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What Finish Is Best For External Mild Steel Balustrade?

Mild steel is a versatile material used in various applications, but when it comes to external balustrades, ensuring both structural integrity and aesthetic appeal is crucial. One of the primary considerations in this regard is choosing the right finishing method to protect against corrosion. In this article, we’ll delve into the two main options: hot dip galvanising and hot zinc spraying.


Hot Dip Galvanising

Hot dip galvanising has long been the go-to method for protecting mild steel in external environments. This process involves immersing the steel in liquid zinc at high temperatures, creating a metallurgical bond that offers excellent anti-corrosive properties. While it’s suitable for applications where the galvanised finish is acceptable, such as railings and support posts, there are some challenges to consider:

  1. Risk of Distortion: The high temperatures involved in the galvanising process can lead to some degree of distortion in the steel.
  2. Logistical Challenges: The dipping process requires suitable holes for suspension and drainage, adding complexity to production.
  3. Compatibility with Paint or Powder Coating: If further finishing is required, additional treatment of the galvanised surface is necessary to ensure proper adhesion.
  4. Energy Consumption: Maintaining the molten zinc tanks requires a significant amount of energy.

Hot Zinc Spraying

Hot zinc spraying offers an alternative to galvanising, providing similar protection against corrosion with some distinct advantages:

  1. Superior Bond Strength: The textured surface created by hot zinc spraying provides an excellent profile for paint or powder coating, resulting in superior adhesion.
  2. Low Heat Input: Unlike galvanising, hot zinc spraying involves minimal heat input, eliminating the risk of thermal distortion.
  3. Control and Consistency: The process allows for precise control over thickness and coverage, with no limitations based on size or shape.
  4. Compliance with Standards: Thermal sprayed coatings meet international standards, ensuring quality and reliability.
  5. Reduced Energy Usage: Hot zinc spraying consumes less energy compared to galvanising, leading to a lower carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Choosing the Right Finish

When it comes to selecting the best finish for your project, consider factors such as aesthetic preferences, performance requirements, and environmental concerns. While hot dip galvanising remains a viable option for certain applications, hot zinc spraying offers distinct advantages, particularly when followed by paint or powder coating. Ultimately, consulting with project consultants can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and specifications.

In conclusion, the choice between hot dip galvanising and hot zinc spraying depends on various factors, including desired finish, performance requirements, and environmental considerations. By understanding the benefits and differences between these two methods, you can ensure the long-term durability and aesthetic appeal of your mild steel balustrades.


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