What is Zinc?
Zinc is a chemical element that is commonly used in the metal-finishing industry for its corrosion-resistant properties. It’s typically applied to nuts, bolts, automotive parts and a wide range of consumer products.
How is Zinc Plating Applied?
During the zinc plating process, a metal item is immersed in an electrolyte solution that contains dissolved zinc. An electric current is then introduced into the solution to coat the item with a layer of molten zinc.
The resulting coating is generally thicker than the original item’s surface and will usually require the use of a special jig or barrel to hold the object in place while it undergoes the plating process. The plated object should be baked after the process is complete to help minimize the risk of hydrogen embrittlement, which occurs when trapped hydrogen molecules weaken the metal.
Can I Use Zinc Coated Screws Outside?
When a zinc coating is applied to the steel part of a screw, it provides an outer protective layer that prevents rust from developing. Zinc corrodes significantly more slowly than other metals and alloys, so a zinc-coated screw will often last for about 30 years before red rust starts to appear.
What is the difference between Galvanized and Zinc Plated Fasteners?
Galvanized screws, like zinc-plated screws, feature a zinc shell that protects the metal portion of the screw from moisture and oxygen. While both methods offer a strong barrier against rust, galvanized screws are more durable and longer lasting than their zinc-plated counterparts.