Primer on Galvanneal Steel

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Primer on Galvanneal Steel

Silver metallic polymer on metal surface

Throughout the world of metal and steel, there’s a regular need to protect a base metal material from corrosion, most commonly seen in the form of rust. There are several methods that accomplish this using an outer coating, and one such method is galvanizing steel – applying a thin layer of zinc to the steel to act as a sacrificial coating.

At Wasatch Steel, we can help you find all the steel products and solutions you might need for your next project. There are actually multiple individual processes within the world of galvanizing metals, and one of these is called galvannealing – how is this done, how does it compare to standard galvanizing, and what are some popular uses of galvanneal?

Galvanneal Basics

Similar in nature to another galvanizing format called hot-dip galvanizing, galvanneal steel is made by running the base metal through a zinc alloy liquid solution. The difference is that there’s an additional step after this: Galvanneal is then passed through a high-volume air knife, which uses low pressure to blow any additional coating off the steel before it finishes solidifying.

What you’re left with is a steel that has a slightly thinner zinc coating than other forms of galvanized steel – this is because excess zinc is removed before it has a chance to bond to the metal. For the alloying process to complete, the metal is then placed in a furnace until it hits an annealing temperature. From here, it can be cut to whatever specifications are required.

Benefits of Galvanneal

There are several advantages to using galvanneal compared with other galvanizing formats:

  • Painting: Due to the thinner zinc coating that also comes in a matte format, galvannealed steel is much easier for paint to adhere to. It’s one of the single most paint-friendly steel forms out there.
  • Formability and weldability: Galvanneal has formability and weldability properties that are generally better than other galvanized steel – but unlike carbon steels, which have similar malleability, it comes with corrosion resistance.
  • Harder coating: The zinc coating on galvanneal is typically harder than other galvanizing formats, despite being thinner. This means it’s resistant to scratching and other types of basic damage, which can expose base metals to the elements even without corrosion taking place.

Corrosion Resistance Levels

It’s important to note that despite its benefits, galvanneal does come with lower levels of corrosion resistance than other forms of galvanized steel. The zinc coating layer may be harder, but it’s still thinner – and that’s what matters for corrosion resistance.

Popular Uses

Due to the fact that the galvannealing process is possible with a wide range of steel types, the applications of this type are many. It can be seen in everything from automobile frames to building structures, with uses in welding, marine areas, deep drawing and several high-tensile stress projects.

To learn more about galvanneal, or for information on any of our steel services, contact the professionals at Wasatch Steel today.