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September 6, 2018
Steel is known for its strength, formability, and versatility. Perhaps that’s why the largest consumer of steel, housing and construction, puts it the most to use everyday . Perhaps it’s due to the fact that galvanized steel is the most durable coating there is.
What exactly is galvanized steel?
Steel is considered galvanized after it goes through the galvanization process. Steel is submerged into liquid zinc whereafter produces a tough, fortifying cover of zinc-iron alloy and zinc metal. This glaze fights moisture, making steel last for 50 years. Maybe that’s why it’s been used since 1742.
The first step of the galvanization process is the most important: surface preparation. Steel must be free of oils, dirt, and grease. Thus, it’s submerged in caustic acid and then rinsed with water. The next stage is called pickling, which is a process that aims to remove oxidation from the steel with hydrochloric acid. Fluxing, or diffusion soldering, is a technique that targets impurities and reduces it. If this process is not done correctly, the steel would not be coated when dipped into the zinc.
After the cleansing, the big step finally comes. The steel is dipped into a 850 F kettle containing 98% of pure molten zinc. How does one know the liquid is correctly proportioned? The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has to approve its adequacy first. Then after 10 minutes or less, the steel is carefully removed from the bath. The coating occurs due to a chemical reaction between the zinc, iron, and other metals that mix in order to enhance the quality of the coat. The steel is then let to cool off by air itself or with water.
A process called quenching is performed to further enhance the coat. A mixture of water and other chemicals are poured into a tank, whereafter is layered onto the steel to protect during transportation and storage. This additional step is not necessary, but in some factories, the process is taken.
This next step consists of inspecting the quality of the coating. At this point, it’s cooled off and dry. Multiple tests, physically and laboratory, are run in order to examine the thickness, appearance, and adherence of the coat. Ultimately, what is created is a coating so strong that combats natural factors from deteriorating it.
But if steel is said to be resistant to a handful of elements, why is galvanization performed?
Galvanizing simply further enhances the quality of steel even more, making it last for more than 50 years. The advantages are countless.
Because of its good reputation, galvanized steel is used in many other products. Those who live in steel-based homes may have galvanized roofs, and vehicles contain many parts that are steel galvanized as well.
Steel is one of the most beneficial and effective materials in the world. But when it surpasses the galvanizing process, it becomes even better. That’s why we only use galvanized steel. Our customers are our top priority and we want to sell the best to the best.
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