Quick Guide: The History of Galvanizing and how it Works


Have problems protected your iron surfaces? Look into the galvanizing method below to solve your issue.

Galvanizing Definition

Galvanizing remains one of the more commonly used techniques of corrosion resistance against metal – this means adding a small zinc layer over a denser underlying metal, protecting it against its environment. Soaking steel parts inside a pool containing molten zinc or using the best galvanizing spray will work wonders.

Galvanization History

The history of Galvanization dates back to 1780 when Luigi Galvani learned about the frog’s leg twitching in contact with two different metals, iron and copper. Galvani concluded incorrectly that the electricity source was the frog’s legs. The galvanization term was first used in the lexicon partly under Michael Faraday’s work. Sir Humphrey Davy confirmed that an electrical connection of two different metals that are submerged in water causes rapid corrosion of one metal while the other receives protection in the early 1800s. Sorel acquired patents for the steel coating process through cleaning and immersing in molten zinc, the best galvanizing spray in 1836. He named the process galvanizing. William Crawford obtained a license for the same process in 1837. Galvanized iron was first used at Pembroke Docks in the Navy.

Reasons for Galvanization

Galvanizing grants non-corrosive properties to materials that can get corroded. If not, the metal will stay vulnerable to harsh environments without protection. Galvanized steel is a budget-effective alternative to materials like stainless metal or aluminum for corrosion prevention.

How does Galvanizing work?

Galvanizing in a number of ways defends against rust:

  • It creates a shield that hinders corrosive substances from accessing the covered iron or steel.
  • The zinc functions as a sacrificial metal such that scratching does not expose underlying steel to destruction.  
  • The zinc preserves the base metal against destruction by corroding ahead of it.
  • The zinc layer reacts with its environment to create a lightweight, sticky patina that is insoluble in rainwater.

There are other ways through which galvanizing may preserve steel. First, this provides a protective layer from the immediate environment, which protects the material. The zinc layer protects the underlying steel from being corroded by water and dampness and other components in the atmosphere. The metal would be transparent and vulnerable to corrosion if the zinc layer were damaged deeply enough.

Galvanizing could also secure metal by one “galvanic corrosion” method. Galvanic corrosion happens once an electrolyte like salty water contains several components of a distinct electrical and chemical make-up. Depending on the molecular structure of both metals, the anode is one metal, and the cathode is the other. The anode weakens faster than it individually would, and also the cathode degrades at a slower tempo than it alone would.

Galvanizing Methods

Galvanizing metal has several processes:

Hot-Dip Galvanizing

As the title suggests, sinking the metal in a molten bath of zinc is involved in this process. Next, whether manually, chemically or both the base metal should be washed to ensure a good bond between both the base metal and also the zinc layer can be produced. Once cleaned, that base material must then be flushed to remove any lingering oxides that may persist after the method of cleaning.

This approach has the benefits of being economical. It could be done quickly and in compound forms. The final layer, however, may be incompatible with other methods of galvanization.

Over a considerable time, dip-hot galvanization has been used to secure steel products in different environments because it has been shown to last from 35 – 170 years. Galvanizing has become great protection against oxidation because it is budget-effective, truthful and renewable.


This process is quite comparable to Dip-hot galvanizing, however, it is used in the steel mill, typically on products that have a unique shape. Pre-galvanization requires winding metal sheets through a process similar to the technique of galvanizing the hot-dip way. After passing through a heated, liquid zinc bath, that metal is recovered.

A benefit of the whole technique would be that large steel sheet coils could be galvanized quickly with a much more standardized coating relative to galvanizing with dip-hot galvanization. A downside is that unless pre-galvanized material is processed, uncovered and uncoated parts are visible. This ensures that the corners where the metal is sliced will be left uncovered when a lengthy coil of metal is sliced into small sizes.

Galvanizing Electrically

Galvanizing electrically, unlike the prior methods, does not need a molten zinc pool. It involves reducing ionized zinc particles to zinc oxide, which can then be accumulated on the substance that is positively charged. It is also possible to add grain refiners that help to enhance.

A standardized layer and accurate coating density are among the benefits of this technique. The sheet, however, is generally thinner than that of the zinc layer produced by the process of dip-hot galvanization, which may lead to reduced protection against corrosion.

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