transmission towers, and chimneys. It’s also very popular with sculptors and as an architectural characteristic.

Using Cor-Ten Steel does present some challenges. Ensuring that welds weather at the same rate as the other materials will need specific low alloy welding rods and welding methods; fasteners also need to be fabricated from weathering steel. Weathering steel is not rustproof in itself, if water is able to accumulate in pockets or dents, these locations will experience greater corrosion rates, so provision for drainage should be made or dents on horizontal surfaces have to be restored. Weathering steel is sensitive to salt-laden air environments. In these conditions, it’s possible that the shielding layer may not strengthen but instead continue to decay.

Obviously all shipping containers are painted, so why use a steel product that specifically doesn’t need to be painted? As we know, containers live a hard life, any coated finish will inevitably be affected due to loading and offloading along with the containers rubbing against each other as they are loaded eight units high on the shifting vessel bringing them over the ocean. Any damage to the paint finish in the hard conditions will eventually display a little rust (as designed) but the corrosion will end there and the container will live out a lengthy functional existence.

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