FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is galvanizing and why would someone use it?
A: Galvanizing is a process to prevent steel corrosion. It is used to significantly extend the life of steel by protecting it from rust. Galvanizing is a chemical bond, essentially between zinc and iron that forms a protective layer embedded in the top iron layer. Galvanizing is used on products as small as nuts and bolts and as large as steel beams.
Q: What can be galvanizied?
A: Steel is the only material that can be galvanized. A variety of sizes and product types can be galvanized, but they must be fabricated from steel.
Q: How can I ensure I get the best result for my project?
A: The best way to ensure a great result is in the preparation. It is just like painting, the real work is in the prep. Our “galvanizing info” section on the webpage will help you learn how you can get the best result for your specific project.
Q: Is galvanizing a "green process"?
A: Galvanizing is a "green" solution for sustainability. Reference the “hot dip galvanizing for sustainable design” as provided by the AGA to learn about the green aspects of galvanizing.
Q: Why is galvanizing any different than using paint?
A: Paint or other coatings sit on top of the steel and can chip, crack, and peel off. This allows rust to form and spread from that area. Galvanizing is actually a metallurgical bond, meaning it forms with the steel. This bond is significantly stronger. and requires virtually no maintenance. While paint can offer around 7-10 years of protection, hot-dip can offer multiple decades and requires no maintenance.
Q: Sometimes the galvanized coating is shinier in some places than others. Why is that?
A: Different steels produce different looking results. The galvanized coating appearance may either be bright and shiny resulting from the presence of an outer layer of pure zinc, or duller, matte gray as the result of the coating's intermetallic layers being exposed. Performance is not affected.
Q: Is the zinc coating’s thickness consistent over the entire piece?
A: Coating thickness depends on the thickness, roughness, chemistry, and design of the steel being galvanized. Any or all of these factors could produce galvanized coatings of non-uniform thickness. Members of the American Galvanizers Association galvanize to ASTM standards, which define minimum average coating thickness grades for various material categories.
Q: Why is it so important to include venting and drainage holes in my product’s design?
A: The primary reason for vent holes is to allow otherwise trapped air and gases to escape- preventing warping, bubbling, and rupturing; the primary reason for drain holes is to allow cleaning solutions and molten zinc metal to flow entirely into, over, and throughout the part, and then back into the tank or kettle.
Q: Can I paint directly over the galvanized coating? If so how should I go about it?
A: Galvanized coatings can be easily and effectively painted, not only for aesthetics but also to extend the structure's service life. The age and extent of weathering of the galvanized coating dictate the extent of surface preparation required to produce a quality paint system over galvanized steel. ASTM D 6386, Practice for Preparation of Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coated Iron and Steel Product and Hardware Surfaces for Painting, should be consulted for suggested surface preparation methods for galvanized coatings of varying ages.
Q: Is it possible to provide for intentionally un-galvanized areas?
A: Yes, but because masking or stop-off materials may not be 100% effective, contact us regarding your specific project.
Q: How long can I expect my galvanized steel project to last in service?
A: Hot-dip galvanized steel resists corrosion in numerous environments extremely well. It is not uncommon for galvanized steel to last more than 70 years under certain conditions.