Galvanizing metal- Everything you need to know

galvanizing metal

Galvanizing metal- Everything you need to know

Galvanizing metal is a manufacturing process popularly used by countless industries. It helps enhance the durability and strength of metals by creating a protective zinc coat on the metal object that protects it from rust and corrosion.

If you want to learn more about galvanization, you’ve come to the right place. This blog discusses everything you need to know about the process, its benefits, and the industries where it’s used.

What is Galvanizing?

Galvanizing is the technique used to apply a thin layer of zinc onto another metal. Steel, iron, and aluminum are the most common metals to be galvanized. However, other metals can also be treated this way.

Galvanization plays a crucial role in safeguarding metals from corrosion. But besides extending their lifespans, the process is also used to enhance the appearance of metal products.

The Galvanizing Process

Manufacturers galvanize metals on a large scale using special equipment. Here’s a short description of the industrial galvanizing process.

Step #1: Cleaning the Surface

Before galvanizing any metal, the surface needs to be cleaned of impurities, such as debris, dirt, oil, or rust. Not only can they prevent the zinc coating from bonding to the substrate, but inefficient cleaning also reduces the quality of the coating, making it peel off quickly.

The cleaning process begins by soaking the substrate in an alkaline bath for 5-10 minutes at a temperature of 150° F. Once the time is up, the substrate is rinsed to ensure further processes are not contaminated.

Step #2: Pickling

The substrate is then pickled by treating it with an acid, such as sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. Pickling helps to eliminate oxides, such as rust, from the surface. The substrate is washed once again and left to dry.

Step #3: Applying the Zinc Coat

There are several ways zinc can be applied to a metal. Two commonly-used types of galvanizing are:

Hot-Dip Galvanizing

Hot-dip galvanization is a common technique used to coat zinc onto a metal object (known as the substrate). As the name suggests, the substrate is dipped into a tank of molten zinc at a temperature of 450°C. Other chemicals may also be added to the vat to enhance the substrate’s properties.

As the substrate is removed from the molten zinc, a layer of zinc alloy forms on the surface, creating a characteristic protective coating.


In this process, a thin layer of zinc is electrically applied to the metal object’s surface. The substrate acts as the cathode, while zinc dissolved into an electrolyte solution acts as the anode. An electric current is introduced into the solution, causing the zinc ions to be deposited onto the substrate’s surface.

Step #4: Post-Galvaning Treatment

Once the zinc coating is applied to the substrate, it’s rinsed again and left to dry. Manufacturers may treat the substrate with other chemicals, such as passivates or sealers, for additional protection.

The Benefits of Galvanizing Metal

Galvanization offers a boatload of advantages, making it an ideal option for various industries. Here are just a few of the reasons why companies galvanize their metal products:

1. Resistance to Corrosion

Metal objects that are exposed to environmental factors, such as moisture, oxygen, etc., will corrode over time. So one of the main purposes of galvanizing metal is to protect the metal from corrosion. The zinc layer acts as a protective buffer, protecting the metal from interacting with the atmosphere.

2. Enhances Lifespan on Metal Objects

Zinc coatings are typically very durable and abrasion-resistant. They can last decades without significant degradation. That means the substrate is protected by the zinc coat, helping to increase the life of the original metal and its durability.

3. Less Maintenance

When applied properly, zinc metallurgically bonds to the metal objects. So galvanized coatings do not shrink, crack, or peel. This enhances the product’s reliability, requiring less periodic maintenance.

4. Quick Processing Times

Zinc coatings can be applied within minutes, irrespective of other conditions, such as the weather. As soon as substrates are galvanized, they are ready for use. Additional time isn’t required to treat or paint it.

5. Ease of Inspection.

It’s fairly easy to inspect galvanized coatings. They can be assessed by your eyes. If the coating looks sound and continuous, it’s good to go.

6. Supports Environmental Sustainability

Galvanizing helps protect metal products, reducing the need for frequent replacement. On the other hand, zinc is a readily available natural element.

What Industries Use Galvanized Metals

A lot of industries utilize galvanized metals. Here are just a few examples where they are popularly being used.


Most of the cars manufactured today have zinc-coated bodies. The galvanized steel body ensures the automobile remains rust-resistant for years to come.


Infrastructural elements, such as bridges and transmission towers, need to be made of long-lasting materials that can withstand heavy loads and exposure to harsh environments. Galvanized metals provide all this and more.


The durability and strength of galvanized steel make it an ideal material to use in construction. Galvanized steel is commonly used to create the frame of a building. However, it can also be used to enhance the aesthetics of a property. The building’s exterior elements, such as balconies, verandahs, ladders, fences, etc., can be made from zinc-coated metals, so they look good and require nominal maintenance.

Renewable Energy

Wind and solar energy projects are constantly exposed to the environment. So these companies need to use materials that do not rust easily. That’s why many opt for galvanized metal items to ensure the components of their systems remain functional once installed and require little maintenance.


Agricultural equipment is exposed to moisture and the harsh environment of farming and is, therefore, more susceptible to corrosion. Utilizing zinc-coated equipment makes them more resilient to damage and rust. Galvanized steel products can last for decades.

Final Thoughts

Galvanizing metal can help enhance the versatility and durability of a product. That’s why it is used across various industries. However, to acquire all the benefits of galvanized metal, you need to partner with an experienced company that guarantees to offer quality zinc coatings.

If you are looking for top-quality coating services or need galvanized metal products, we can help. At Midwest Distribution LLC, we have the answer to your galvanizing needs – at an affordable price. Contact us today to discuss your project needs.


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