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Hot Dipped Galvanized: The Secret to Rust-Free Outdoor Furniture

Author: May

Apr. 09, 2024

Outdoor living spaces like patios, decks, and porches are great for relaxing and entertaining. But the furniture in these spaces takes a real beating from the elements. The best defense is prevention. Choosing outdoor furniture with a high-quality rustproof galvanized steel frame ensures it will defy rust for many years.  Here's why galvanized steel is the top choice for long-lasting outdoor furniture.

The best defense is prevention. Choosing outdoor furniture with a high-quality rustproof galvanized steel frame ensures it will defy rust for many years. Galvanized steel provides unmatched protection compared to other frame materials like stainless steel. Here's why galvanized steel is the top choice for long-lasting outdoor furniture.

What is Galvanized Steel?

Galvanized steel gets its rust-resistant superpowers through a coating of zinc applied to the steel. During the galvanization process, the steel is submerged in a bath of molten zinc. This causes a strong metallurgical reaction that permanently bonds the zinc to the steel surface.

The zinc forms a durable barrier that completely seals out moisture and oxygen. Without the ability to contact the steel, these destructive elements can't cause corrosion. The zinc essentially "sacrifices" itself by corroding before the underlying steel does. Even if the zinc coating gets scratched or damaged, the steel below it remains Protect Outdoor Furniture.

The Benefits of Hot-Dip Galvanizing

Hot-dip galvanization is the best process for maximum rust prevention on steel furniture. This allows time for a thick layer of zinc to fully coat and accumulate on the steel surface.

  • The longer duration of the hot-dip process enables a thicker zinc coating to form compared to other methods. This is crucial for rust protection.

  • Thicker zinc coatings provide longer-lasting protection before the zinc could potentially be depleted through corrosion. A thicker galvanized layer can withstand decades of outdoor exposure.

  • The molten zinc fully penetrates crevices and corners of steel furniture frames, covering every surface evenly. Complete coverage is essential to prevent rust.

  • The hot process creates a metallurgical bond between steel and zinc. This bond is far stronger than a surface coating. The zinc is actually fused to the steel for unmatched rust prevention.

Hot-dip galvanizing produces a zinc coating thickness of at least 2 mils (0.002 inches) on steel frames.

  • For outdoor furniture, a minimum thickness of 9 mils (known as a G60 coating) is recommended.

  • Higher-end outdoor furniture may use a G90 zinc coating, which is 7 mils thick.

The thicker the zinc coating, the longer the steel will remain protected from rust.

Compare Frame Materials: Galvanized vs. Stainless Steel

When selecting materials for outdoor furniture, galvanized steel and stainless steel both have merits worth considering.

  • Rust Resistance - Stainless steel's chromium content enables impressive corrosion resistance. However, galvanized steel also provides excellent long-term rust prevention thanks to its durable zinc coating bonded metallurgically to the underlying steel. Both can endure outdoor elements well when properly maintained.

  • Cost - Stainless steel often costs at least twice as much as galvanized steel, depending on the grade and quality. The hot-dip galvanization process is very affordable by comparison, making galvanized steel the budget-savvy choice for cost-conscious buyers.

  • Maintenance - Galvanized steel's zinc coating remains intact for decades with minimal maintenance needed. Stainless steel may benefit from occasional cleaning or sealing to enhance and sustain its corrosion resistance over time.

  • Appearance - Stainless steel provides a modern, sleek look that enhances many furniture designs. Galvanized steel has a more industrial, utilitarian appearance, though it can be painted or powder-coated for versatility.

  • Strength - Both stainless steel and galvanized steel offer similar strength and durability for structural framing and load-bearing furniture components.

  • Weight - On a strength-to-weight basis, stainless steel alloys are typically heavier than galvanized steel to achieve the same load capacity.

For most low-maintenance outdoor furniture uses where cost is a concern, hot-dip galvanized steel provides unparalleled longevity and value.

Outdoor Furniture That Benefits From a Galvanized Frame

Virtually any steel best furniture will benefit from a hot-dip galvanized frame. Patio conversation sets, couches, bistro sets, and patio sectionals all deserve a galvanized base. Accessories like fire pit tables will also stay pristine thanks to galvanized underpinnings.

Grills, smoker boxes, grill carts, and other cooking equipment are at high risk for rust since they're constantly exposed to moisture. A galvanized frame or body on these items is wise. For example, a hot-dip galvanized steel cart will maintain its integrity and not collapse under the weight of a heavy grill due to the durable zinc coating that strengthens and preserves the steel.

Importance of High-Quality Galvanized Steel

Beware that not all galvanized steel is created equal. The thickness and durability of the zinc coating can vary considerably. Cut-rate furniture manufacturers may skimp on the galvanizing process. This results in a thin coating that provides insufficient protection.

High-quality galvanized steel for outdoor use should have a G60 zinc coating at a minimum. Even better is G90 or higher. The steel itself should also be thick and reinforced for maximum strength. A high percentage of recycled steel content is preferable as well.

Pay attention to the brand name and look for their galvanizing specifications before purchasing. Outdoor furniture brands have the experience and metallurgy standards required to produce superior galvanized steel frames.

How to Care for Galvanized Steel Furniture

While galvanized steel is extremely low maintenance, some basic care will optimize its lifetime. Occasionally, hose down the furniture to remove dirt and grime that could impede zinc protection. Wipe down more frequently if the furniture is near ocean air.

Use touch-up paint on any spots where the zinc becomes exposed. This reveals the vulnerable steel. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could wear away the galvanized coating prematurely.

With simple cleaning and occasionally re-painting scratches, your galvanized outdoor furniture will fend off rust for many years.

Rust-Free Outdoor Relaxation Awaits

Don't let the thought of rust hold you back from creating your dream outdoor living space. By choosing high-quality hot-dip galvanized steel frames, your patio furniture can withstand the elements in style. Galvanized steel provides impenetrable protection against corrosion through its thick, bonded zinc coating. With a galvanized steel barrier in place, you can focus on creating treasured memories outdoors rather than maintaining furniture.

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