WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered

This week the theme for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘weathered’.  I have selected two photos of weathering steel to represent this theme.

The first photo is the last part of the sculpture ‘Wide Brown Land’.

Sculpture by Marcus Tatton and Chris Viney (2010), National Aboretum

The sculpture was inspired by Dorothea Mackellar’s famous poem, ‘My Country’, in which she declared her love for her ‘wide brown land’ of Australia.  The sculpture is made from CORTEN steel, which is, apparently, a ‘weathering’ steel.

According to Wikipedia (and it would know), ‘weathering’ refers to the chemical composition of a particular type of steel that improves its resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to other steels.  “The layer protecting the surface [of the steel] develops and regenerates continuously when subjected to the influence of the weather.  In other words, the steel is allowed to rust in order to form the protective coating.”  Let me get this straight – to protect the steel from deteriorating, you introduce a chemical process that causes it to rust through weathering!

My next photo is of a rusting boiler, the last remnants of the SS Monaro, washed ashore at Bingi Point.  Long before fancy coatings were applied to protect it from deterioration, steel weathered the old-fashioned way.  Ultimately, unprotected steel may weather completely away.

In May 1879, the cargo and passenger steamship, the SS Monaro, struck a reef south of Moruya.  The ship broke up before a salvage operation could be carried out.  Only this rusty boiler remains.

10 thoughts on “Steely Land

  1. Dorothea mackellars poem is so steeped in emotion for her love of Australia I love it.and that sculpture of wide brown land is awe inspiring in its size. I never knew about the chemical coating though. Good old google, the know it all guru…

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