Unleashing the Power of Galvanized Steel Pipes: A Comprehensive Guide to Properties and ApplicationsZ

You definitely have galvanized pipes that perform different functions in your homes and other buildings. Galvanized pipes are made of steel pipes that have been coated and dipped in zinc to protect them. The dipping is done to stop rust and corrosion.

In water supply systems, galvanized pipe is used instead of lead pipe. No one expects a piping system to last forever. Even steel pipes need maintenance. Fortunately, galvanized pipes give you anywhere between 40-100 years of functionality. 

So, let’s take a look at the properties, applications, advantages, and maintenance of galvanized steel pipes.

Properties of Galvanized Steel Pipes

The process of galvanization dates back to as far as 1742. It affords the steel pipes the necessary protection at a reasonable cost, enabling them to last longer than the ungalvanized ones. You might be unaware, but there is virtually no other coating for steel pipes that levels up to the unique properties of the galvanizing process. 

  • Corrosion Resistance: Zinc is mostly used for corrosion resistance. The coating will be of a uniform thickness once it has been immersed and covered, and the thickness will be solely dependent on the amount of steel that has been galvanized. Once it has been galvanized, the coating will become uniform.

All of this immersion actually has its own impact on steel pipes. Every piece of steel has anode and cathode areas. However, these areas are microscopic. If they are magnified too much, corrosion will invariably occur in the anode areas. 

The galvanized coating is there to ensure barrier protection. It provides a protective barricade around the steel. It also develops a protective patina on the surface due to exposure to the environment. 

  • Durability: Galvanized steels have the most long-lasting protection against corrosion. A sheet of A4 paper is about the same thickness as a coating that is 85 microns thick. You might be surprised to learn that this same thickness can protect a steel building for almost a century.
  • Strength: Interestingly, galvanizing has been found ten times better than abrasion coatings when it comes to abrasion resistance. The process of galvanization, especially the hot dip, is very unique. As such, the end result is galvanized steel that has a higher resistance to different mechanical damages during transportation, erection, and storage. 

The metallurgical bond makes the steel pipes incredibly strong. Its performance is exceptional as well. The toughness helps to protect all components during mechanical activities. 

  • Thermal Resistance: Galvanized steel pipes can perform very well under both harsh and cold temperatures. It can resist temperatures as hot as 200oC. The coated layers will prevent the steel from corrosion and protect it for years. You should note that any temperature above 200-250oC could spell doom for the galvanized steel. This is because the layers will start peeling off with time.
  • Low maintenance: There are two costs that are important in the galvanization of steel pipes. First, there is the cost of protection at the start. The second is the cost over the whole lifetime of the steel. People assume galvanization is expensive, but this is only because of how well it works.

Before, paint was cheaper than galvanization. Over the years, the tides have changed and it is safe to say that the painting cost has been spiraling up while the galvanizing cost has remained stable. 

Different studies have shown that the use of galvanized steel pipes will lead to lower maintenance costs. The thickness of the coated layers can also be measured. Measuring it will enable you to predict how long it will last.

Types of galvanized coatings

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of galvanized coatings used in the galvanization process.

steel pipes

  • Hot-Dip Galvanizing: The most common method for galvanizing steel pipes is hot-dip galvanizing. The steel pipes are immersed in a bath of molten zinc, which reacts with the steel’s surface to form a tightly bonded coating. The zinc coating offers excellent corrosion resistance because it acts as a barrier, shielding the steel from moisture, chemicals, and other corrosive elements.

Hot-dip galvanized coatings are typically thicker and more durable than other types of galvanized coatings, making them ideal for harsh environments or applications requiring extended service life.

  • Pre-Galvanizing: The process of pre-galvanizing, also referred to as mill galvanizing, coats the steel with a layer of zinc before it is formed into the finished item, such as a pipe. Using a continuous galvanizing procedure, the steel coil or sheet is passed through a number of zinc baths and coated with zinc. 

The steel’s surface is uniformly covered in a layer of zinc that offers excellent corrosion resistance. Pre-galvanized steel pipes are frequently used in projects that call for a uniform, shiny appearance, like architectural and decorative projects.

  • Electro-Galvanizing: The process of electro-galvanizing involves electrochemically depositing a thin layer of zinc onto the steel’s surface. The zinc ions bond to the steel surface as a result of an electric current flowing through an electrolyte solution in which the steel is submerged.

Electro-galvanized coatings are thinner compared to hot-dip galvanized coatings, but they still provide effective corrosion resistance. Electro-galvanized steel pipes are commonly used in applications where a thinner coating is sufficient, such as in indoor or low-corrosion environments.

