Steel is an umbrella term that covers a large group of metals, all of which are alloys. Galvanized steel, one of the most popular and widely used types of steel alloy, is coated in zinc to render it rust-proof. This is done either by dipping the steel in molten zinc or by electroplating. There are a number of different types of galvanized steel that are formulated for different purposes. They can be distinguished from each other by their specific mechanical properties.
Commercial steel is a basic galvanized steel product that can be cut and shaped at the location at which it will be installed, using relatively simple bending methods or moderate stretching or "drawing." It can be bent flat onto itself in any direction without heat being applied.
Commercial steel is used for general manufacturing purposes. It is especially popular in the auto industry where it is used for automobile roofs, seats, spring houses, parking brakes and oil pans.
Forming steel has high tensile strength, and is even more "ductile" than commercial steel. Ductility refers to the capacity for it to be bent and shaped without breaking. Forming steel can also be formed into tight radii as well as be drawn into sheets or wire in a more consistent way. One of the most visible ways in which this type of galvanized steel is used is to manufacture playground swings.
The label "drawing steel" derives from the sheet-metal forming process of pressing metal blanks into shapes that are cupped. Compared to forming steel, this galvanized steel product has more rigorous drawing requirements and is normally suitable for deep-drawing and extra-deep-drawing applications. Its excellent deep-drawing properties make it well-suited for use in manufacturing automobile hoods and fenders.
This is a low-carbon steel that contains manganese. Construction companies and manufacturers demand nothing less than structural steel for projects that require particularly high-strength levels or mechanical working properties. Typically, these projects involve roll forming or brake press bending. If you are in a multifloored building, you are standing on structural steel because it is formed and shaped and use in situations where it has to take a heavy load for the rest of its life. Structural steel is widely used in the construction of bridges, buildings and ship construction.
High-strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel is a type of galvanized steel that has the enormous strength and malleability of structural steel, but which boasts an even greater capacity to be shaped and formed. It is also known as micro-alloyed steel because it contains small amounts of alloying elements that include vanadium, niobium, titanium and/or zirconium.
HSLA steel is a popular material for constructing lightweight structures, because it increases their loading capacity without weighing them down. For the same reason, it is increasingly popular in the auto industry for weight-reduction and fuel efficiency purposes. Other uses are constructing penstock for regulating water flow, as well as in shipbuilding and offshore construction.
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