Galvanized Steel vs. Regular Steel: What Sets Them Apart?

Galvanized Steel vs. Regular Steel: What Sets Them Apart?

Published Date: 05 August, 2022
Updated On: 11 April, 2024

The architecture and construction industry has undergone significant changes in recent years and has been streamlined to accommodate sustainable building construction and maintenance, improved inventory, as well as efficient construction techniques. These changes are also reflected by the type of raw materials used for the different purposes and sustainably procured high-quality raw materials have grown popular in terms of their application and benefits. 

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One such raw material is galvanized steel, which has found fame as a better component as opposed to regular steel. Steel has always remained a staple in construction, and the introduction of galvanized steel has been proven to be a step towards sustainability and improved building integrity. 

As the construction industry continues to grow, it is important to understand what sets galvanized steel apart from regular steel. Galvanized steel as a construction raw material is not only stronger and more durable than regular steel, but it is cost-effective too. And this is not all. So, if you are interested to know more about this construction raw material and why it has gained such popularity across industries, here is a quick guide to what is galvanized steel, types of galvanizing, the differences between galvanized and regular steel, and what gives galvanized steel the edge over regular steel. 

What Is Galvanized Steel?

While regular steel is abundantly available for construction, galvanized steel, as the name suggests, is a specially processed steel that undergoes the method of galvanization. 

So, what is galvanizing process? And how does this process turn regular steel into a better alternative? Let us find out! Galvanized steel is obtained by applying a coat of zinc over steel and iron as a means of protection against chemical hazards. 

The process of galvanization examples has become exceedingly popular as it substantially enhances the lifespan of steel, prevents physical damage, and protects against corrosive chemicals. This additional coating of zinc is responsible for making galvanized steel more corrosion-resistant, fire-resistant, and more durable. Additionally, high-grade galvanized steel is budget-friendly, and has wide application in the production of architecture and construction materials, as well as solar and automobile components. 

The types of galvanizing available at steel plants include thermal spraying, batch hot dip galvanizing, sherardizing, in-line galvanizing, sheet galvanizing and electroplating.

Galvanized steel is usually obtained by following the simple steps as mentioned below:

  1. The industrially produced steel is first cleaned using a degreasing solution before it can be pickled.
  2. Once cleaned, the steel is pickled using diluted hot sulphuric acid to remove any chemical impurities that might be coating the steel.
  3. Before the steel can be coated with zinc, it must be fluxed into an aqueous solution containing zinc-ammonium chloride.
  4. Later, the steel is prepared for the galvanization examples process where it is immersed in molten zinc.
  5. Once processed in zinc, the freshly galvanized steel is prepared for inspection and the process of zinc-coating is repeated, if necessary.
  6. The galvanized steel is ready once the final product is up to the standards.

Differences Between Regular And Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel has readily grown popular because of its enhanced capabilities, and is largely preferred to regular steel. So how different is galvanized steel from regular steel that makes it a better contender when it comes to construction?

A. Industrial uses

Steel is one of the most widely used industrial raw materials with a wide range of applications in construction, aerospace and automobiles. And although industrial steel is known for its toughness and strength, processed galvanized steel is substantially more durable and resistant to chemical and physical agents. Regular steel is durable against salt and water, but can corrode easily when exposed to chlorinated water. 

Galvanized steel, on the other hand, is coated with zinc, which is naturally resistant to corrosive chemicals, and is a popular building material in the construction of buildings, rail lines and bridges that require a resilient foundation.  

B. Temperature resistance

Unlike regular steel which remains unchanged when in contact with heat, galvanized steel can lead to the production of toxic zinc fumes, making it unsuitable for the production of kitchen equipment and utensils.

C. Cost

Galvanized steel is significantly more lasting than regular steel, and can withstand damage for a longer period without the need for frequent maintenance. It is also relatively easier to produce without incurring additional charges, and therefore is cost-effective. 

D. Strength

Galvanized steel has been recognized for its unmatched strength in industrial construction. And since the coating of zinc further reinstates the strength of galvanized material and steel pipes, it is considerably stronger than regular steel. The strength of galvanized steel is also dependent on the thickness of the zinc coating which makes it resistant to chemical corrosion and physical damage.

Advantages Of Using Galvanized Steel Over Regular Steel

While regular and galvanized steel have their unique properties that make them some of the most frequently used raw materials for industrial construction, galvanized steel has often been noted to have the edge over regular steel. So, mentioned below are some of the advantages of using galvanized steel that set it apart from regular steel:

a) Longevity: Galvanized steel far succeeds regular steel in terms of longevity. Long-lasting and durable against most damages, steel pipes with a galvanized coating have an average life of 50 years, even when exposed to natural and urban hazards.

b) Minimal first cost: Galvanized steel is preferred to regular steel by most firms as it has a lower first cost than other protective steel coatings, without compromising the integrity of steel pipes. Galvanized steel is also significantly more affordable in terms of application and labour costs.

c) Protective coating: The protective coating in galvanized steel is significantly more durable, offering a higher resistance against mechanical damages caused during transport and construction. 

d) Lower maintenance: Not only is the process of galvanizing cheap, but it also helps in avoiding any additional costs incurred from frequent maintenance. The galvanized coating or zinc layer contributes to the overall toughness of steel, making it unparalleled in terms of durability, and requires less maintenance. The galvanized coating of steel also contributes to easier inspection, as anomalies can be assessed manually, or with simple non-destructive testing methods. 

e) Automatic protection: Given the preferential corrosion of the galvanized zinc coating, galvanized steel lasts considerably longer without being directly exposed to chemical damage. Furthermore, the unique metallurgical structure of galvanized steel depending on the types of galvanizing makes it perfect for construction in uneven terrains.

f) Easier erection time: The durability and strength of the galvanized material are not dependent on weather conditions, making it well-suited for any weather zone. Additionally, the application and construction using galvanized steel are also easy, as galvanized steel components are made available ready for use without requiring any additional on-site preparation or inspection.

Read more: Decoding GI Sheet Weight: Understanding the Factors that Influence it

Purchase High-quality Galvanized Steel At Sree Metaliks Limited

Choosing the right steel for industrial construction is not always an easy task and is often dependent on several variable factors, one of the most important of which is the quality of the galvanized steel. However, at Sree Metaliks Limited, we are devoted to helping you find the product that perfectly fit your specific industry requirements. As a premier iron ore mining company operating across the Indian subcontinent, you can easily rely on our diverse range of iron and steel products available at affordable prices. To find out more about our services and boost your project with the iron strength it deserves, visit today.