Galvanised and stainless steel look exactly the same to the untrained eye, but they are in fact completely different in terms of composition, weight, strength and application. It is important to be able to know the key differences and tell them apart when choosing duct work and steel hoppers, as each type of steel is suitable for a particular use and work environment.
Galvanised steel is created during the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, which prevents rusting. Some of the most common methods of creating this type of steel are by hot-dip galvanising, where parts of the steel are placed into a bath of molten zinc, and electro-galvanising, which is done by immersing steel in an electrolyte solution. Galvanised steel is covered in a rust-protective layer, which is approximately a millimetre thick. This layering can wear off over time, and if scratched or damaged, can begin to rust.
The manufacture of stainless steel involves a mixture of chromium and regular carbon steel. Unlike galvanized steel, stainless steel has chromium throughout, which means that it has a protective layer in place at all times. Stainless steel is an excellent material for ductwork, and any machinery or systems which have moving parts, as it is scratch resistant. Stainless steel is also non-reactive to corrosive chemicals, which is beneficial for the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
Stainless steel is extremely durable, which provides a lot of cost saving benefits, it resists corrosive and harsh substances, cannot rust and is extremely strong. Unlike other materials, stainless steel remains strong and will even retain its shape in extreme heat.