Left unprotected, steel will corrode and suffer loss of mechanical properties and integrity. When it comes to fasteners, corrosion and loss of integrity are particularly dangerous. Therefore, one of the most critical choices in the design of connections is how to protect the fasteners. Hot-dip galvanizing, coating steel with zinc, delivers long-term, maintenance-free corrosion protection in a variety of exposure conditions.
The hot-dip galvanized coating, unlike other zinc-coated fasteners, is metallurgically bonded to the underlying steel forming an impervious barrier between the steel substrate and the corrosive environment. This metallurgic bond means the zinc becomes an inherent part of the steel, rather than just a surface coating, and thus is difficult to damage even when torquing and tightening fasteners. The hot-dip galvanized coating will preferentially corrode to protect the fastener’s underlying steel as well as any small areas exposed due to mechanical damage. Therefore, hot-dip galvanizing is an effective method for delivering both long-term barrier and cathodic protection whether fastening connections in atmospheric, concrete, soil, or fresh- or salt-water applications.