Hot Dip Galvanizing: Process, Applications & Properties


Hot dip galvanizing is a unique process that protects steel from corrosion by immersing it in a 450ÂșC bath of molten zinc. The zinc is metallurgically fused into the steel itself, becoming part of the steel's surface structure by forming tough zinc-iron alloy layers that are actually harder than the base metal, as well as outer protective layers of purer solidified zinc.


The immersion process ensures a uniform coating that completely covers the entire surface area, including recesses, returns and internal surfaces. The mass and composition of the steel automatically determines an even coating thickness. Galvanized coatings are slightly thicker on corners and edges offering an advantage over organic paint coatings which thin out in these critical areas.


Galvanizing provides unmatched durability and abrasion resistance. Where there is any damage to the galvanized surface, protection to the steel is maintained by the surrounding zinc's unique cathodic or sacrificial protection properties.


Metallic zinc is highly resistant to the corrosive action of the environment and to attack over a wide pH range. For this reason, galvanized steel is widely used in harsh locations such as coastal regions and for industrial structures. Depending on the environment, the uniform thickness of galvanized coatings provides a predictable rate of corrosion between 1/17th to 1/80th the rate of uncoated steel. In addition, the natural build-up of a surface patina of stable, inert compounds adds an extra resistant level of barrier protection.


By contrast, organic paint coatings applied to steel require frequent and costly renewal, and often fail to cover hard-to-reach surface areas. When these coatings are breached, corrosion begins at the exposed area of steel, often spreading under the coating layer undetected.


Hot dip galvanizing provides unbeatable barrier protection for steel. It greatly reduces maintenance costs and ensures extended service life. In turn, this reduces energy and resource demands on the environment and offers a sustainable, 100% recyclable, environmentally-friendly solution.

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