For those of you who may not know, galvanised sheet metal is steel or iron which has been coated with zinc to prevent it from rusting. The most popular method used by sheet metal fabrication shops to do this is hot dipping which literally means dipping the sheet metal into a bath of molten zinc to give the metal additional protection.
This procedure gives the steel or iron additional protection in 3 ways:
- When intact, the zinc coating prevents any corrosive substances from accessing the metal beneath
- It behaves as a sacrifical anode so should the coating become scratched any exposed steel or iron is protected by the zinc that is remaining
- The zinc corrodes before the underlying metal
All around us in daily life, galvanised sheet metal products are in constant use. Let’s take a closer look:
Typically sheet metal is most commonly used for commercial construction purposes but galvanised sheet metal is also used specifically for:
- Building frames
- Industrial walkways
- Support beams
- Street furniture
Galvanised steel is used for precision instruments as well as for computer cases and lap tops because of the fact that it’s resistant to moisture and corrosion.
In the early years of the 20th century, cast iron and lead piping was replaced by galvanised steel piping for use in cold water plumbing. Depending on factors such as close proximity to electricity grids, impurities in the water supply, the thickness of the zinc coating, and whether the pipework has been coated inside and out, the lifespan for galvanised steel piping is around 70 years. Some pipework was even lined with epoxy resin to extend its life expectancy.
After the end of World War 2, copper and plastic piping replaced galvanised piping for internal water supplies in the home and schools. However, galvanised pipework is still used externally, particularly when there is a need for superior mechanical strength in places where extreme weather is common.
Galvanised steel is used extensively in the car and aircraft industry for such things as:
- spring housing
- oil pans
- parking brakes
Children’s play equipment
Children’s playgrounds are another area where galvanised steel is widely used for swing sets and climbing frames, for the simple fact that it can remain there in all weathers without rusting.
In essence zinc is resistant to corrosion, moisture, rust, and scratches and protects the metal both during transportation and installation.
At Metro Steel we can arrange for your steel to be hot dipped should you require additional protection from corrosion. If you’ve got a new project in mind why not get in touch with Metro Steel to see how can help. You can talk to one of our experts by calling 07 3204 1000.