If you are in the market for a steel framed building, careful thought should be given to the construction materials, and ultimately, on the manufacturing process of the structures’ framework to ensure its quality and longevity. You could have the steel painted; although the paint is prone to chipping, which can result in rust damage. You could have the steel pre-galvanized; although the welding process strips off the zinc, making the weld point susceptible to rust . Or you could have the steel hot-dip galvanized, a technique used in the post-production of all Rubb Buildings. But before deciding on a process, it is important to understand what exactly galvanization entails.
Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron to prevent rusting. The most common method used today is hot-dip galvanization, in which the steel or iron is submerged in a tank of hot zinc in its fabricated shape to ensure the entire structure gets coated, and therefore, is completely protected from rust and erosion. And you might not think so, but hot-dip galvanization is much more intricate than simply giving the steel a zinc bath.
Before being submerged, the steel must undergo a caustic cleaning. This involves soaking it in a hot alkali solution to remove any contaminants such as oil or grease built up during production. Then the pieces are subjected to pickling, a cycle in which the steel is immersed in an acid solution to remove surface scale and any existing rust. Finally, before getting dipped in zinc, the steel must be put through the fluxing process. The flux is a substance used to r
emove oxides from and prevent further oxidation of fused metals, and in the case of hot-dip galvanization, zinc ammonium chloride is used. Because the density of the flux is less than that of the zinc, it floats on the surface, allowing for fluxing and coating to be done simultaneously.
Now that you know hot-dip galvanization is, I’m sure the next question on your mind is “How much does it cost?”
Although every structure will have a unique cost depending on the size, shape, and other project specs, you really want to be thinking about how long you want your building to last. Post production hot-dip galvanizing to the framework offers corrosion protection that is far superior to other construction types, minimizing maintenance costs and ensuring long term structural integrity. And that’s the key – long term savings. A case study showed that if the Golden Gate Bridge had been hot-dip galvanized, the potential savings would be around $319 million. That’s enough to build the entire bridge several times over!
So if you are in the market for a steel framed building, you have to decide; do you want a structure that is going to rust, or do you want it hot-dip galvanized?