There are many important reasons to consider hot dip galvanizing for protecting steel. The reasons range from longevity to cost-effectiveness, complete coverage to application speed. In this article, we explore each of these reasons and more.
Hot dip galvanizing provides exceptional longevity and durability, with the finish lasting anywhere from 34 to 170 years, depending on the environment. Not only does this create a maintenance-free surface, but it also reduces the carbon emissions associated with maintaining non-galvanized steel.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to protect steel, hot dip galvanizing is the answer, with lower costs than other coating applications. In fact, according to the Galvanizer’s Association, “Over a 25-year project life, the cost of a ‘cheaper’ paint system is almost 70% more than the cost of galvanizing. Likewise, the cost of a more ‘expensive’ paint system is almost double that of galvanizing.”
Painting steelwork can be highly labour-intensive, whereas the cost of the hot dip galvanizing process is relatively low. There is also very low waste in galvanizing compared to other methods.
Hot dip galvanizing is the most versatile and economical way of protecting steel for long periods. In addition, when a fabrication has been hot dip galvanized, the low maintenance requirements are advantageous when steels are in remote or difficult-to-access areas.
Imagine a bridge made from non-galvanized steel. It would need maintenance every year to protect it from rust and corrosion. It would also need repainting at regular intervals. This requires paint, a workforce, transport for the workers and a means to protect the land or water below from paint contamination. It’s time-consuming and expensive. This maintenance is unnecessary if the same bridge is made from galvanized steel.
In addition to its cost-effectiveness, hot dip galvanizing offers complete coverage for all steel parts, inside and out. When steel dips into a bath of molten zinc, the entire piece of metal, including hard-to-reach corners, narrow gaps, and hollow sections, is uniformly covered with a coating of equal thickness. This results in more reliable and long-lasting protection than other coatings, such as paint systems, which cannot achieve the same uniformity.
Hot dip galvanizing also enhances the toughness of steel, with the zinc coating metallurgically bonding to the metal, and becoming part of the structure. This is especially important for steel used in transportation and construction that is often stored, moved, handled, and susceptible to damage. Hot dip galvanized steel is far less likely to be affected by potential damage.
The hot dip galvanizing process is rapid. The protective coating is applied in just a few hours. And this includes prepping the steel for the galvanizing process.
Hot dip galvanizing also helps to keep construction projects on track. Once the steel is galvanized, it can be erected on-site immediately. There’s no need to wait days for the coat to dry.
When checking the quality of galvanized steel, the inspection process is straightforward. The zinc layer’s thickness is measured using an electronic probe to ensure it complies with BS EN ISO 1461 – the British Standard for hot dip galvanized coatings.
Finally, hot dip galvanizing is an environmentally friendly process. Once a galvanized structure reaches the end of its life, it can be melted and repurposed without losing quality. The zinc coating can also be reused and recycled, minimising waste, and reducing the environmental impact of the process.
In addition, the galvanizing process itself is environmentally friendly. At Premier Galvanizing, our plants are self-contained; steel goes in at one end, and the final product comes out at the other. As a result, we can control emission levels and repurpose excess waste products.
Given all these benefits, it’s easy to see why hot dip galvanizing is the smart choice for protecting steel.
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