Performed under controlled conditions within a factory environment, hot-dip galvanizing is a process that ensures a metallurgical bonding of zinc to steel. This straightforward yet effective procedure is renowned for its exceptional corrosion resistance. This is largely attributed to the molecular adhesion between the two metals and the cathodic protection it provides.
Drawing credit: American Galvanizing Association
Galvanizing serves as a protective shield for steel, preventing it from succumbing to rust. This protective mechanism is achieved through a process known as cathodic protection. Cathodic protection is an ingenious electrochemical process that halts the degradation of metals.
In the context of galvanized steel, the zinc coating plays a pivotal role. It acts as a sacrificial anode, a term that signifies its propensity to corrode before the steel does. This sacrificial corrosion is a strategic move, ensuring the steel's protection even when the zinc coating is damaged or compromised.
Thus, the principle of cathodic protection, coupled with the sacrificial role of the zinc coating, forms the crux of how galvanizing shields steel from the damaging effects of rust.
Drawing credit: American Galvanizing Association
The galvanized steel finish on a dump trailer offers a remarkable level of hardness and durability, making it a superior choice for those seeking longevity. The hot-dip galvanizing process forms a thick, chemically bonded zinc coating that is highly resistant to abrasion, impact, and scratches. This robust layer provides enduring protection against corrosion, significantly extending the trailer's lifespan.
So, how does galvanizing compare to traditional painting? While the powder-coat paint process is a frequently used method for steel protection, it often falls short in terms of durability compared to galvanized steel. Powder coating depends on a painted surface, which is susceptible to chipping, cracking, and fading over time. Even minor imperfections in the paint can expose the underlying steel to corrosion. In a dump trailer, moving parts such as hinges can quickly lose their paint, showing signs of rust within days, depending on the climate. In contrast, the galvanized steel finish provides a more resilient and reliable barrier against corrosion, ensuring a longer life for the dump trailer.
When it comes to dump trailers, durability is paramount. A robust construction ensures that your trailer can withstand the demands of heavy loads, rough terrain, and harsh weather conditions. One effective way to achieve exceptional toughness and longevity is through a galvanized steel finish. In this article, we'll delve into the hot-dip galvanizing process, explore the concept of cathodic protection and sacrificial anodes, and compare the hardness and durability of galvanized steel to the powder-coat paint process.
The longevity of a galvanized coating is influenced by the thickness of the zinc alloyed to the steel. Zinc thickness is a function of steel chemistry and its physical properties. For smaller trailers, zinc thickness is 3 mils; for larger ones, it’s 4 mils. Environmental factors and road contaminants also affect service life. Regular washing, particularly during winter when deicing salt is used, will greatly extend the life of your trailer.
As zinc ages, it changes color, transitioning from silver to grey over approximately 18 months. This color change, however, does not affect the anticorrosive properties. The thickness of the coating is the only determining factor.
The galvanizing process involves immersing the entire trailer in pure molten zinc, ensuring complete protection inside and outside every tube. The complex shape of trailers means that some variation in the surfaces related to drainage is unavoidable. It is therefore normal to see mottled surfaces and/or small accumulations of zinc in closed areas.
Whitish powder deposits on the zinc surface are actually zinc oxides, part of the passivation cycle. Zinc passivation goes through three phases, ensuring the longevity and durability of the galvanized finish.
The final layer of this process forms a protective patina over the zinc, safeguarding it against the ravages of humidity, inclement weather, and certain contaminants such as de-icing salts. These factors may hasten the aging process, but with proper ventilation, the steel remains unaffected.
So, why has Pono Trailers chosen to go galvanized? The answer lies in the unparalleled toughness, durability, and high resistance to corrosion that galvanized steel offers. In the demanding world of dump trailers, these qualities are indispensable for long-term performance.
The galvanized steel finish, achieved through the hot-dip galvanizing process, cathodic protection, and sacrificial anodes, provides exceptional protection against corrosion. This surpasses the durability offered by the powder-coat paint process, ensuring that your dump trailer can endure the most challenging conditions and continue to provide reliable service for years to come.
Pono Trailers is committed to delivering a comprehensive range of galvanized trailers to the market. Our aim is to provide our customers and friends with the highest quality trailers that are not only durable but also long-lasting. When you invest in a Pono galvanized dump trailer, you are investing in a reliable and enduring solution that embodies the toughness and durability required to thrive in our beautiful Hawaiian island home.