Galvanizing benefits


With up to four percent of the world’s GDP estimated to be lost through corrosion each year, it’s unsurprising that the whole lifecycle of steel is a huge factor for decision makers in engineering. 

In a bid to avoid rust and corrosion impacting projects, hot-dip galvanizing is one of the most popular finishes for protecting and preserving steel – everything from large-scale infrastructure components through to small and intricate nuts and bolts. 

Dating back to the mid-1700s, the process of galvanizing has evolved over the years to become a sustainable, durable, hygienic, long-lasting, and economic finish of choice. But if you’re feeling rusty about your galvanizing knowledge, Andy Harrison, Sales and Marketing Director at Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd - the UK’s largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation - shares everything you need to know: 

“To protect steel items from rust and corrosion, hot-dip galvanizing is often used, and favoured, by many across the engineering, rail and architecture industries (to name just a few). Objects are chemically cleaned to remove any existing surface rust, oil or mill scale, before being completely immersed into a bath of molten zinc at temperatures around 450°C. The steel is entirely coated – inside and out, in awkward corners and narrow gaps, and even in the hardest-to-reach areas – before being left to cool, allowing a metallurgic-bonded coating to form. 

“It’s this unique bonding that brings about an array of benefits – no other coating can do this. Not only is galvanized steel able to withstand even the harshest of conditions for decades without any maintenance required, but it also provides a tough and durable finish which boasts the greatest resistance to mechanical damage – a vital factor during transport, storage, and installation. 


“Galvanizing offers long-lasting protection – more than 70 years maintenance-free. This allows the overall lifecycle costs to remain low, as it significantly saves time and labour-intensive resources, as well as limiting the need for downtime or replacement – which is particularly attractive for companies seeking economic benefits during the current cost-of-living crisis. 


“Galvanizing provides such a tough, durable, and permanent finish that, should it ever be required, it can only be removed by professionals using abrasive blasting or specialist chemicals. 


“As one of the only few metal finishes that’s defined by a British Standard, reliability is ensured. Galvanizing is a uniformed and relatively simple process, meaning that consistent and predictable outcomes can be achieved, every time. And – thanks to this – it can often have short turnaround times too, being able to meet even the strictest of deadlines. 


“Galvanized steel can be easily wiped down (without impacting its properties or ability to provide rust-free protection), meaning it’s one of the most hygienic steel finishes. 


“More than ever before, customers are increasingly interested in the sustainability of the brands they’re working with. Add to this: ever-evolving government environmental regulations and targets that organisations must comply with, and businesses that genuinely want to do things for the right reasons. It’s vital that you work with partners that are aligned with your attitudes towards protecting our planet. 

“Galvanizing is the original green solution – both in its functionality and through the process itself. 

Due to its non-ferrous properties, any unused zinc can remain in the bath (unchanged physically or chemically), able to be utilised in the next project, and therefore creating minimal waste. Plus, galvanized steel can be recycled along with scrap steel. Or, stripped, re-galvanized, and reused – again and again. 

“The galvanizing process itself is incredibly innovative, and so it’s vital that as a company (and industry) we’re as advanced and novel in our approach to sustainability. And that’s why we’re dedicated to making conscious, considered and careful decisions – seeking above and beyond existing obligatory compliance and regulations. Instead, we’re proud to boast a triple bottom line: focused on our people, our planet, and our profits. 

“As part of this wider commitment, we’re on a carbon reduction journey towards net zero, and through this have made some significant advancements and investments across our national network of 14 plants. Developments include the introduction of high-velocity Smart Firing technology, which has resulted in an impressive 35% carbon emissions reduction.

“Smart-fire furnaces analyse and monitor temperatures, heat exchangers transfer waste heat back into the galvanizing process, lagged tanks retain heat, and low-temperature degreasers work just as productively with an innovative chemical which requires lower temperatures. And, to further complement our sustainability strategy, we’re proudly one of the only Lead and Chrome-free galvanizing companies in the UK, and we’re also rolling out electric manual handling equipment (such as forklift trucks) across the group. 

“We regularly work with professionals within the engineering industry, supporting them with projects across the globe. Thanks to its abundance of benefits – that really do save businesses valuable time, money, and resources – they come to us for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to provide a quality, permanent and durable coating that will last a lifetime, to offer a reliable yet cost-effective solution, or to enhance sustainability credentials (of both the business and the project overall). But regardless of the motives, hot-dip galvanizing continues to provide the finish of choice.”

Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd is the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years and 14 plants strategically placed across the country.