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August 14, 2022 2 min read

What is Patina and is it a good thing?

When your Crucible outdoor fire pit arrives from Firebrand, it will be all steely black and pristine. No doubt, you will be eager to get outside and enjoy your maiden burn. Then, after a few weeks of use, you will notice that your fire pit is beginning to look a little different. This means the patina, a brown film on the surface of the steel, is taking hold and that is what makes your Firebrand BBQ fire pit so unique.

How does patina form?

It may look like magic, but patina is simply natural chemistry. It is a tarnish on an exterior surface that most typically occurs on steel, bronze, copper, and other metals. After being exposed to weathering such as water, wind, ice, and extreme temperatures, the metal develops patina for protection. It then begins the oxidation process, which eventually results in a discolouring on the surface.

While this process changes the appearance of your wood fire pit, it is also adding protection from corrosion damage; much like a decay-prevention technique. The Crucible outdoor fire pit is made from Corten steel, which develops patina over time. It is unlike unalloyed steels that have a porous oxide top layer, which holds moisture. This causes rust that weakens the structural integrity of metals. Corten is a steel alloy that resists corrosion by forming patina that stops deeper rust penetration. Although the patina may start to look like rust, this is its aesthetic appeal.

What will patina look like on my BBQ fire pit?

Patina is caused by oxidation, which occurs when chemicals react with oxygen, resulting in colour changes. This is something you will notice over time. Many hues will occur as a result of the patina formation. The patina will deepen with each use and vary in colour and intensity, which is impossible to imitate. This in no way implies that your fire pit is flawed; rather, it has gained a bit of character.

The robust Corten steel will acquire deep, rich brown and honey hues after months of outdoor exposure, providing decades of protection so you can look forward to making new memories wherever you take your portable fire pit.

Should I clean patina off my steel fire pit?

You won’t need to worry about polishing your Crucible outdoor fire pit. It is actually discouraged as you want to allow the natural process to do its work and mature the patina. However, it is recommended to clean the inside and remove wood ash after enjoying a snug camp fire to avoid a build-up of abrasive elements.

The patina represents every memory made around your backyard fire pit and it is guaranteed to stand the test of time. There is nothing like the appearance and feel of something that truly wears history.