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The mechanical properties of metal galvanising

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article image Hot dip galvanising provides the lowest long-term cost for most classes of steelwork, and in many cases, also the lowest initial cost

Hot dip galvanising creates a durable abrasion resistant coating of metallic zinc and zinc-iron alloy layers bonded metallurgically to the steel base to completely cover the workpiece. In a hot dip galvanising process, this zinc coating becomes part of the steel surface.

Hot dip galvanising provides the lowest long-term cost for most classes of steelwork, and in many cases, also the lowest initial cost.

The abrasion resistance of galvanised coatings comes from the zinc coating bonded to the steel, with zinc serving as a sacrificial anode to protect the steel surface. The protection continues even if the zinc coating is damaged in any way with the exposed steel protected cathodically by the remaining zinc. This is a key advantage of galvanising as a corrosion protection option.

The unique metallurgical structure of the galvanised coating is extremely tough and resistant to mechanical damage in transport, erection and service. The coating is subject to corrosion at a predictably slow rate, between one-seventeenth and one-eightieth that of steel, depending on the environment.

Galvanised coatings are virtually 'self-inspecting' because the reaction between steel and molten zinc in the galvanising bath does not occur unless the steel surface is chemically clean. Therefore a hot dip galvanised coating, which appears sound and continuous is sound and continuous.

Galvanising remains a highly versatile process, with items ranging from small fasteners and threaded components, up to massive structural members coated in a hot dip, or centrifuge process. The mechanical properties of commonly galvanised steels are not significantly affected by the process.

The Adelaide-based Korvest Galvanisers is a specialist provider of hot dip galvanising services.

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