As durable as metal is, when left exposed to the elements it can degrade quickly. Galvanizing is the process of coating metals with zinc to give them more protection against rust and other environmental hazards. There are a couple of ways to do this such as hot dip galvanizing and electrogalvanizing.
What Is It?
Hot dip galvanizing is the process of dipping metal items into a molten zinc bath after being cleaned and coated with flux. This results in a thicker coat of zinc than electrogalvanizing which provides a thinner and shinier coat through an electric current being passed through the metal and a zinc solution.
Where To Get It?
There are many ways to get your metal galvanized including buying metal that already has the coating and getting the hot dip galvanizing equipment to do it yourself. Some equipment manufacturers will even deliver and assemble the equipment for you. This can be especially useful if you are creating many unique pieces or if you are in an industry which used many pieces of both galvanized and non-galvanized metals.
How Is It Done?
With hot dip galvanizing, the metal is first cleaned in a corrosive bath to get rid of surface contaminants, it is then covered in a flux material to help the zinc stick better and dipped into a molten zinc bath. This results in a thick covering useful for construction projects and art installations.
When you galvanize metal, particularly steel, you are protecting it from rusting when in contact with the environment. This is used for many applications including underwater construction, art installations and high-rise buildings. You can get galvanized steel in the form of raw metal sheets or even in buckets at your local hardware store. If you are working on a lot of large projects with specialty pieces, it can be more cost effective and easier to buy the equipment to do your own coatings.