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Although galvanized steel is one of the most commonly used materials around the world, there are interesting facts that you might have never heard of. For example, do you know that 2 out of every 3 tons of steel are from recycled steel? And up to 95% of some kind of steel will be surely used again. 

There are more tidbits about galvanized steel that might surprise you, which will be introduced to you today. 

I. Overview about galvanized steel

1. Definition 

Galvanized steel is manufactured from galvanizing. After the process, the newly formed zinc-iron coating protects the base metal made from steel. This coating enhances the durability & strength of the steel itself by the corrosion protection. It also changes the steel’s appearance by giving it a rugged look. 

Overall, after going through the galvanizing process, the steel becomes stronger and harder to scratch and corrode; which makes it an ideal material for outdoor usage.

hot-dipped galvanization process

2. Advantages of galvanized steel

Thanks to the galvanization process, galvanized steel is ready to use, costs little to maintain, lasts longer than other protection, resists rust well and has a complete protection. 

You can find galvanized steel in several industries thanks to its amazing advantages. 

For more information about galvanizing and galvanized steel, clickhere.

II. 05 interesting facts about galvanized steel

1. History of the name ‘galvanizing’

The word ‘galvanize’ & ‘galvanizing’ didn’t come out of nowhere. It refers to any electrochemical processes, which is typical of an Italian scientist, Luigi Galvani.

Lived in the eighteenth century (1737-1798), Luigi Galvani was not just a premier physicist but also a famous physician, philosopher, and biologist of his time. He was the one to discover that animal tissues respond to tiny electrical currents. This result was gained from an experience when he applied electrical currents on a frog’s legs and was so significant that all kinds of electrical currents were known as ‘galvanic’. 

50 years later, Sir Humphry Davy discovered that when zinc is in contact with iron in an electrochemical process, it could protect iron from rusting. The procedure then became known as ‘galvanizing’. 

2. Zinc – the must-have element to make a protective coating for metal

Zinc is the must-have element in galvanizing process instead of other metals as it oxidizes and experiences acid corrosion “sacrificially” to steel, which makes a protective coating for underneath metal. 

Zinc protects the metal from the atmosphere, which reduces the chance of corrosion. It also provides a perfect cathodic protection. If there is any harm to the metal, the zinc coating will handle it all. 

3. Galvanized steel – an inexpensive material that costs little to maintain

Galvanized steel is an inexpensive material that lasts a lifetime. It’s ready to use when you buy it, while only costs a few cents per pound more than untreated steel. The treatment of the steel in the construction site might cost four to five times as much as galvanized steel. 

The galvanization process gives the steel a perfect protection from rusting and corrosion that might last for 50 years or even longer, which is not the case with either stainless steel or structural steel. 

4. Galvanizing processes have evolved fast over the years 

With the evolution of technology, galvanized steel, together with the galvanizing process, has evolved fast over the years. 

For now, galvanization is more of an electro-deposition term than electrochemical. Although zinc is still the primary material used in the process, there are new advanced technologies to protect metal from elements. 

Besides the hot-dipped galvanizing process, there are more alternative ways to galvanize the metal. Electrogalvanization, sherardizing, ‘dry galvanizing’ or ‘shot blasting’… are other ways that are now used to protect metal from corrosion and outside forces. 

5. Beyond constructions, galvanized steel has more applications than you think

If you think galvanized steel is only used in construction, you are totally wrong. 

Since the last century, galvanized steel has become an important go-to material for the auto industry, thanks to its amazing advantages. It solves the painful problems for the users with the great rusting, corrosion and scratches protection in nuts, nails, and bolts. 

Galvanized steel is also used for outdoor applications such as pipes, bus stop benches, balconies, staircases, ladders, cattle fences, other products… that other materials are not strong enough. You can even find galvanized steel in the lighting column that provides nighttime lighting for roadways.

galvanized steel in interior design

Final words 

Thanks to the amazing advantages that galvanization offers, galvanized steel and galvanizing applications might be just about everywhere you look. It is one of the oldest building and manufacturing materials in the world, but it evolves continuously to meet new demands. And if you are looking for a sustainable material for your project, you might now know where to start.

Are you struggling with how to find the high quality galvanized steel? Find out here.

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