Things to Know about Zinc Plating

by | Apr 29, 2016 | Materials & Supplies

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Just about everywhere you look these days, you can find examples of zinc plating. For instance, some of the parts on your car contain zinc and many kinds of metals are coated today to prevent rust or corrosion, including hinges, roofing materials and outdoor fasteners. Zinc is an important material for both the consumer and business, and here are some things you may like to know about this versatile metal.

What is Zinc?

Zinc is one of the natural elements found in the earth and it plays a very important role in the function of the human body. It is white and silver in color and zinc in the body helps the immune system protect you from disease and keeps the brain working properly. It has been proven to help wounds heal faster and get rid of the common cold quicker. However, this important element is also one of the finest corrosion inhibitors, and this is why it is commonly used to coat metals.

Zinc’s Fight Against Corrosion

Zinc is very effective against rust and corrosion. As it slowly breaks down it protects the metal it is coating. In fact, it sacrifices itself to protect metal. Its own ability to corrode and tarnish is what makes zinc plating so special.

Three Reasons to Choose Zinc

If you need something for plating or coating metal, there are three good reasons to go with zinc:

 * Highly protective
 * Cost effective
 * Appearance

Zinc Coating Methods

You can choose one of several methods for metal protection today. For example:

 * Galvanizing – this is commonly seen with roofing nails, metal buckets, steel pipe, utility poles and in many outdoor applications. The process is relatively simple. For hot dipped galvanization, the metal is dipped into melted zinc and then allowed to harden.

 * Electrocoating – also called e-coating. Using electricity, the metal surface attracts atoms of zinc and they bond with the metal’s surface.

 * Non electric coating – also known as electroless coating. Instead of electricity, a chemical reaction is used to coat the metal surface.

Which Zinc Plating Method is Best?

Selecting the best plating process depends upon the needs of the business. For example, choose galvanizing when you need low cost and thick coatings. For plating, both electro and electroless plating work well. Electroless is relatively new and does not require batteries. However, e-coating is still the standard for many zinc plating applications today. It provides as high as 99 percent coverage and emissions from wastewater and atmospheric gases are low.

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