Hot dip galvanizing protects steel from corrosion, provides longevity and toughness, complete coverage, and is fast, economical, and sustainable. These are all excellent reasons why steel should be galvanized.
We explore these – and some other – reasons below.
Longevity – In most cases, hot dip galvanizing provides a maintenance-free life of over 40 years, environment dependant. The coating weathers very slowly, usually around 1 to 1.5 microns annually throughout the country. If maintenance eventually becomes necessary, no complex preparation treatments are required. The maintenance programme is straightforward.
Competitive first cost – Compared to many applications, the cost of hot dip galvanizing is lower than that of applying an alternative coating. Painting steelwork can be highly labour-intensive, whereas hot dip galvanizing is relatively low. There is also very low wastage in galvanizing compared to other processes.
Lowest lifetime cost – The low initial cost and longevity of hot dip galvanizing ensure this corrosion protection system 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.
Speed of application – The hot dip galvanizing process is rapid; a complete protection coating can be applied in hours, including preparing the steel by acid pickle. An alternative paint system can require more than a week, including drying time.
Coating toughness – Galvanized coatings do not suffer the effects of scraping and chipping that can occur on painted fabrications. During hot dip galvanizing, the zinc is bonded metallurgically to the steel, becoming part of the structure. As a result, hot dip galvanized steel is far less likely to be affected by damage, especially during handling, storage, transport and construction.
Complete coverage – Unlike painted systems, hot dip galvanizing ensures all steel parts are coated. The zinc coats the inside and outside, as well as awkward corners and narrow gaps, ordinarily impossible to protect in any other way.
Ease of inspection – The inspection of hot dip galvanized steel is straightforward. Checking the thickness of the zinc on the galvanized product is specified through BS EN ISO 1461 and can be quickly inspected with an electronic probe.
Faster construction – Once steel has been hot dip galvanized, if required, onsite erection can take place immediately without delay. The benefit of not requiring ‘touch-up’ or any other processes can help reduce site times.