What’s best: Sea water, lemon juice or vinegar?

16 July 2012

As part of the development of a 200m long sculptural weathered steel ribbon for our New Library and Teaching Building in Oxford we have been exploring ways of achieving the right finish to the surface. Working with contractor Laing O’Rourke and metalworker Glazzard shot blasted steel plates have been subjected to various treatments to accelerate the process of rusting. This has included sea water, vinegar (Sarsons and a supermarket own brand!) as well as lemon juice.  In the end the simple twice daily spraying of water for a period of a week, followed by the application of a special rust inhibitor achieved the desired results.

The ribbon is currently in production and is due on site shortly.  The below image illustrates the extent of the ribbon as it weaves it’s way through the heart of the building.

Design Engine Ribbon