Tech Spotlight: A Safer and More Sustainable Alternative to Hot Dip Galvanizing—Galv360®
Hot dip galvanizing (HDG) offers a virtually unmatched protective zinc coating for steel products. It provides a tough and somewhat durable finish that resists damage from wear and abrasion as well as corrosion, and is typically less expensive compared to other corrosion protective coatings.
But hot dip galvanizing has its limitations. It’s a thick coating, but has a tendency to flake and/or chip off, especially when rubbed or hit. Zinc is relatively soft compared to steel, so the coating wears quicker than steel – especially when rubbed together under water. HDG is applied as a liquid and so corners and edges either have excess thickness (gunk) or rough edges. The final process is controlled by either air or flame, which is difficult to control, so the thickness varies throughout the different surfaces of a part. These two aspects can often lead to quality issues in gypsy applications (pocket wheel) where the chain can, on occasion, pop out of the gypsy when it is winching.
Laclede Chain’s new Galv360® is an all-around improvement to this more traditional protective process.
What is Galv360®?
Galv360® is an advanced solution for applying protection to steel. Using thermal diffusion (rather than dipping a steel piece in molten zinc) Galv360® employs a proprietary alloy of zinc that turns to gas at a relatively low temperature. Doing this creates layers of intermetallic zinc/iron alloy that coat both the internal and external surfaces of a part, changing the actual physical properties of the steel to achieve a protective surface that provides superior resistance to corrosion.
It’s also safer, more sustainable, and longer-lasting than hot dip galvanizing.
A Safer Process for Protecting Steel
The Galv360® application process is completely non-toxic and heavy metal free (both RoHS and REACH compliant). The application process itself is less dangerous than protective coatings such as Sherardizing and hot dip galvanizing, both of which produce toxic fumes.
The thermal diffusion galvanizing process produces zero landfill material, uses limited water and is a chrome-free, non-toxic coating. Hot dipping often produces run-off which can pollute environments.
A More Sustainable Alternative
As ecologically “green” as coated metal chain can be, Galv360® uses less energy (43% of the energy hot dip galvanizing requires) while using less material. In fact, a Galv360® application provides a superior level protection to hot dip galvanizing but at only half the thickness and with only a fraction of the waste (5% vs 35% for hot dip galvanizing).
What’s more, because neither caustic degreasing/fresh water rinsing nor acid pickling is necessary with Galv360® the process doesn’t produce the toxic runoff, fumes, and air pollution hot dip galvanizing does. In an extensive 2006 study of Galv360®’s thermal diffusion technology, the U.S. EPA stated that the process “does approach Zero discharge.”
For all these reasons, Galv360® earned the EPA’s Most Valuable Pollution Prevention technology (MVP2) award.
Longer Lasting Protection for Steel
As confirmed through independent testing, at even a conservative estimate, Galv360® protection lasts two to three times longer than an equivalent coating of hot dip galvanizing. The unique Galv360® process not only penetrates and coats a metal surface with its zinc-iron alloy, but reaches areas between every link in a chain that are simply impossible to treat with standard hot dip galvanizing. This advantage plus the additional years of use create savings both on replacement and maintenance costs.
More than a coating, Laclede Chain’s state-of-the-art Galv360® finish helps chain maintain its appearance and sturdiness for years longer than uncoated—as well as many coated—chains.
Whether for military, marine, or power generation applications, Galv360® is the safest, most environmentally-friendly, longest lasting, and most advanced steel protection for chain solutions available today.
- Military use. The U.S. military has recognized the strength and durability of Galv360® chain. Now specifying zinc alloy thermal diffusion coatings (TDC) on steel fasteners and hardware, the U.S. Navy equips their hovercraft fleet with grade 120 Galv360® coated chain and the U.S. Army is retrofitting all landing craft with Galv360® coated anchor chains and bow chains.
- Marine use. Harsh oceanic environments accelerate corrosion and abrasion, making Galv360®-treated chains the ideal solution, with their resistance to saltwater damage and their longevity.
- Power Generation applications. Signaling an industry-wide transition, major U.S. power utilities now specify Galv360®’s thermal diffusion galvanizing as an alternative to hot dip galvanized and stainless steel chain.
- Outdoors and heavy use – When chain remains outside 24/7, and is in use almost as much, reliability and durability are essential. Whether for parking lots, school crossing barricades, or playground equipment, Galv360® coated chain is your best solution for dependable applications that stay continuously out in the open and in the weather and can always be relied upon.
Ready to Get Started With Galv360®?
Request a quote online or call us today, (800) 325-2699.