Galvanized steel is covered in layers of zinc to protect the steel from corrosion. What is corrosion? It is the deterioration due to the chemical reaction of metals to exposure to air and moisture. This type of steel is a very durable and resistant material, and therefore, it is used for the manufacture of industrial materials. There are other types of steel. If you want to know more about steel click here.

 

How is galvanized steel made?

There are different ways to manufacture galvanized steel. It can be hot, by immersion, on fire, etc.

Immersion is usually the most common and consists of immersing the steel in molten zinc so that a chemical reaction can take place. Then, upon cooling, the result is three new layers: the outer layer is the only one that contains only zinc; the inner layer contains steel and zinc; and the innermost layer is all steel.

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There are other methods, such as continuous galvanizing. This technique involves passing thin sheets or steel wires through the gathered zinc. We also find others such as spraying or painting with molten zinc, but none is as effective and has the same high quality as the immersion method.

 

How is the steel surface prepared?

Preparing the steel before being galvanized is a mandatory step, since if the coating is made on a steel plate in poor condition, the result will be poor. 

Keep in mind that galvanizing can only be carried out on steel in perfect condition, since zinc does not alloy on surfaces in poor condition. Thus, if you observe uncoated areas on the surface of the material when removing the zinc, it is a key piece of information to confirm that the steel was not in perfect condition. 

Galvanization consists of three phases:

Caustic cleaning: In this phase, the surface is cleaned to remove contaminants. In the event that there is any remaining solder, etc. It must be removed by deburring.

Off: Rust is removed from iron using a dilute solution of hot sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid at room temperature. 

Fluxed: Finally, to completely eliminate all types of rust, ammonium and zinc chloride saline is used. In addition, at the same time, a protective layer is supplied, which helps block oxidation so that it does not occur in the steel, so that later, other oxides form on the surface for the immersion process. 

 

Different uses of galvanized steel

Galvanized steel has many types of functionalities. Such as: bars, sheets, wires, plates, nuts, cables, pipes, screws, stringers, lights, railings, signage, etc.

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It is also used to build roads and bridges; as well as in water and wastewater treatment plants.

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Likewise, in the field of architecture it is a highly valued and used material.

 

Advantages of galvanized steel

  • Great durability. Up to 70 years. It can hardly be scratched or scraped.
  • Easy to clean and has no maintenance cost.
  • It is cheap and has an excellent quality-price ratio.
  • Great versatility.
  • Safe.The galvanizing process is regulated by national and international regulations.
  • Great resistance, especially to heat. In addition, it is very resistant to impacts and abrasion. Zinc makes up its resistance, since the zinc layer on the steel prevents oxygen from entering the iron and prevents it from rusting.
  • It can be combined with other structures providing compatibility to modify or increase its durability.
  • It can be welded or screwed, that is, it is very easy to handle.
  • Hot dip galvanizing allows the galvanized steel to be used immediately after the process without atmospheric problems.
  • Sustainable, since it is recyclable.

 

As you can see, due to its characteristics, galvanized steel is a highly demanded and useful material in many sectors. Did you know all its peculiarities?