  • Sherardizing: Sherardizing, also known as diffusion galvanizing, is a process where the steel is coated with zinc powder and then heated in a furnace. The zinc powder vaporizes and diffuses into the surface of the steel, forming a durable and corrosion-resistant coating. Sherardized coatings are typically thicker than electro-galvanized coatings but thinner than hot-dip galvanized coatings. 

Sherardizing is a less common method of galvanizing steel pipes, but it can be used in specialized applications where specific performance characteristics are required.

Different types of galvanized coatings, each with unique benefits and uses, can be applied to galvanized steel pipes. The most popular and widely used method, hot-dip galvanizing, produces thick, long-lasting coatings that are appropriate for harsh environments.

Pre-galvanizing is ideal for applications that require a smooth and uniform appearance. Electro-galvanizing is suitable for indoor or low-corrosion environments, where thinner coatings are sufficient. Sherardizing is a less common method used in specialized applications. 

Understanding the different types of galvanized coatings is essential when selecting galvanized steel pipes for specific applications, ensuring optimal performance and durability.

Galvanized Pipe Sizes

pipe

Galvanized steel pipes are widely used in various industries for their exceptional durability, corrosion resistance, and cost-effectiveness. One crucial aspect to consider when working with galvanized steel pipes is their size, as it impacts their suitability for different applications. Let’s take a closer look at galvanized pipe sizes to help you better understand their properties and applications.

Galvanized steel pipes are typically available in a wide range of sizes, which are designated by their nominal size or “nominal bore” (NB). The nominal size refers to the inside diameter (ID) of the pipe, and it is expressed in inches or millimeters. However, it’s important to note that the actual outside diameter (OD) of galvanized steel pipes may vary slightly based on the manufacturing process and the specific standards followed.

Common galvanized pipe sizes for industrial and commercial applications in the United States are typically measured in inches and can range from 1/2″ NB to 12″ NB or even larger. Some of the most commonly used sizes include 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, 3″, 4″, 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ NB. These sizes are widely available in the market and are used for various purposes, including plumbing, gas supply, water distribution, fire protection, and structural applications.

It’s important to note that galvanized steel pipes are generally measured based on their inside diameter, whereas other types of pipes, such as PVC or copper pipes, are typically measured based on their outside diameter. This is so that the inside and outside of the pipe will be coated with a layer of zinc. Galvanized steel pipes are created by dipping steel pipes into molten zinc. The thickness of the zinc coating can vary, and it is often specified as the “galvanized coating weight” or “galvanized coating class.” Different coating weights or classes may be suitable for different applications and environments, and it’s essential to consult relevant standards and guidelines for proper selection.

When selecting galvanized pipe sizes, it’s crucial to consider various factors, such as the flow rate, pressure requirements, and intended use of the pipe. Larger pipe sizes are typically used for applications that require high flow rates, such as water distribution or industrial processes, while smaller sizes may be suitable for lower flow rate applications, such as residential plumbing. Additionally, the wall thickness of the galvanized steel pipe, also known as “schedule,” should also be considered, as it affects the pipe’s strength and durability. Common schedules for galvanized steel pipes include Schedule 40 and Schedule 80, with Schedule 40 being thinner and more commonly used for general applications, and Schedule 80 being thicker and suitable for higher-pressure applications.

Understanding galvanized pipe sizes is crucial when working with galvanized steel pipes. The nominal size, actual outside diameter, and galvanized coating weight or class are important factors to consider when selecting the right size of galvanized steel pipe for your specific application. It’s essential to consult relevant standards, guidelines, and industry best practices to ensure that you choose the appropriate galvanized pipe size for your project to maximize its performance and longevity.

Galvanized Pipe Fittings

To meet different needs, galvanized pipe fittings are offered in a variety of forms, dimensions, and arrangements. They are typically constructed from galvanized steel, which has a zinc layer applied to them to prevent corrosion. The zinc coating on the fittings provides an additional layer of protection, making them resistant to rust and corrosion, and extending their lifespan. 

Common types of galvanized pipe fittings include elbows, tees, couplings, unions, caps, flanges, and reducers, among others. These fittings are designed to be used with galvanized steel pipes of matching sizes and schedules.

One crucial aspect of galvanized pipe fittings is their threading. Most galvanized steel pipes and fittings have threaded ends, which allow for easy installation and connection without the need for welding. The threads on galvanized pipe fittings are typically tapered and follow standard pipe thread specifications, such as National Pipe Thread (NPT) or British Standard Pipe (BSP) threads. It’s important to ensure that the threads on the galvanized pipe fittings match those on the galvanized steel pipes to ensure a proper and secure connection.

