Although many people associate it with the same process, it is not. There are even different types of galvanizing, hot and cold.
What is electrolytic zinc plating and what is it for?
Zinc plating is a process by which a metallic piece of mild steel (commonly called iron) is coated with a layer of zinc by electrolysis.
It is made so that the metal is protected against corrosion, since it can prevent the appearance of rust for several years, even being outdoors in temperatures below freezing or above 40 degrees Celsius.
This process is carried out by bathing the pieces in the liquid in question and applying direct current (DC) so that the zinc adheres to the metal.
This process can be faster or slower depending on the electrical power applied and the thickness of Zinc we need. In addition, the pieces need to be in motion since if they are touching each other, they will not be protected in that area and corrosion would appear immediately.
What is galvanizing?
Electrolytic galvanizing is another process similar to zinc plating but with greater noncorrosive capacity and is usually applied to metal structures to prevent the entry of oxide and its deterioration.
If you want to know more about galvanization, you can read it here.
It is the most common since it is also the cheapest to perform and has a very powerful noncorrosive capacity.
Hot dip galvanized
Hot-dip galvanizing is a more complex and costly process, but in return it offers characteristics to the structure that are close to those offered by stainless steel. But even being expensive, it is cheaper than stainless steel.
You can find a lot of difference from one company to another, especially if the quantity to be done is small, less than 300 Kg. But for large and regular quantities, you can find prices from $ 0.40/kg to $ 0.80/kg, always talking about extremes that I have found in the market. If your situation is that you need to make 500 Kg or more every month of pieces less than a meter long, you can consider making your own zinc plating line that will pay off in a few months, especially if companies in your area charge you a very high rate.
If we talk about cold galvanizing, the minimum price I have found is $ 0.50/Kg, and that of hot dip galvanizing, exceeds $ 0.80/Kg.
Create your electrolytic zinc plating installation
You can find more details of what you need and the processes in a next post, stay tuned because we will not be long in publishing it.
Basically I anticipate that you will need, at least, several tanks, which can be made of fiberglass, to clean the pieces of oils, to zinc, to rinse, etc., a hoist to insert the pieces and remove them, an inverter (I have also seen with truck batteries), and a dryer so they don’t stay wet. You can find second-hand facilities, rarely, but they can be below $35,000-$40,000.