The biggest advantage of ZINCALUME® steel water tanks is the duplex barrier protection with superior corrosion resistance. Galvanized steel only provides a sacrificial coating for corrosion protection.
Galvanized steel was invented in 1938 and is still manufactured with the original sacrificial protection. The sacrificial protection of galvanized steel is a Zinc coating that corrodes in preference to the steel below (Evans, 1992). Over time, galvanized steel water tanks sacrifice their protection and corrode with rust.
Next-generation ZINCALUME® steel’s patented Activate® technology alloys magnesium with an activated Aluminum-Zinc coating. The result is a tougher protective coating with a longer service life that’s more scratch resistant. The longer-lasting ZINCALUME® steel duplex protection provides a milder degree of sacrificial protection at the cut edge, but because the coating survives longer, the protective effect is far longer lasting.
The Zincalume Steel® Duplex Coatings are a combination of the best characteristics of barrier and sacrificial Coatings. The alloying of metals with differing corrosion performance allows the coating to be created that offers both barrier protection to protect the underlying steel. This also provides sacrificial protection in the event the steel is cut, scratched, drilled, or damaged.
ZINCALUME® steel has been researched and developed for over 30 years with over 5,000 panels tested in a wide range of laboratory and real-world conditions. The resulting tests have proven that the superior corrosion resistance of ZINCALUME® steel increases service life from 200% to over 400% as compared to galvanized steel. There are Pioneer Water Tanks installed in the first year of manufacturing in 1988, that are still storing water without signs of rust or corrosion.
The purpose of an accelerated corrosion salt spray test is to duplicate in the laboratory, the field corrosion performance of a product. This is to provide scientists and engineers with a means of evaluation. ZINCALUME® Steel resists corrosion after 240 hours of salt spray exposure, especially when compared to how the galvanized steel held up.
ZINCALUME® steel is also coated with a fine resin that serves several functions including temporary corrosion protection, anti-finger marking, reduction of wet stack storage, and acts as a dry lubricant. Galvanized steel is not resin-coated without that scratch resistance.
ZINCALUME® steel offers a consistent small spangle surface with a smooth appearance. The superior resistance to general discoloration keeps ZINCALUME® steel to its original look for longer. By staying brighter for longer, the surface of ZINCALUME® steel sheeting maximizes heat reflection from solar radiation and minimizes heat transmission inside. The small spangle surface of ZINCALUME® steel is also a better surface for post-painting applications than galvanized steel.
The exceptional corrosion resistance and long-lifespan of the ZINCALUME® steel tank body of Pioneer Water Tanks are just two reasons why they are utilized almost worldwide.
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Evans, Charlotte. “An Anecdotal History of the Galvanizing Industry.” American Galvanizers Association Industry, 9 Mar. 1992.
Steel, BlueScope. “ZINCALUME® Steel.” ZINCALUME® Steel – BlueScope Steel, 2020, www.steel.com.au/products/coated-steel/zincalume-steel.