The Advantages and Disadvantages of Galvanized Steel

As life continues to become increasingly complex, the methods we use to create products must also improve. Gone are the days where many were content in simple, small homes, brick roads and buildings that were only a few floors tall. Now, we find ourselves in an age where everything is complex, with the mansion sized homes, bridges stretching over rough rivers and buildings reaching up into the clouds. With progress such as this, simple wood and brick building methods can no longer cut it. So we have turned to strong and durable metals, one in particular that can be useful, is galvanized steel.
Galvanized steel is steel that has undergone chemical processing in order to make it corrosion resistant. It is coated with layers of zinc oxide which will provide it with a protective surface that can protect the metal from rusting and give it a more durable and scratch free finish. There are a few methods that can be used to create this product; the most popular is through hot-dipped galvanization. In this method, the galvanized steel is created from submerging the steel into melted zinc. This process allows the zinc to permanently bond to the metal, not only on the surface, but within the steel itself, making a secure and complete bond. Other methods include continuous sheet galvanizing, painting or spraying on the zinc and electroplating.
Using processing such as galvanization can be incredibly beneficial to the steel. When it is finished, the layer of zinc is able to protect the metal in two main ways. First, through fighting of rust, and then by providing an extra layer the rust must go through if it becomes contaminated. Rust can be easily caused by the iron in steel reacting with oxygen and water which will lead to the object deteriorating. With zinc coating, it is harder for these elements to cause such a reaction. If however, it does manage to become corroded, the zinc layer will be damaged first, providing a longer lasting product.
While it may sound like the perfect material, it does come with its disadvantages, so consulting a steel service center before purchase can be the way to go. Issues that can arise include the fact that not all objects can be hot-dipped. Some may be too large or even to small, making the process impossible. Other forms of galvanization could be used in such instances, but they are not able to provide the same level of protection or last as long, making them undesirable. Another disadvantage can occur is in processing. If done incorrectly, for example if they are cooled to quickly, the zinc has the possibility of peeling or chipping off.
Like all metals and materials, zinc will wear eventually, and this can occur more quickly in situations where it might be exposed to the elements frequently, such as rain or salt water, so they should be regularly checked on when in use in such situations. When done right, and applied in the right way, galvanized steel is the perfect option in countless industries. It can benefit construction, industrial, marine and other industries, providing a strong, reliable metal that can be depended on.