10 good reasons for galvanizing

Hot Dip Galvanizing is the proven way to protect steel from corrosion. It’s tough, durable and sustainable and provides more than 50 years maintenance free life in most environments. At Galco we provide a fast and friendly service for all customers large and small with excellent value for money. Typical lead-times 3-5 days.

Here are 10 good reasons for Hot Dip Galvanizing

1. Competitive first cost

For many applications the cost of galvanizing is lower than that of applying alternative coatings. Furthermore, galvanizing has been getting steadily cheaper compared with painting. The reason is simple: alternatives – particularly painting – are very labour intensive compared with galvanizing which is a highly mechanized, closely controlled factory process.

2. Lowest lifetime cost

Low initial cost and long life make galvanizing the most versatile and economic way of protecting steel for long periods (50+ years). There are bonuses from no maintenance of extended maintenance intervals: fewer problems in access in remote areas, difficult terrain or when buildings are closely packed together, also there are safety restrictions e.g. electricity pylons. Maintenance can be difficult or impossible in some circumstances because of access or the need to close down a continuously operating installation such as a petrochemical plant or electrical transmission towers , or structures in emote areas. Costs over 25 years clearly show the advantages of hot dip galvanizing over other processes.

3. Long life / Durability

Well documented years of experience have proved the benefits of hot dip galvanized protection. It offers maintenance free life of 50 years or more. When maintenance eventually becomes necessary, it is relatively straightforward: no complex preparation treatments are necessary. Marine installations are among the applications where hot dip galvanizing has proved its value over many years. Lives of galvanized coatings are long and predictable for most environments.

4. Reliability

The process is relatively simple, straightforward and closely controlled. The thickness (weights) of coatings formed are regular, predictable and simply specified.

5. Speed of application

A full protection coating can be applied in minutes, a 4-coat paint system requires a week. Galvanizing baths are available in many sizes and shapes to treat most sorts of steelwork – small fabrications in bulk, large fabrications and single beams.

6. Coating toughness

Galvanizing is unique: the hot dip process produces a coating which is bonded metallurgically to the steel. No other coating process has this feature, and as a result galvanized steel has by far the greatest resistance to mechanical damage during handling, storage, transport and erection – an important factor where steelwork is to be shipped across the world. Furthermore, the toughness of this protection makes it particularly suitable for use in situations where abrasion could be a problem. Steel may be damaged but protection by hot dip galvanizing remains. In the unique metallurgically bonded structure the pure zinc cushions the blow, and the alloy layers – harder than the steel – provide toughness.

7. Complete coverage

Because it is formed by dipping steel in molten zinc, all parts of the surface of the steel are coated – inside, outside, awkward corners, and narrow gaps which would be impossible to protect in any other way. In addition the coating builds up at vital corners and edges – rather than thinning out as do brushed, sprayed and other dipped coatings. Corner protection with hot dip galvanizing is excellent as is protection on all surfaces of complex structures such as heat exchangers and hollow sections.

8. Three-way protection

Galvanized coatings protect steel in three ways. Firstly the coating weathers at a very slow rate giving a long and predictable life. Secondly, the coating corrodes preferentially to provide cathodic (sacrificial) protection to any small areas of steel  exposed during drilling, cutting or accidental damage; scratches are sealed by weathering products from the zinc. Thirdly, if the damaged area is larger, the sacrificial protection prevents the sideways creep of rust which can undermine paint coatings. Where accidental damage has occurred the electrochemical properties of zinc and iron ensure that this does not act as a focus of corrosion. Zinc protection at small brakes is unique in `self healing` while on other coatings small breaks lead to rapid failure.

9. Ease of inspection

Galvanized steel simplifies inspection of the protective finish. The nature of the process is such that if the coating looks continuous and sound, it is so. Thicknesses (weights) can be easily checked with a magnetic probe or other simple non-destructive testing gauge.

10. Faster construction

Galvanized steel is ready for use. No further site surface preparation, painting, touch up or inspection is necessary. Once erected the galvanized steel is ready for use: and cladding can begin immediately, thus accelerating  the construction programme. All types of building involving steel benefit from faster erection and minimal on-site finishing – both for steel frames, and for space-frame roof structures. The steelwork can be clad immediately after erection.

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