Terne Traditional Building

Terne metal for new and historic buildings

Terne metal has historically been used extensively throughout the United States. It is seen often on Colonial era buildings. Formulas from what this product was made have varied. Some include zinc and even lead, but the predominant ingredient has always been tin. Tin is a very noble and non-reactive metal, but by architectural standards too soft on its own, so it is clad over stainless steel to give the rigidity and strength while the surface metal weathers to the soft patina architects love and historians desire.

The terne material we supply is the European version. It is comprised of a thick layer of solid tin over stainless steel. Lead, though historically accurate is of course toxic and not conducive to modern uses. And the other component most often found in American tin, zinc, is not necessary as tin and stainless have all the protective qualities necessary for most environments. Zinc is a less noble and more reactive metal which wears off over time. Tin stays virtually forever.

Terne is prized for its solderability and workability. It is prone to hanging on to fingerprints for a long time, so care and use of gloves when handling is recommended.

Though most of our requests for this material come from historic and / or traditional projects, terne is appropriate for all styles and most environments.

Just like copper and titanium, terne is a material which can be counted on to live through many generations. It is a living, evolving, beautiful and permanent material.

Please scroll through the gallery to view a beautiful terne application on a dome at a university made from our custom created diamond shingles:

Call us today to find out more on how wonderfully terne coated stainless steel material will work for your next project: 801-400-2515