Galvanized steel has become one of the most important construction materials used everywhere today because of its durability. It’s history dates back over 150 years. In short, galvanized steel is made by coating steel with molten zinc to make a coating that is metallurgically bonded to the steel itself. The zinc coating makes a barrier for long lasting protection against corrosion to the steel.
Does zinc rust?
The short answer is yes but not like other metals. Zinc corrodes when exposed to the oxygen and moisture in the air but it doesn’t rust and flake off like iron and steel does. Zinc clings to the surface of the steel better and helps prevent air and moisture from contacting the steel.
High performance coatings slow down zinc corrosion
People familiar with galvanized steel know the corrosion protection the zinc coating gives the steel. With the addition of another protection system, such as a high performance coating applied to specifications, the rate that the zinc itself corrodes slows down, giving outstanding corrosion protection to the steel.
In the first photo shown below, the exterior of this maintenance shop is constructed of factory coated galvanized sheeting. Over time, the galvanized sheeting has corroded and is leading to the failure of the existing coating.
Blackwell’s, Inc. contacted to impede the corrosion and recoat the sheeting
Blackwell’s, Inc. was contacted to impede the corrosion of the galvanized sheeting and to recoat the failed coating. The exterior of the building was prepared for recoating using soft-washing equipment and chemicals designed specifically for corrosion removal from galvanized metals. Once the soft washing was completed, the exterior received a final rinsing using normal pressure washing equipment.
High performance coating system
The exterior of the building then received two coats of a high performance coating system applied to specifications. The first high performance coating was of a white color designed for use on galvanized metals. The “Kemira Blue” strip was added along the lower 4ft of the building.
Now, about the dead frog.
History has it that Luigi Galvani, an Italian physician and biologist, accidentally discovered that an electric spark would make a dead frog’s leg twitch. Galvani’s discovery, which he named “animal electricity”, identified him as one of the pioneers in bioelectricity.
Galvani’s bioelectricity work inspired other scientific discoveries in electricity including the electrochemical interaction between zinc and oxygen in air. These electrical reactions were known as “galvanic,” so zinc-coated steel became known as “galvanized steel.”
And it all started with Galvani’s dead frog.