Hot dip galvanizing is the process of coating iron or steel with a layer of zinc by immersing the metal in a bath of molten zinc at a temperature of around 842 °F (450 °C). During the process, a metallurgically bonded coating is formed which protects the steel from harsh environments, whether they be external or internal. Galvanized steel is widely used in applications where corrosion resistance is needed without the cost of stainless steel and can be identified by the crystallised pattern on the surface (often called a ‘spangle’). Galvanizing is probably the most environmentally friendly process available to prevent corrosion.
The galvanizing reaction will only occur on a chemically clean surface. In common with most coating processes, the secret to achieving a good quality coating lies in the preparation of the surface. It is essential that this is free of grease, dirt and scale before galvanizing. These types of contamination are removed by a variety of processes and common practice is to degrease first using an alkaline or acidic solution into which the component is dipped. The article is then rinsed in cold water to avoid contaminating the rest of the process.
The chassis is then dipped in hydrochloric acid at ambient temperature to remove rust and mill scale. Welding slag, paint and heavy grease will not be removed by these cleaning steps and should be removed by the fabricator before the work is sent to the galvanizer. After further rinsing, the components will then commonly undergo a fluxing procedure. This is normally applied by dipping in a flux solution – usually about 30% zinc ammonium chloride at around 65-80°C. Alternatively, some galvanizing plants may operate using a flux blanket on top of the galvanizing bath. The fluxing operation removes the last traces of oxide from the surface and allows the molten zinc to wet the steel.
When the clean iron or steel component is dipped into the molten zinc (which is commonly at around 450°C) a series of zinc-iron alloy layers are formed by a metallurgical reaction between the iron and zinc. The rate of reaction between the steel and the zinc is normally parabolic with time and so the initial rate of reaction is very rapid and considerable agitation can be seen in the zinc bath. The main thickness of coating is formed during this period. Subsequently, the reaction slows down and the coating thickness is not increased significantly even if the article is in the bath for a longer period of time.
A typical time of immersion is about four or five minutes but it can be longer for heavy articles that have high thermal inertia or where the zinc is required to penetrate internal spaces. Upon withdrawal from the galvanizing bath, a layer of molten zinc will be taken out on top of the alloy layer. Often this cools to exhibit the bright shiny appearance associated with galvanized products.
How to Order
If you have particular requirements, talk to our experts about how we can customise your chassis and add bespoke elements such as engine mounts or towing brackets.
We also offer a complimentary galvanised bolt in cross member when you buy any Shielder Chassis.
Our yard is based in Ireland and we also have a depot in Stratford upon Avon. We can also ship overseas to most locations right to your door.
If you love your Land Rover Defender and want to give it the best, get in touch with us today. We can keep you on the road for longer. If you are ready to buy, we take card payments over the phone.
Or call and speak to one of our experts about how we can personalise your chassis.
NI/ROI: +44 (0)28 3751 8271
UK: 0116 442 2319