Although steel in itself is one tough material, it can be prone to corrosion or rust if not treated or protected in some way. The issue is that it’s important to match the corrosivity of the surrounding environment to the right protective treatment. For instance when steel is in a dry indoor heated environment the risk of corrosion is minimal and therefore protective treatments aren’t always necessary. Conversely when the steel is continually exposed to high levels of damp, cold, or even heat, a high performance treatment is usually preferred. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the different ways in which you can treat steel.
Galvanisation was a process that was first used back in the 18th century and involves immersing the metal into a bath of molten zinc. After a period of time the zinc forms a metallurgical bond with the metal giving a protective coating or layer that is tough, durable, and abrasion resistant.
Just like the galvanisation process the metal is treated with zinc, except this time it’s combined with aluminium alloys. These come in powder or wire form and are fed through a special gun which contains a ferocious heat source. This can be either an oxygas flame or an electric arc. Molten globules are distributed onto the surface of the metal by means of the gun and this then penetrates the surface of the steel to create a porous, but protective metal coating.
The good thing about powder coating as a form of protection is that it comes in a vast array of bright and funky colours. This is great if you’re looking to give your metallic construction a new lease of life. In essence powder coated particles are electro-statically charged via a spray gun. This results in an electric field being formed between the spray gun and the metal being treated. When they’re expelled from the gun, the powder particles follow the magnetic line and stick to the metal. The treated metal is then transferred to an oven where it’s heated to approximately 200°C until the powder is hardened and baked thus forming a highly-efficient protective layer.
Paint coatings for steel have developed over the years in order to comply with modern-day environmental legislations. Nowadays paint consists of a pigment dispersed in a binder and dissolved in solvent. Layers of paint are carefully applied using a spray gun to form a multi-layered coating system which in turn forms it’s own protective layering.
Here at Metro Steel as well as fabricating your metal components we can also protect them using some or all of the processes above. Why not contact us on 07 3204 1000 to see just how we can help you. Alternatively of you’re in the Deception Bay area, then pop in for a chat. The kettle’s always on!