How Galvanised Steel Stands the Test of Time

Galvanized sheet metal continues to be one of the most popular types of fabrication steel products on Earth. In America alone more than four million tonnes of it is produced annually, with over 600,000 tonnes of zinc being used in the creation process every year.

Zinc mine

Zinc Mine Rosh Pinah, Namibia, source: Wikipedia

What is Galvanised Steel

It’s a tremendously popular material used in almost every industry imaginable. Turn your head in any direction and chances are you’re looking at galvanised steel in action, as it’s used in a wide variety of construction projects. Agriculture and recreation projects also often take advantage of galvanised steel thanks to their requirement for open-air usage.

The reason it’s so popular is because of many key factors, the most important ones being cost, strength and versatility.

As the hot-dip galvanisation process (the addition of a layer of hot zinc onto a steel surface, which then crystallises and hardens before excess zinc is removed) is relatively simple and has a small number of steps, it’s a lot cheaper than other steel coating methods. The crystallisation is why galvanised steel has that distinctive “spangled” appearance that will be familiar to anyone who has seen a road sign or light pole.

Hot dip galvanising

Hot Dip Galvanising, source: Wikipedia

The zinc creates a sacrificial anode, which effectively means that it forms a protective barrier on the material even if the zinc plating is scratched or exposed to the elements. It means that galvanised steel has almost no upkeep or maintenance requirements, beyond the occasional clean with a wet cloth, and makes for an ideal material to use outside or under water.

Versatility in every size

The single coating of zinc also makes it easy to paint for a professional finish that will not corrode from the inside. Even complex shapes are coated with an equal thickness to protect corners and edges from wear. It’s expected that galvanised steel has a lifespan of between 25 and 50 years depending on its location, with urban dense environments placing the heaviest toll on its fortunes. In Australia, there are designated ratings for the corrosive elements found in seawater, pollution and even air conditioning to help planners find the right thickness of zinc coating to use for the intended purpose and location.

Galvanised sheet metal can be used for a tremendously highly number of applications, including making pipes, signs, walls, rooftops, farm equipment, wire, nails, guardrails, posts and anything else that requires tough but light steel.

The team at ShapeCUT work with every type of steel known to mankind and can tailor steel to suit any complex requirement you can imagine. Talk to the team at ShapeCUT today to see how we can help your business stand the test of time.