Guide to Hot Dip Galvanization: Why Galvanizing is Important in Construction

Metals are widely used in the construction industry. But corroding metals pose a risk to the integrity of the structures. From bolts and nuts to tools, roof sheets, steel beams, rails, culverts, and tunnels, all are made from steel. These materials are constantly exposed to environmental factors, making it important to use materials that have undergone hot dip galvanization to prevent corrosion.

In this article, we’ll discuss corrosion, the purpose of hot dip galvanization, the benefits of galvanizing, and its relevance to the construction industry.

What Is Corrosion and Why Is It Necessary to Protect Against It?

When steel is exposed to environmental factors like oxygen and water combinations, it corrodes. To prevent this, there must be a coating to safeguard the steel against oxidation. Certain chemicals can also cause steel to corrode, which affects the durability, structural strength, and functionality of the material used in a construction project. Corroded steel has weak points, which can cause leakages or collapse of a structure.

What Is Hot Dip Galvanization?

Galvanizing entails the protection of metals against corrosion and rust through the application of a zinc coat. Several types of galvanizing are available, ranging from the spraying of a zinc coat onto a surface, applying it through electro-galvanizing, and using a powder coat to protect the surface.

Hot dip galvanizing entails the dipping of metal in a hot molten zinc bath to create a metallurgical bonding of the zinc with the underlying surface. With this method, the zinc and steel form a strong bond. When exposed to corroding elements, the zinc on the upper layer protects the underlying surface. Even if this upper layer is scratched, the steel remains protected because the zinc offers itself, which slows down the corroding process.

Why Hot Dip Galvanization?

Due to the metallurgical bonding, it is one of the strongest protection options. It is also sustainable and environmentally friendly because of the low waste factor, and because there is no spraying of chemical aerosols that cause air pollution. The coating is permanent and prolongs the lifespan of the metal it protects.

As it is important to use sustainable processes and materials in modern-day construction projects, hot dip galvanized materials are better to use than non-galvanized types. The latter must receive a powder coating and regular paint applications to protect the material from corroding.

With the hot dip galvanization method, every crack and corner is properly coated. The coverage is thick with several layers of zinc, eliminating weak areas. Galvanization is done according to strict standards, ensuring an even coating to protect the entire surface.

The items are first cleaned and prepared before dipping to ensure proper coating and bonding. The thickness of the zinc coating is determined by the mass of the metal to protect, resulting in an appropriate coating for the underlying surface. This ensures optimal protection integrity and reliability of the galvanization.

Hot Dip Galvanization Plant Isando

Armco Galvanizers Isando

Benefits of Hot Dip Galvanization for the Construction Industry

Reliability, durability and strength are important considerations in the selection of materials for construction projects. To this end, engineers and construction project managers look to galvanized materials for the following benefits:

  1. Lower overall cost

It’s imperative to keep costs low without compromising the quality of materials in the construction industry. The project cost, as well as the long-term cost of maintenance are important considerations. Galvanized steel might cost more than non-galvanized materials, but doesn’t require additional protection. If the costs of extra protection, regular application of such protection and the cost of material replacement are considered, then galvanized materials are more economical to use in construction projects.

  1. Exceptional durability

Construction is rarely done for short-term benefits. Mine tunnels, culverts and the likes are installed for long-term usage. It’s imperative to select materials that can last at least 20 years. To this end, galvanized steel is a winner with the durability achieved through metallurgical bonding of the zinc with the steel. With this strong protection, the likelihood of having to replace structures in the near future due to corrosion is significantly reduced. Durability is also one of the important factors in determining the sustainability profile of structures. With a life expectancy of 20 to 50 years, galvanized materials meet the requirement for sustainability.

  1. Low maintenance profile

With no need to add protective coatings, the cost of maintenance is low. It also saves on resources and time to maintain structures, adding to the sustainability profile of the completed construction project. This is also important for safety reasons, as it might be challenging to perform maintenance of certain structures due to their locations at mines, dams and highways.

  1. Protection of the entire surface

Installation of materials that must then be treated to protect against corrosion adds to the time factor for construction projects. When using hot dipped galvanized materials, there is no need to add more protective layers, helping to eliminate delays in the completion of projects. Every bit of time saved helps to ensure lower overall costs, faster completion and a reduced risk of work done in haste to meet project deadlines.

  1. Easy to clean and keep hygienic

Galvanization creates an even and smooth surface that can be wiped down to clean it. With it being easy to clean, it is also easier to keep in a hygienic state. This improves the safety profile of the material used in the construction project.

  1. Faster maintenance inspection

A visual inspection of the surface is quicker as weak spots can be identified immediately. This reduces the time spent on maintenance inspections while it makes it easier to identify weak spots for maintenance galvanizing.

  1. Quick installation

Because there is no need for material preparation on-site before installation, considerable time savings help to reduce the cost of labour. This also helps to reduce risks associated with the installation of structures in hazardous terrain.

Armco Galvanizers

To conclude on the benefits of hot dip galvanization for the construction industry:

  • Environmentally friendly, as no chemical sprays are required at the construction site.
  • Consistency in the coating for reliable products.
  • Durability of the materials for longevity.
  • Entire surface is coated evenly.
  • Easy to maintain, clean and keep hygienic.
  • Faster inspections and installations.
  • Lower cost of maintenance and ownership.
  • Superb protection against corrosion.
  • Long lifespan of products.

Where to find a hot dip galvanization provider

Make use of Armco Superlite, known for superior galvanizing practices. With two plants in Gauteng to cater to different size materials, Armco can handle large orders to meet your galvanizing needs. Reach out for a quote and to schedule the galvanization of your construction materials.

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