Galvanized pipe fittings are used in a wide range of applications. They are commonly used in plumbing systems for connecting pipes, redirecting flow, or changing directions. For example, elbows are used to create bends or turns in the pipe, tees are used to create junctions or branches, and couplings are used to connect two pipes together. 

It’s important to choose the right type and size of galvanized pipe fittings for your specific application to ensure proper functionality and performance. Factors to consider when selecting galvanized pipe fittings include the size and schedule of the galvanized steel pipes, the intended use of the system, and the operating conditions, such as temperature and pressure. Consulting relevant standards, guidelines, and industry best practices is essential to ensure the proper selection, installation, and maintenance of galvanized pipe fittings.

Galvanized pipe fittings play a critical role in connecting, joining, and redirecting galvanized steel pipes in various applications. Their durability, corrosion resistance, and ease of installation make them a popular choice for plumbing and piping systems. Understanding the types, sizes, threading, and applications of galvanized pipe fittings is crucial for ensuring the efficient and reliable performance of galvanized steel pipe systems. Stay tuned for the next part of our comprehensive guide, where we will explore the properties and benefits of galvanized steel pipes.

Galvanized Pipe Cutters

Galvanized pipe cutters come in different types, each with its unique features and benefits. Some of the commonly used types of galvanized pipe cutters include:

  • Pipe Cutter Wheels: These are circular cutting wheels that are used with a pipe cutter tool. They have sharp edges that rotate and cut through the galvanized steel pipe as the tool is turned around the pipe. Pipe cutter wheels are available in various sizes to match the diameter of the pipe being cut, and they are replaceable when they become dull.
  • Ratcheting Pipe Cutters: These are handheld pipe cutters that feature a ratcheting mechanism for easy and smooth cutting. They typically have a spring-loaded ratchet handle that allows for quick and continuous cutting with minimal effort. Ratcheting pipe cutters are suitable for cutting galvanized steel pipes of different sizes, and they provide clean, burr-free cuts.
  • Tubing Cutters: These are similar to ratcheting pipe cutters but are specifically designed for cutting smaller diameter pipes, typically up to 1 inch in diameter. Tubing cutters use a small cutting wheel that is manually rotated around the pipe, and they are ideal for precise cuts in tight spaces.
  • Hinged Pipe Cutters: These are heavy-duty pipe cutters that are used for cutting larger diameter pipes, typically 2 inches or more. Hinged pipe cutters have a hinge mechanism that allows them to be placed around the pipe and tightened with a handle, and then rotated to cut through the pipe. They are ideal for cutting galvanized steel pipes in tight or hard-to-reach spaces.

When choosing a galvanized pipe cutter, it’s important to consider the size of the pipes you will be cutting, the type of cut you need (e.g., straight or angled), and the accessibility of the cutting area. Look for pipe cutters that are specifically designed for cutting galvanized steel pipes and have sharp, durable cutting wheels or blades. Additionally, consider the ease of use, comfort of the handle, and overall durability of the tool.

Galvanized pipe cutters are essential for various applications where precise and clean cuts are required. They are commonly used in plumbing, construction, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and other industries where galvanized steel pipes are prevalent. Some common applications of galvanized pipe cutters include cutting pipes for installation or repairs, modifying pipes to fit specific measurements or angles, and preparing pipes for welding or joining with other fittings.

It’s important to follow proper safety precautions when using galvanized pipe cutters, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), securing the pipe in place, and using the cutter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating the cutting wheels or blades, will also help ensure the longevity and performance of the galvanized pipe cutter.

Galvanized Steel Pipe Specifications

Galvanized steel pipes are widely used in various industries due to their exceptional durability, corrosion resistance, and versatility. When working with galvanized steel pipes, it’s important to understand their specifications to ensure proper selection, installation, and performance. Here, we will delve into the key specifications of galvanized steel pipes in an elaborate and easy-to-understand manner.

