Finishing, the final step in the manufacturing process – for crucial protection from the elements.
Steel is an oxidising material, meaning that it will eventually rust if left unprotected. Raw Steel is unfinished, leaving it open to rust and corrosion.
Rusting reduces the strength and lifespan of steel, so Raw Steel should only be used internally and not for long-term projects where the steel needs to stand the test of time. So it is essential in most cases to find a solution to prevent rust from forming.
Priming is the technique of applying coats of red oxide paint which is rich in zinc phosphate to the raw steel. This provides an active corrosion-resistant coat which protects steel and stops it from rusting.
The paint needs to be applied in layers - how many layers depends on where the steel will be installed and whether it will be exposed to the elements.
Galvanising produces one of the most durable finishes and is used when the steel is going to be employed externally in potentially damp areas – for example, close to rivers or expanses of water.
Galvanised Steel is achieved by dipping the steel in molten zinc. Zinc is very durable and resistant, with properties meaning that it will not oxidise when exposed to the elements. It is extremely slow to corrode, and coating steel with zinc creates a strong barrier that keeps moisture from making contact with the steel underneath, giving the steel extended longevity.