SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Atmospheric Corrosion Rates of Weathering Steels at Test Sites in the Eastern United States — Effect of Environment and Test-Panel Orientation


To obtain long-term atmospheric corrosion data for weathering steels such as ASTM A 242 Type 1 (USS COR-TEN A) and ASTM A 588 Gr. A (USS COR-TEN B), an exposure program was initiated in which test panels were exposed for up to sixteen years at three corrosion test sites in the eastern United States. A unique feature of this program was that test panels were exposed in four different orientations (30°S, 30°N, 90°S, 90°N) at each site. The results confirmed the superior resistance of the weathering steels as compared to that of copper-bearing steel and carbon steel under virtually all the test conditions, with the A 242 steel being the most corrosion resistant. Overall, the rural test site (Potter County, PA), which is in line with the prevailing winds carrying acid-rain constituents from the middle western United States, was about twice as corrosive to these steels as was the urban-industrial site (Kearny, NJ), whereas the moderate-marine site (Kure Beach, NC, 250 m) was about ten times as corrosive as was the urban-industrial site. With respect to the effect of test panel orientation, the south-facing panels tended to show lower corrosion rates than did the north-facing panels at all the test sites. Also, in most cases, the inclined (30°) panels showed lower rates than did the vertical (90°) panels.

Author Information

Coburn, SK
Corrosion Consultants, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Komp, ME
, Monroeville, PA
Lore, SC
COR-TEN Marketing and Technical Services, USX Engineers and Consultants Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
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Developed by Committee: G01
Pages: 101–113
DOI: 10.1520/STP14915S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5302-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2015-0