Long Steel pipes

  • Size and Schedule: Galvanized steel pipes come in a variety of sizes and schedules, which are essential for determining their compatibility with other pipes and fittings in a plumbing or piping system. The size of galvanized steel pipes is typically specified by their nominal diameter, commonly referred to as “pipe size” (e.g., 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, etc.), which represents the internal diameter of the pipe. Galvanized steel pipes are also classified by their schedule, which indicates the wall thickness of the pipe. Common schedules for galvanized steel pipes include SCH 40 and SCH 80, with SCH 40 being thinner and lighter, and SCH 80 being thicker and heavier.
  • Length: Galvanized steel pipes are available in various lengths, typically ranging from 10 feet to 21 feet, although custom lengths may also be available upon request. The length of galvanized steel pipes is an important consideration when planning and installing a piping system, as it affects the overall layout, design, and installation process.
  • Thread Type: Galvanized steel pipes usually have threaded ends, which allow for easy installation and connection with galvanized pipe fittings. The threads on galvanized steel pipes are typically tapered and follow standard pipe thread specifications, such as National Pipe Thread (NPT) or British Standard Pipe (BSP) threads. It’s important to ensure that the threads on the galvanized steel pipes match those on the pipe fittings to ensure a proper and secure connection.
  • Standards: Galvanized steel pipes are typically manufactured in accordance with industry standards and specifications. These standards ensure that the galvanized steel pipes meet certain requirements for quality, performance, and safety. It’s important to consult the relevant standards and guidelines when selecting and installing galvanized steel pipes to ensure compliance and proper performance.

Understanding the specifications of galvanized steel pipes is essential for their proper selection, installation, and performance in various applications. Considerations such as size, schedule, length, material, thread type, and adherence to industry standards are important when working with galvanized steel pipes. 

Application of Galvanized Steel Pipes

You can use pipes that have gone through the galvanization process for various uses in different industries. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Galvanized Steel Pipe for Water

water pipe

Galvanized steel pipes are a popular choice for various water supply applications due to their durability, corrosion resistance, and cost-effectiveness. 

  • Potable Water Supply: In residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, potable water is frequently transported using galvanized steel pipes. The corrosion resistance and durability of galvanized steel pipes make them suitable for conveying drinking water safely and reliably.
  • Irrigation Systems: Galvanized steel pipes are also used in irrigation systems for agricultural and landscaping applications. They can withstand exposure to soil, water, and other environmental conditions, making them a reliable choice for transporting water to crops, gardens, and lawns.
  • Fire Sprinkler Systems: Galvanized steel pipes are often used in fire sprinkler systems due to their durability and corrosion resistance. They can handle high pressure and provide a reliable means of conveying water for fire protection in buildings.
  • Industrial Applications: In many industrial settings, including manufacturing, processing, and mining, where water supply is necessary, galvanized steel pipes are used extensively. They are suitable for handling water in industrial processes due to their strength, longevity, and resistance to corrosion.

Galvanized steel pipes’ corrosion resistance, durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation make them suitable for a wide range of water supply systems, including potable water supply, irrigation systems, fire sprinkler systems, and industrial applications. Proper installation, maintenance, and adherence to relevant standards and guidelines are crucial to ensure the safe and efficient use of galvanized steel pipes for water supply. 

Steel pipes

Construction and Infrastructure

Galvanized steel pipes are very common in construction due to their overall durability and moldability. They are essential components of buildings as their strength and stability in use help make firm structures. 

Materials like timber are very hard to shape and by contrast, steel is very easy to shape to suit your architectural taste. Nowadays, manufacturers even make steel pipes to suit the requirements of different clients around the world.

Agriculture and Irrigation

Steel pipes have a lot of benefits that they offer in different industries. Agriculture and Irrigation are definitely not left out. Usually, farmers are in need of pipes that are strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant. Galvanized steel pipes definitely fulfill all these demands.

To start with, these pipes ensure that water is delivered fast in comparison to iron pipes. It also features optimum compression and impressive mechanical properties. 

Oil and Gas Industry 

From production to the processing and distribution of refined products, the use of galvanized steel pipes cannot be overemphasized. These pipes are easy to install and change as well. They are also easy to repair. If there is any need for modification or customization for a particular use, it can also be easily taken care of.

Fence and Railings

Galvanized steel Pipes can be used for outdoor constructions like railings and fences. Fences and railings are part of outdoor construction. Hence, these railings and fences need a material that will protect them from corrosion. 

Galvanized steel pipes are coated in zinc. Since these fences and railings need protection, galvanized steel pipes are the best bet for these outdoor constructions. The barrier from the zinc also protects it from the harsh weather that the Fences and railings might be exposed to. 

Advantages of Galvanized Steel Pipes

Cost effectiveness 

You would not want to purchase an item that is of lower quality but very expensive at the same time. Galvanized steel pipes need less maintenance and this invariably translates to lower costs. These steels are incredibly affordable. In fact, when compared to the cost of other stainless steel, galvanized steels are quite cheaper. This might be quite surprising as galvanized steel pipes last longer than other types and most importantly, they require less maintenance.

