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Galvanized Steel Pipe

Galvanized Steel Pipe

Galvanization is a post manufacturing, or finishing, process used to prevent steel corrosion. The galvanizing process results in an outer layer of zinc on the substrate, or steel. Galvanizing achieves two lines of defense. Firstly, it provides a physical barrier between the steel and the atmosphere. The physical barrier, when in-tact, prevents oxidation. Secondly, because the zinc is more reactive than the iron in the steel, atmospheric oxygen will first react with zinc versus iron. Whereby oxidizing the galvanizing and not the steel. So, the zinc is sacrificed to preserve the steel.

There are a few methods used to galvanize steel, but in the steel pipe industry you really only need to know about “hot dip” galvanizing. A common scenario is you have a customer that needs a couple of joints galvanized. To fill the order you will take a few pieces of stock and send to a third-party for galvanizing. They will hot dip your steel.Hot dip galvanizing is a straight forward process:

  • Steel is cleaned up via sandblasting or chemicals
  • Steel is pickled to remove mill scale
  • A flux, often zinc ammonium chloride is applied to the steel to prevent flash rusting
  • Steel is dipped into a molten zinc bath
  • Steel is cooled (quenched) in a cooling tank
  • Steel is re-stenciled

Stainless steel prevents corrosion similar to galvanization, however galvanization of steel is far more economical. If you are working with a budget, you will want to look into galvanizing existing stock versus using more exotic metals

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