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Corten steel Melbourne - Metfab

Corten Steel: Is it Really Expensive?

Corten Steel is a unique addition to your garden, architectural endeavours, or upcoming art installation you've been dreaming of. But the lingering question remains: Is it expensive?

As someone who has meticulously shaped and welded metals in the heart of Melbourne for more than two decades, I understand the weight behind the investment in quality materials.

And if you ask if it is worth the investment, of course it is!

Table of Contents

    What Exactly is a Corten Steel?

    Now that we've piqued your interest in Corten Steel let's delve deeper into its essence. Corten steel, which gets its name from its two main characteristics of tensile strength (TEN) and corrosion resistance (COR), differs from your typical building material. It is a force to be reckoned with in the metalworking industry, providing a unique combination of strength and visual appeal.

    Fundamentally, Corten steel is a low-alloy, high-strength steel whose composition encourages the development of a protective layer that resembles rust when exposed to the weather. This layer is a built-in barrier to stop additional corrosion and gives Corten steel its unique look. Unlike conventional steel, which rusts naturally, this purposeful rusting is evidence of the material's durability and adaptability rather than a sign of weakness.

    Properties of Corten Steel

    In my years working with metals, one alloy has continually stood out for its unique properties—Corten steel. It's more than just material; it's a story waiting to unfold in every project it graces.

    Resistance to Corrosion

    While other metals would be afraid of rust, Corten steel does not. It feeds on it. Rust builds on its surface over time as a barrier against the weather. It's amazing to see how this coating develops into a unique, worn patina that gives each piece a unique personality and provides protection.

    Tensile Strength

    Working with Corten steel makes you feel it is resilient, strong, and able to withstand stress like a well-seasoned warrior. Because of its strength may be relied upon for various purposes, such as creating intricate designs that require longevity or making architectural features that must withstand the test of time.


    It reacts favourably to standard welding techniques, enabling construction and design freedom. Because of its weldability, many opportunities arise, allowing you to realise your imaginative concepts through minute details and personalised touches.

    Aesthetic Charm

    The warm, earthy tones it acquires with age have a natural beauty. It takes more than just building things to create works of art that mix perfectly with their surroundings and tell a visual story. Corten steel is used as a medium for artistic expression by architects and artists because of its aesthetic appeal.


    An added benefit of Corten Steel is its climate tolerance. It is not afraid of the dry heat of arid places or the salty air of the seashore. It is a dependable option no matter where your projects take you because it is sturdy and versatile.


    And what's the best aspect? The little upkeep. Making things using Corten steel is more than simply making something durable—it's about making things that age beautifully and require little maintenance. Generally, regular cleaning and the odd inspection are sufficient to maintain the finest possible appearance for Corten steel structures.

    Is Corten Steel Expensive?

    Unquestionably unique, corten steel gives landscapes, architectural wonders, and art installations a dash of rustic elegance. It is important to consider the cost associated with this uniqueness, though. Remember that the investment in Corten steel goes beyond just money as we delve into its nuances—it's an investment in durability, beauty, and longevity.

    To provide a ballpark figure for your budgeting, we frequently advise our clients to budget between $600 and $1,200 per tonne for Corten steel. This ballpark estimate is meant to be used as a guide, considering the project's size, preferred finishes, and material thickness. Although the initial investment might appear high, Corten Steel's real worth shows its capacity to withstand weathering and hold onto its aesthetic appeal over time.

    Corten steel design at home - Metfab

    Properties Affecting Corten Steel Prices

    After working directly with Corten Steel for many years, I've learned to respect the several aspects that contribute to its cost. It's a delicate dance influenced by several qualities that might swing the cost in different directions; it's not just about the material itself.

    Thickness of Material

    I've noticed that the price of the Corten steel directly correlates with its thickness choice. Although thicker materials are typically more expensive, they also offer more durability. Finding the ideal thickness for your project without sacrificing structural integrity requires careful consideration.

    Project Size

    When it comes to Corten steel projects, size matters. Naturally, larger constructions and more comprehensive installations demand more material, immediately impacting the final cost. This project serves as a lesson in strategic planning—maximising the application of Corten steel to realise your goals without needlessly ballooning the budget.

    Fabrication and Finish

    The ultimate cost is mostly determined by the finish you choose and the complexity of the construction. Be ready to set aside some money from your budget if you want a certain look or complex design. Customizations frequently give a special touch, although they are more expensive.

    Supplier and Location

    Corten steel is available from different sources at different pricing points, so this is something to consider. Your location may also impact the total cost because of delivery and availability. It's a lesson in considering your options and comprehending the peculiarities of the local market.

    Tips for Cost-Effective Use of Corten Steel

    I have a few tricks of the trade for making the most out of this remarkable material without breaking the bank.

    Here are some helpful pointers if you want to add the charm of Corten steel to your projects without going over budget:

    Tip #1: Optimise Design

    • Collaborate closely with your design team to use Corten steel best in your project.
    • In addition to improving aesthetics, strategic design can minimise waste, eventually lowering expenses.

    Tip #2: Consider Standard Sizes

    • Take into consideration using Corten steel sheets or plates in typical sizes.
    • This method reduces the necessary cutting and shaping, giving your project a more affordable alternative.

    Tip #3: Prioritize Necessary Customizations

    • Although customizations give your Corten steel project a distinctive touch, it's important to order them according to necessity.
    • Determine the essential design components that genuinely improve the overall appearance without raising the price.

    Tip #4: Choose an Experienced Fabricator

    • Work together with knowledgeable Corten steel fabricators who are knowledgeable about the material and able to offer effective solutions.
    • A proficient fabricator may minimise material waste and, as a result, save expenses by streamlining the cutting and welding process.

    Tip #5: Consider Prefabrication

    • Prefabrication is an economical method, particularly for conventional components.
    • Lowering labour costs and facilitating effective on-site assembly expedites the building process.

    Tip #6: Regular Maintenance

    • Take the time to learn about Corten Steel's maintenance needs.
    • Frequent maintenance guarantees the material's longevity and averts the need for later, expensive repairs or replacements.

    Tip #7: Explore Local Suppliers

    • Look into local Corten steel sources to save money on shipping.
    • Developing a rapport with local suppliers also leads to prospects for quicker delivery and more favourable terms.

    Tip #8: Educate Your Team

    • Make sure the members of your installation or construction team are knowledgeable about handling Corten steel.
    • Inadequate handling and installation can avoid errors that could result in further costs.



    I can confidently say that Corten steel is more than just a material—it's a versatile and resilient ally in metalworking. While the price may raise eyebrows, its unique properties and aesthetic appeal make it a worthwhile investment to create lasting, eye-catching structures.

    So, if you're pondering whether Corten Steel is the right fit for your next project, consider the factors we've discussed, weigh the costs against the benefits, and prepare to embark on a journey of creativity and durability.
    Corten Steel is a unique addition to your garden, architectural endeavors, or upcoming art installation you've been dreaming of. But the lingering question remains: Is it expensive?

    As someone who has meticulously shaped and welded metals in the heart of Melbourne for more than two decades, I understand the weight behind the investment in quality materials.

    And if you ask if it is worth the investment, of course it is!