Environmental Sustainability

On a normal day, steel is already eco-friendly. It can be redefined to various forms without it losing its original properties. Galvanization is an environmentally friendly way of protecting steel. The process is sustainable and in line with the manufacturing practices of today.

 Versatility 

Galvanized steel pipes can also be used for numerous outdoor activities and industrial applications. Galvanized steel Pipes can also serve as scaffolding frames because of their ability to prevent rusting.

Safety

Although most of these pipes are viewed to be safe enough for the transportation of drinking water, if care is not taken, it may pose danger to your health. This danger will come to play when the galvanized steel pipes are not properly maintained. 

Corrosion is quite unlikely to happen in galvanized steel pipes, however, negligence might bring that to being. To prevent the water from being corrosive, suppliers should treat the water to make it non-corrosive.

Maintenance and Care of Galvanized Steel Pipes

steel pipes in dirt

Hygiene is very important to everything that directly or indirectly affects the health of humans. In light of this, since galvanized pipes carry substances like water to humans, they must be thoroughly inspected and cleaned. This cleaning and Inspection should be done on a regular basis. 

A simple method to clean these pipes is to get a water-based emulsifier and alkaline-based cleaners. The pipe should then be rinsed with fresh water and dried out.

Also, while inspecting the pipes, watch out for traces of rust. The presence of rust signifies that there is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible in the pipes. You should check the places where the pipes meet. Rust might also be accumulating there.

Repair and Replacements

Replacing your galvanized steel pipes might most likely mean you will be replacing the whole plumbing system. Although it will take some time to replace all the pipes in your house, you get to experience a new working system in your home. 

When you want to repair or replace your plumbing system, it is best advised that you reach out to competent plumbers. Doing it yourself might be quite tacky if you’re not a plumber. Seeking the help of professionals will make the process quite seamless.

Best Practices

Galvanized steel pipes last for a very long time. To make your galvanized steel pipes last longer, there are some practices you need to start engaging in. 

  • Know your pipes’ life expectancy.
  • Inspect your pipes regularly.
  • Try to reduce the movement of the pipes.
  • Address any leakage or minor issues fast.
  • Choose quality materials.

Conclusion

The use of galvanized steel pipes is quite extensive. Knowing the uses and also being able to maintain it so that it will last longer is very expedient. You can contact us if you need more professional help in using or installing these powerful steel pipes. 

FAQs

What is the price for galvanized steel?

The price of galvanized pipes can vary depending on various factors such as the size, length, and thickness of the pipes, market demand, and location. Galvanized steel pipes are typically priced per linear foot or per ton. As of the current market conditions, the price of galvanized steel pipes generally ranges from $0.50 to $2.00 per linear foot for standard sizes, and from $600 to $1,200 per ton. 

Prices can change over time as a result of things like raw material costs, tariffs, and market dynamics. So, it’s recommended to obtain quotes from reputable suppliers and consider factors such as quality, durability, and performance in addition to price when selecting galvanized steel pipes.

How much weight can galvanized steel pipe hold?

The weight-bearing capacity of galvanized steel pipes depends on various factors such as the diameter, wall thickness, and length of the pipe, as well as the type of load and the installation method. Galvanized steel pipes are typically known for their strength and toughness, making them able to support heavy weight loads.

However, it’s important to consult relevant engineering codes, standards, and guidelines, as well as engage qualified professionals, such as structural engineers or contractors, to determine the specific weight-bearing capacity of galvanized steel pipes for a particular application. Overloading or improper installation can compromise the performance and safety of the piping system.

Can you paint galvanized steel pipe?

While galvanized steel pipes are already coated with a layer of zinc to protect against corrosion, they can be painted for aesthetic or additional protection purposes. However, painting galvanized steel pipes requires proper surface preparation and the use of appropriate paint materials. The zinc coating on galvanized steel pipes can be susceptible to peeling or cracking if the surface is not properly cleaned and primed before painting. 

It’s important to remove any dirt, grease, or rust from the surface and apply a suitable primer before applying the paint. Additionally, it’s recommended to use paint specifically formulated for use on galvanized steel to ensure proper adhesion and durability. 

Consulting with paint manufacturers or professionals with expertise in painting galvanized steel can help ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job.

One Stop Stainless Steel Supply.

Whether you need stainless steel materials for your business or fabrication projects, TuoLian is your best supplier. You can find all types, grades, and thicknesses based on your needs. Guaranteed that we provide the best quality at a reasonable cost.
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