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The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) often discusses the benefits of hot-dip galvanizing, and in particular, focuses on the sustainability of the coating thanks to its maintenance-free longevity. One of the best ways to highlight these benefits is to visit galvanized steel projects in service to see how they have performed over the years. So, for the last three years, the AGA has been interviewing architects, engineers, and other specifiers about their past hot-dip galvanized (HDG) steel projects as a part of our Galvanized Steel Studies (GSS) series.

Galvanized Steel Studies Logo

In the videos, specifiers detail why hot-dip galvanizing was specified, and whether or not the HDG coating has lived up to their initial expectations. The GSS videos encompass a variety of projects, from buildings and stadiums to utility structures, bridges, and everything in between. As hot-dip galvanized steel is utilized in myriad applications for reasons as diverse as the types of projects where it is used, each individual GSS tells a unique story about why hot-dip galvanizing was chosen. However, one commonality among the videos is the consistent, long-term performance of hot-dip galvanizing has been consistent – providing maintenance-free longevity since its installation.

One of the newest videos in the series, the Stearns Bayou Bridge, is a great example of hot-dip galvanized steel’s sustainability. The bridge, built in 1966, is the oldest fully hot-dip galvanized steel bridge in the US. In August, the AGA visited the 51-year-old bridge to take coating thickness measurements and interview Brandt Homik the Ottawa County Road Commission’s Project Engineer. The bridge appeared to be in great condition, with the galvanized coating still showing a spangled appearance along the girders. Upon further review, the coating measurements showed an average thickness of 5.63 – 5.98 mils on the superstructure, and 3.31 mils on the rails. Homik also noted that other than a recent bridge deck replacement, no maintenance has been done to the bridge or hot-dip galvanized coating.  Watch for a more detailed story on the Stearns Bayou Bridge in the February issue of Roads & Bridges.

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Another recent addition to the GSS series is the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The structure of the 5-story Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, as well as miscellaneous steel elements throughout the park, were hot-dip galvanized in 1994. In the video, design architect Bob Pomeroy tells what led to the specification of galvanizing, and K.C. Mitchell, Director of Facility Management at Frederik Meijer, discusses how the HDG coating has withstood the humid environment over the last 23 years.

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Two other videos, both nature park projects have recently been released. First is our third Canadian project, the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in Vancouver. This thrilling adventure allows visitors to walk along the edge of the steep canyon to get unprecedented views of the water and nature below. Project Engineer Kent LaRose and Design Engineer Ruby Kwan discuss the intricacies of the project, and how hot-dip galvanized steel was integral to the success of the Cliffwalk. The second project is the Morris Arboretum's Out on a Limp Tree Adventure. This unique structure sits high above the forest floor, providing visitors a pathway among the treetops. You can lounge in a netted hammock, check out the bird's nest and just feel one with nature surrounding you. Architect Alan Metcalfe explains the reasons for using galvanized steel and why it matched with the overall environmentally friendly vision of the Arboretum.

Rounding out 2017 and bringing the GSS series to a total of 26 projects are Mr. Trash Wheel in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and Jack Howard-Potter's The Muse statue installed at the Southern Vermont Arts Center. These two projects represent very different ends of the spectrum of where HDG is used. Mr. Trash Wheel is very utilitarian, helping clean up Baltimore's Inner Harbor. On the other hand, the Muse is strictly an artistic use. Watch these videos and stay tuned for more in 2018!

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In addition to the Galvanized Steel Studies (GSS) series, the AGA released two videos as Galvanized Steel Stories – current projects during installation. Similar to the GSS videos, these stories are in the specifiers’ own words, but they track hot-dip galvanized steel projects as they are being fabricated, galvanized, and installed rather than visiting those already complete. These videos discuss the reasons hot-dip galvanizing was specified, but also look at design challenges and other obstacles that may arise and how learning about hot-dip galvanizing lead the specifiers to adapt to and overcome any roadblocks. Check out the story on Denver Zoo’s The Edge and the story of Galvanized Reinforcing Steel within the New York State Thruway Authority. Watch for a new story in 2018 on a galvanized steel bridge!

Do you have a hot-dip galvanizing story to tell? If you have a project that would be a great fit for either the Galvanized Steel Studies (past projects) or Galvanized Steel Stories  (current project) video series, please contact Digital Marketing Manager Laura Hanson for more information. In the meantime, watch your peers discuss their projects on our YouTube channel.

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