There are many benefits to hot dip galvanizing. Read about them below:
Untreated mild steel will rust in days when exposed to air and water. Without a protective coating, it has a short life span and will begin to rust quickly. Hot dip galvanizing provides corrosion protection as it coats the steel in a layer of zinc, which acts as an initial protective barrier.
The protection doesn’t stop here, though. Over time, the zinc chemically reacts with the environment to form an additional third layer called a zinc patina, providing extra protection for the steel.
Not all metal coatings provide complete coverage. During the galvanizing process however, when steel gets dipped into a bath of molten zinc, the entire piece of metal, including the corners, edges and the insides of hollow sections, is covered in a uniform coating of equal thickness. This is crucial as it’s essential to prevent any steel part from becoming weak through exposure to the elements.
One way to protect metal is to coat it with numerous layers of paint. This is a slow process, as paint takes time to dry and harden. In comparison, a hot dip galvanized coating happens in minutes. As soon as steel lifts from a galvanizing bath, the zinc solidifies.
A hot dip galvanized finish gives steel a long life and durability which lasts for decades. In addition, it creates a maintenance-free finish, which lessens the costs and carbon emissions usually associated with the upkeep of non-galvanized steel.
The galvanizing process itself is also environmentally friendly. Galvanizing plants are self-contained, with steel going in at one end and the final product coming out at the other. Find out more here.
Once a galvanized structure – such as a house or fencing – reaches its end of life, it can be melted, repurposed, and repeatedly used without losing quality.
The galvanized coating protects the steel from impact and abrasion when disassembled and reassembled.
Finally, galvanized steel fits nicely into a circular economy because it can be melted and used repeatedly without losing quality if there is no immediate need for repurposing.
The zinc coating can also be reused. For example, zinc and steel are recycled in well-established steel recycling processes. The zinc particulates are returned, without loss of properties, to zinc production plants, where they are incorporated into zinc ingots and reused in the galvanizing process.