Understanding the Differences Between Galvanised Steel vs Corten Steel

Understanding the Differences Between Galvanised Steel vs Corten SteelSteel is renowned for its durability and the strength that it can lend to the structures it is used in. However, steel can come in many variants, and it can be difficult for the uninitiated to know the differences between different types of steel. If you’re interested in doing a DIY project with steel, it is crucial for you to first understand the differences between different types of steel so that you can choose the most suitable one.

In this post, we take a closer look at the main differences between galvanised steel and Corten steel, two of the most popular types of steel when it comes to building and construction.

What is Galvanised Steel?

Galvanised steel is steel that has been treated with a protective layer of zinc on its outer surface. This gives it an additional layer of protection from the elements because while zinc may not have the strength and durability of steel, it is by far more resistant to corrosion and weathering. Galvanised steel is most commonly created through a process known as hot-dip galvanisation, where steel is dipped directly in a bath of molten zinc, which then forms a protective layer on the steel.

What is Corten Steel?

In contrast to galvanised steel, Corten steel is an alloy of steel that has a unique blend of materials, including copper, chromium, nickel, phosphorus, manganese and silicon that enables it to form a layer of rust on its outer surface, which is also known as a patina. This layer of rust is not detrimental to the steel and is, in fact, protective, helping to prevent damage to the underlying layers of steel.

Applications of Galvanised Steel vs Corten Steel

While both galvanised steel and Corten steel are highly durable and strong, they are each more suited to different applications. Some of the common applications of steel include:

Art Installations and Sculptures

For steel-based art installations and sculptures, Corten steel is by far a more suitable choice. This is because its unique patina gives it a rustic charm and is reminiscent of architecture from the 20th century.

Landscaping and Outdoor Applications

Both Corten steel and galvanised steel are suitable for landscaping and outdoor applications because they both have a protective layer that enhances their resistance to corrosion. Steel used in outdoor applications is often exposed to the elements and would thus need to be able to withstand it. Ultimately, the choice between Corten steel and galvanised steel for this purpose comes down to the question of which appeals more to you aesthetically.

Sourcing for Steel

Whether it is galvanised steel or Corten steel, it is crucial for you to ensure that you source your steel from a reputable retailer. RW Steel is a leading supplier of steel in Melbourne, and we offer only the highest quality of steel. We’re also able to help you cut your steel to any size with our on-site bandsaw at no extra cost. Contact us today for more information!