What Is Galvanizing And Why Is It important
During hot dip galvanization, the metal to be treated is immersed in molten hot zinc, and the zinc forms a permanent, protective barrier over the metalThe process of cold Galvanizing gets the same outcome, by painting a layer of zinc rich paint onto the metalRather than the metal being exposed to the elements, the zinc in the paint reacts with air and water insteadof the steel beneath it. Both hot dip galvanization and cold Galvanizing are types of cathodic protection – the use of zinc being applied to the steel surface to shield it from water and air
Rust cannot get underneath the protective zinc layer, and even if the object is scratched, the surrounding zinc layer and build-up of zinc corrosion will protect the objectGalvanizing metal also allows the structure to take more heat and stress than non-treated metal.
While both hot and cold methods are very effective forms of protection, they both eventually degrade in a similar way – a white-grey powder will form on the surface as the zinc layer breaks downHowever re-treatment is a quick and simple processOld galvanized metal can easily be repaired and restored with a light abrasion of the surfaceThis will remove rust and zinc corrosion and result in a smooth surface
The amount of zinc in the protective layer is very important for galvanized metalIf an inferior product is used that contains little zinc, there will be no cathodic protection and the metal will be exposed to the elements, resulting in corrosion and loss of functionalityHigh levels of zinc concentration will increase the lifespan of the equipment, so it is important to find a formula that contains over 90% zinc
Marine and salty environments contribute to corrosion, so metal protection is very important in coastal areasMost major Australian cities are build around the coastline, so Australians spend a lot of time and effort preventing corrosionIf there is salt on the road in cold environments, it can damage steel car framesWhile corrosion is inevitable, galvanized metal will continue to be effective and last a long time if properly maintained.
Galvanizing is mainly used in industrial settings to protect metal structures, but it can also be used in the home particularly when working with outdoor furnitureNot only does it protect the metal, it gives a smooth, attractive finishGalvanized metal is also found in steel frame houses, on the roof, in cars and boats
Galvanization is an excellent method for protecting metal and there are relatively few disadvantages to using this methodIt is fairly inexpensive and equipment can easily be re-treated