Zinc is a versatile element. While you may be most familiar with the fact that it is an essential mineral for humans to survive, it is also a metal utilized for plating purposes. Metallic zinc was discovered in 1746 and since then, we have found all sorts of creative uses and applications. Here’s everything you need to know about zinc plating.
Reasons for Zinc Plating
The primary reason for plating another alloy like brass, steel, or iron with zinc is to prevent rusting and corrosion, which can be dangerous. Steel in highway bridges, railroads, and pipelines can corrode over long periods of time, which makes old infrastructure extremely unsafe and cost the country billions each year. Zinc plating protects these metals from becoming structurally deficient. Zinc is also a bio-compatible alloy making it safe and easy to comply with environmental regulations. Prior to 1980, corrosion-resistant plating used cadmium, a highly toxic element. While it is the strongest anti-rust compound available, cadmium is poisonous over long periods of time. Zinc plating is much safer.
How Zinc Plating Works
Nearly all other metals, using the electroplating process, can be plated with zinc. This involves electrodepositing a thin layer of zinc onto a substrate, the original metal or plastic surface. The thin layer of metal will provide a barrier between the original substrate and will rust or corrode instead of the substrate. Galvanization is another name for zinc plating since zinc can also be applied using a hot-dip galvanizing process.
Industries That Utilize Zinc Plating
- Hardware: Coat nails, screws, nuts, bolts, and fasteners with zinc keeps them from rusting faster.
- Automotive: By using the electrogalvanizing process, a layer of zinc protects the steel automobile base. Other auto parts that benefit from zinc coating include brake pipes and calipers, and steering components.
- Plumbing: Piping can corrode, often from the inside out, causing the metal to flake off in the water. Plated piping has a prolonged life of about 70 years.
Bend Plating | Zinc Plating
Bend Plating uses the electroplating process in order to layer zinc onto substrates. There are many applications for zinc plating and we are experts at finding a cost-effective solution to your project. Contact us today to learn about what we offer and how zinc plating can help.