Qinghe Steel offers a wide selection of galvanized steel angles, galvanized steel channels, galvanized steel beams, galvanized steel tubes, bars, galvanized steel sheet & plate in ready to ship mill and precut lengths that can be view online by clicking the desired shape below. If your project requires a special size or larger quantity, just give us a call as we provide custom galvanizing. View our steel center here.
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What's the Galvanized Steel?
Galvanized Steel is a lower-cost alternative to achieve long -lasting corrosive protection for your projects. Galvanization is a post-manufacturing or finishing, the process used to delay steel corrosion, particularly from rusting and accidental damage. The galvanizing process results in a thick, durable outer layer of zinc on the substrate(Check out our carbon steel) or steel. This outer layer can protect the underlying steel from a variety of damages.
Different methods of galvanizing
When steel is brought into contact with molten zinc, a chemical reaction takes place, which bonds zinc on the surface of the steel. Thus, a zinc layer over steel acts as a layer that protects it from being corroded. The most common method of applying a zinc coating over steel is hot dip galvanization; however, there are various other processes that are also used for galvanizing steel, such as:
- Hot dip galvanization – In this method, a steel sheet is dipped in a bath of molten zinc kept at a temperature of 860°F (460°C). When the steel comes into contact with this molten zinc, an iron zinc alloy is formed and when the steel sheet is taken out in a normal atmosphere, zinc oxide is formed, which prevents corrosion.
- Zinc electroplating – In this method, a steel sheet is dipped into the zinc ion solution and an electric current is passed through it, which uniformly spreads the zinc ion solution on the metal sheet.
- Mechanical plating – In this method, zinc powder, along with glass beads and a special reducing agent, are coated on the steel sheet, which bonds zinc particles on the surface of the sheet.
Benefits of Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel is most commonly used for construction. Galvanizing achieves the following two lines of defense:
- Low initial cost compared to most treated steels. In addition, galvanized steel is immediately ready to use when delivered. It does not require additional preparation of the surface, inspections, painting/coatings, etc. sparing companies more costs on their end.
- Longer life. With galvanization, a piece of industrial steel is expected to last more than 50 years in average environments, and can last over 20 years with severe water exposure. There is no maintenance required. The increased durability of the steel's finished product also increases the product's reliability.
- The sacrificial anode ensures that any damaged steel is protected by the surrounding zinc coating. It doesn't matter if the steel section is completely exposed; the zinc will still corrode first. The coating will corrode preferentially to the steel, creating a sacrificial protection to the areas that are damaged.
- Rust resistance from the zinc coating. The iron elements in steel are incredibly prone to rusting, but the addition of zinc acts as a protective buffer between the steel and any moisture or oxygen. Galvanized steel is very protective, including sharp corners and recesses that couldn't be protected with other coatings, making it resistant to damage.
Galvanized Steel Spangle Variations
Common variations of galvanized spangle include:
- Spangle-Free/Zero Spangle -- Zinc-coated steel sheet where spangle is not visible to the naked eye. Also known as zinc-free plating.
- Minimized Spangle -- Spangle pattern is not eye-visible. Diameter of each spangle is less than 2mm.
- Normal/Regular Spangle -- Spangle that is visible, with diameters of at least 3mm up to 12mm.
- Large Spangle -- Spangle diameters over 15mm.
- Super Formability -- The raw materials in coil formsare continuously annealed, galvanized, and properly leveled, granting final products superior formability.
Cooling methods, zinc chemistry, and substrate smoothness can factor into spangle size.
Disadvantages of Galvanized Steel
- Galvanizing is an inexpensive way to extend the lifespan of steel products. . However, hot-dip galvanizing is not ideal for every project.
- Galvanizing cannot protect steel components and steel parts that are constantly exposed to corrosive substances, such as acid and acid rain. Acid can chemically react with the zinc coating. Such reaction is particularly harmful in the food industry.
- Galvanizing has other limits. Salty environments, salt water and prolonged exposure to weather can shorten the lifetime of galvanized barriers. The lifespan of galvanized steel in these circumstances is much shorter than that of galvanized steel applied in more benign environments.
Overall, galvanized steel is a smart alternative to pricier metals like stainless steel and aluminum, when appropriately applied. They are well-protected from corrosion and provide the strength necessary for a variety of heavy-duty projects.
Galvanized metals are used everywhere!
- The bodies of cars and many bicycles are made from galvanized metals. Some drinking water pipes are still made from galvanized steel. Cool rolled sheet metal is also frequently galvanized.
- Nuts, bolts, tools, and wires of all kinds are now galvanized because it is a cheap process, and definitely helps boost the metal's lifespan!
- Galvanized steel, in particular, is often what is used in modern "steel frame" buildings. Galvanized steel is also used to create structures like balconies, verandahs, staircases, ladders, walkways, and more.
- Galvanized metal is a great choice if your project will live outside after it's done. Fences, roofs, and outdoor walkways, are all great choices for galvanized metal!
Qinghe Steel stocks a wide range of galvanized steel for your specific project needs. We offer quick delivery throughout the world. Contact us today to discuss galvanized steel for your project needs.
Galvanized Steel FAQ
Does Galvanized Steel Rust?
While galvanized steel provides a protective zinc-oxide barrier, eventually even galvanized steel will rust. The question remains how quickly galvanized steel will rust, with some galvanization lasting upwards of 50 years or more. Some factors that increase corrosion include:
- Outdoor environmental issues such as saltwater or humidity.
- Atmospheric considerations like natural gas or acid rain.
- Temperature fluctuations.
- Air pollution.
What are corrosion-resistant metals?
Stainless steel types, such as 304 or 316, are a mix of elements, and most contain some amount of iron, which quickly oxidizes to form rust. But many stainless steel alloys also have a high percentage of chromium – at least 18 percent – which is even more reactive than iron. The chromium oxidizes quickly to form a protective layer of chromium oxide on the metal surface. This oxide layer resists corrosion while preventing oxygen from reaching the underlying steel. Other elements in the alloy, such as nickel and molybdenum, add to its rust resistance.
Copper, Bronze, and Brass
These three metals contain little or no iron and do not rust, but they can react with oxygen. Copper oxidizes over time to form a green patina, protecting the metal from further corrosion. Bronze is a mixture of copper and tin and small amounts of other elements and is naturally much more resistant to corrosion than copper. Brass is an alloy of copper, zinc, and other factors, resisting corrosion.
Galvanized steel takes a long time to rust, but it will eventually rust. This type is carbon steel that has been galvanized or coated with a thin layer of zinc. The zinc acts as a barrier preventing oxygen and water from reaching the steel, providing advanced corrosion protection. Even if the zinc coating is scratched off, it protects nearby areas of the underlying steel through cathodic conservation and by forming a protective layer of zinc oxide.