Galvanized steel is created through the process of galvanization. Which is used to prevent rusting by applying a protective zinc coating to the metal.
Hot-dip galvanizing is the most common method, where metal material is submerged in a molten zinc bath.
History of Galvanization
A French chemist named Melouin, in 1742, first described how iron could be coated by dipping it into molten zinc.
The term galvanization was first used by Italian scientist Luigi Galvani. He used the term to describe stimulation of muscle through application of electric current.
One of the earliest known examples of galvanized iron comes from 17th-century Indian armor, which is kept in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, England.
The modern us of the term galvanized is associated with the process of coating metals with zinc.
Benefits of Galvanized Steel
- Low-maintenance: Galvanized steel does not have to be painted because it already has a protective coating – long lasting appearance.
- Long life expectancy: Galvanized steel coatings have a long life expectancy (up to 50 years) – helps maintain structural integrity.
- Excellent Protection: Because of the galvanizing process, galvanized steel has excellent protection (of the entire material) from corrosive elements.
The hot-dip process is the most common method. It consists of submerging the steel into a molten zinc bath to alloy with the base metal. After removing the material from the zinc bath, reaction to the atmosphere forms a zinc carbonate protective layer.
Continuous galvanizing applies the zinc coating to a continuous ribbon of steel coil. The steel ribbon passes through the zinc bath at around 600 feet per minute. As the steel coil leaves the zinc bath, extra zinc is removed to create the desired thickness.
The material is then cooled. Continuous galvanizing allows for more precise thickness control. It is typically used for prefabricated steel products like galvanized sheet.
Galvanized Surface With Spangle
Crystallites in galvanized coatings are known as spangle. Spangle is seen as an aesthetic feature of galvanized steel.
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