Comparing Aluminum-Zinc Alloy to Galvanized Metal protective coatings which are fundamental to steel corrosion prevention. There are two types of coatings that provide a barrier between valuable metal and the elements.
Offering some protection against corrosion-causing elements, galvanized metal is a sheet of steel that has been coated with a thin layer of zinc oxide (99.8% zinc). Initially, galvanized metal maintains its appearance however, once exposed to the elements, the zinc coating begins to corrode at the cut edge, eventually spreading across the entire surface, quickly deteriorating the original façade while weakening the steel. In fact, galvanized metal may begin to break down within 10 to 15 years of element exposure.
In 1972, Bethlehem Steel, developed GALVALUME®1 sheet steel consisting of 55% aluminum, 43.5% zinc and 1.5% silicon, it is applied via a continuous hot dip process over the base metal. The generic process of applying an aluminum-zinc alloy in a hot dip process delivers superior oxidation-resistance, granting two to four times the life span of traditional galvanized metal. It offers the corrosion resistance and heat reflectivity of aluminum coatings, along with the formability and galvanic protection of cut edges of zinc coatings
Silicon enhances the adhesion of the coating, keeping it in place when the steel is rolled, stamped or bent, while the aluminum additive and zinc fusion create microscopic particle areas within the coating—the aluminum-rich areas, which corrode very slowly, provide long-term durability, while the zinc-rich areas, which corrode preferentially, provide galvanic protection.
• There is a visible difference to a aluminum-zinc alloy metal as it appears to almost have a matte finish.
• Galvanized metal corrodes linearly, and eventually, the zinc coating is completely depleted whereas an aluminum-zinc alloy experiences some corrosion, but on a smaller and less significant scale.
• An aluminum-zinc alloy metal is less prone to rusting than normal galvanized steel, and less likely to completely break down, even after a few decades.
An aluminum-zinc alloy offers many advantages when compared to galvanized metal. A sturdy, defensive barrier, resisting rust, the elements and fire, it provides exceptional heat-resistance and corrosion-resistant performance—typically four to six times greater than galvanized metal. And unlike galvanized finishes, aluminum-zinc alloy features a resin coating that not only protects against corrosion and fingerprints, but presents a better surface for paint application, making it ideal for both interior and exterior finishes. Best of all, both finishes follow the same pricing trends, so while comparatively priced, the extended lifespan of an aluminum-zinc alloy delivers better long-term ROI.
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1 GALVALUME is a registered trademark of BIEC International, Inc.