Saturday, May 14, 2016

Weathering steel, Cor-Ten and the IBCC

click photo to enlarge
It's interesting how company trade marks can come to be generic descriptions, for example, Hoover for vacuum cleaner, Tannoy for loud speaker and Biro for ball-point pen. A current example in the making of this phenomenon is Cor-Ten to describe weathering steel. For quite a while now sculptures and other exterior structures have been made of this kind of steel that weathers to produce a rusted and rustic looking exterior that then serves as a protection. In the UK the sculpture called "Angel of the North" was one of the first widely-known examples making use of weathering steel.

On our recent visit to the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln we admired not only the commemorative walls erected in this material, but also the "spire" that identifies the location from afar. The height of this hollow, spike-like structure is 31.09 metres (102 feet), the length of the wingspan of the Avro Lancaster bomber that was the mainstay of Bomber Command during WW2. Its width at the base is 16 feet, the width of the Lancaster's wing. This too is made of weathering steel and will be the focal point of the Centre for decades to come.

The whole site is currently under construction. During our guided tour I took today's photograph from inside the spire looking upwards.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Memorial Spire, International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.) crop
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On