It is possible that in your day-to-day life you are used to working with galvanised steel pipes, but you may not fully understand the process through which steel is given greater resistance to protect it from oxidation.
In this article, we explain the process, as well as its benefits and most common applications, as well as some interesting facts that you may not have known about galvanised steel.
What is galvanising?
The galvanising process consists of immersing the steel in molten zinc, at a temperature of approximately 450º, which causes a chemical (or electrochemical) reaction that gives the material greater protection against corrosion and increases its mechanical resistance against shock or abrasion.
That is why galvanised steel is particularly prominent in products intended for outdoor use, exposed to inclement weather and variations in temperature and humidity conditions, etc.
Through the aforementioned galvanising process, regulated by the UNE EN ISO 1461 standard, coatings of 45-200 microns can be obtained, depending on what the product is going to be used for and the environment in which the galvanised steel in question is to be used (rural, industrial, marine, etc.).
Benefits of galvanising
No maintenance is required on the galvanised coating to maintain its anti-corrosion properties.
Because the corrosion rate of zinc is much slower than that of steel, the protective layer that galvanising provides to steel gives it great durability and extends its useful life.
Depending on the environment in which the material is used, with an average coating of 80 microns (the same thickness as that of an A4 sheet of paper), steel parts can be protected for more than 100 years. So it is a very profitable option in the long term.
As a consequence of the comments in the previous points, it is a very profitable option in economic terms, since, unlike what happens with galvanisation systems through paints, complete galvanisation provides a saving in maintenance costs that means that it is more economically advantageous over the service life of the steel.
Numerous studies have shown the high economic and environmental impact of the maintenance of steel structures using paints.
Thanks to the characteristics of its production process, its long useful life and the fact that it is easily recyclable, its environmental impact is very low, making it an ecologically responsible solution.
It is predictable
Depending on the weather conditions of the environment, it is possible to predict the corrosion rate of the material over time, and thus calculate the thickness of the coating that will be most suitable.
In this way, future surprises are avoided and the suitability of the material for the place in which it is to be used is guaranteed.
Below we can see an example of the corrosion map for Spain:
Reliability throughout the process
As we have already mentioned, the entire hot galvanising process is regulated by national and international regulations, so that control over the process and its applications are fully controlled and tested.
Speed of use
The galvanising process is agile and fast, the metallurgical reaction occurs in a matter of minutes. In addition, the parts can be used immediately or stored in the right conditions so as not to have to worry about their possible deterioration.
Where can I find galvanised steel pipes?
Here are some of the most common applications for galvanised steel pipes. But it can be used in any project that requires durability, resistance to corrosion and reliability.
More and more frequently, our galvanised steel tubes are used by the main automotive manufacturers, to improve the useful life of different parts of the vehicle, such as: engine structures, cooling tank supports, windscreen wipers and door reinforcements, among others.
Our galvanized pipes are widely used in perimeter enclosures, to provide resistance and security to the structure and protect its deterioration, either in rural or urban environments.
Every day we come across galvanized pipes in different elements of public spaces, such as litter bins, signposts, canopies and railings.
Agriculture and horticulture
In rural environments, it is essential to use galvanised steel pipes for the construction of greenhouses, water tanks and cages. Specifically, environments where there may be high humidity and temperature variations.
Whether for light or heavy loads, conveyor roller trains have to guarantee a high degree of solidity and durability. Galvanising allows the useful life of these rollers to be extended and facilitates their maintenance.
The brackets responsible for holding and supporting parabolic antenna are usually made of steel tubes. In these cases, its resistance to wind or rain is essential, since these supports are responsible for ensuring the correct orientation of the antenna towards the satellite.
Interesting facts about galvanised steel. Did you know?
- The galvanising process takes its name from the surname of the Italian physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), who discovered that, by making use of the different electrical charges of materials, it was possible to coat one metal with another.
- 50% of the zinc consumed worldwide is used in galvanising processes. In addition, it is a natural element, one of the most abundant on the planet and does not harm the environment.
- Zinc, like many metals, is listed on the stock market and its price varies depending on this market price
- Cold galvanising DOES NOT EXIST!. You may have heard of this concept at some point, referring to paints rich in zinc, but this process cannot be considered to be galvanising, strictly speaking, since there is no metallurgical reaction that creates a solid bond between materials.
- Every few seconds five tons of steel are dissolved worldwide, due to corrosion. This is a significant problem, due to its economic and safety impact, since it can cause accidents due to breakage of structural parts.
- The famous Brooklin Bridge, opened in 1883 and an icon of New York City, was the world’s first bridge suspended by galvanised steel cables. In 2010 he underwent a refurbishment process, with its cables found to be still in perfect condition.
Ultimately, at Aratubo we choose to have galvanised steel tubes as part of our product catalogue, and we adapt to any need that our customers may have in this area. In addition, we have the experience and qualifications necessary to make any project a success.