The Application of Corten in Signage at the Bannockburn Memorial Site

Corten material creates visually striking effects during exposure to the elements. This quality results in Masteel UK Limited receiving a large amount of requests for Corten material from artists, landscape designers, and architects for use in their projects. This article discusses the application of the Corten material at the memorial site for the Battle of Bannockburn in Scotland.

The Brief

A large construction company placed an order with Masteel UK Limited for Corten material to fabricate signage for use at the entrance of the memorial site for the Battle of Bannockburn.

After placing the order, the construction company asked Masteel UK Limited to carry out further fabrication of the signage, and supporting structures, in conjunction with Power System Services, Chesterfield.

At the memorial site, three signs were to be used in total.

Two of the signs were to be displayed at the entrance of the site, whereas the third was to be used as an interpretation wall displaying a timeline of the events taken place during the battle.

Two Corten plates were required for creating the stencilled effect. At first, holes were cut in a 5mm thick plate using laser cutting machinery to make the wording and final design according to the specifications provided by the designers.

Then a 10mm thick flat Corten plate was used to weld the two plates together, thereby creating the stencil text effect into the material.

The Corten material was also used to fabricate the supporting structures, which were then subsequently welded to the signage to finish the artwork.

Chemical Composition and Mechanical properties of Corten

The chemical composition of Corten is given in the following table:

Grade C Si Mn P S Al Cu Cr Ni
Corten A 0.12 0.25/0.75 0.20/0.50 0.07/0.15 0.030 0.015/0.06 0.25/0.55 0.50/1.25 0.65

The following table summarizes the mechanical properties of Corten:

Grade Thickness (mm)
Strip Products
Plate Products Yield Strength Rel N/mm²
Tensile Strength Rm N/mm²
Elongation Aso %
Corten A 2 – 12 6 – 12 345 485 20

Architects Perspective

Corten steel was chosen due to the patina that would develop as the material started to weather. The rust colouring hinting at the archaeology beneath the surface, such as remnants of weapons and armour left after the battle in 1314. The strength of the Corten is used to retain the cutting of earth to the rear, giving the impression that the ground has been peeled back, providing a glimpse to what lies under the visitor's feet.

Site levels determined that an element of retention would be beneficial to the interface between the visitor centre and wider landscape, which was achieved by extending the interpretive experience out onto the café terrace.

Manufactured in sections with integral feet welded to the rear of each panel, the interpretation wall was bolted together on a simple concrete strip foundation, with a waterproofing membrane to the rear. A recess was designed into the profile of the wall to accommodate an LED strip light. Manufacturing off-site allowed precise tolerances to be met, achieving exact angles and the ability of Masteel UK Limited to assemble the sections prior to delivery to site. Machined panels of interpretive text were welded to the face of the wall, giving opportunity to create an element in the landscape that is robust but also striking.

(Provided by Sam Shaw, Ian White Associates)

The Interpretation Wall and perimeter signage produced by Masteel form a significant and integral part of the exterior interpretative scheme at Bannockburn, enhancing the landscape here and helping to create a memorable experience for visitors. Masteel responded positively and creatively to the Lead Designer and client during the production process, and succeeded in delivering a challenging product to site which met the client’s expectations for quality and accuracy

   Tom Ingrey-Counter - National Trust for Scotland      

Design Side

Our concept demanded that the fabricator could provide a rare ability; to be blend effect and robust mechanical design with exacting artistry. We scrutinised the work in progress with the same level of millimetre-perfect scrutiny that we would apply to print materials or computer-generated imagery. Masteel UK Limited was able to respond to our brief and scrutiny in a particularly professional way. I believe the reason for their success is that they spent time to understand and protect the vision of the design team.

(Provided by Chris Walker, Lead Designer, Bright White)


The project demanded a rare ability of blending effect and robust mechanical design with rigorous artistry from the fabricator. The construction company inspected the project with the same level of millimetre-perfect scrutiny that it would apply to computer-generated imagery or print materials. Masteel UK Limited responded well in a professional way. The reason for the success of Masteel UK Limited is that it spares time for understanding and protecting the vision of the design team.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Masteel UK Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit Masteel UK Ltd

Bannockburn Memorial Site

Bannockburn Timeline
Bannockburn Bright White
Corten (in-situ)
3D Corten


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