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Hot Dip Galvanized

A new bridge is a piece of infrastructure that will serve communities and transportation for decades. They must be built to last with the strongest and most durable materials. With hot-dip galvanizing, U.S. Bridge builds bridges that minimize maintenance and long-term durability regardless of the environment.

We’ve been galvanizing bridges since 1987, and we were the first to hot-dip galvanize an entire welded truss bridge. By bonding zinc to our U.S.-manufactured steel, we’re building long-lasting, reliable bridges with a sustainable process.

The Galvanizing Process

To galvanize steel, thorough cleaning of the steel is absolutely necessary. This is because zinc will only react with clean steel during the hot-dip process. Areas that are not perfectly clean will interfere with the process.

Before the Hot-Dip

Before hot-dip galvanizing, the surface must be prepared. This process includes degreasing, pickling, and fluxing.

Degreasing is the first step in cleansing the steel. It remotes dirt, oils, and organic residue. Next is pickling, which removes the iron oxides and scales from the steel’s surface to expose a bare area for galvanizing. Finally is the fluxing process, which prepares the steel for the hot-dip phase by applying a protective saline layer.

Hot-Dip Galvanizing

After the cleaning process, the steel is immersed in a kettle bath of 85% pure molten zinc at 830° F. The zinc reacts with the iron steel to form metallurgically-bonded coating. Once the steel reaches the bath temperature, the bonding is complete.

Once the steel cools down, an inspection verifies that it conforms to specifications. This includes a visual inspection and a magnetic thickness gauge that measures the coating.

Galvanizing Improves Bridge Life Cycle

The cost of hot-dip galvanized steel is roughly the same as painting a bridge. While a quality paint coat must be touched up, zinc-coated steel does not need maintenance over the bridge’s life.

However, the galvanized steel eliminates corrosion for up to 100 years in many cases. According to one study, the future maintenance of bridges can be reduced by 50% with galvanizing. With galvanized steel, the average service life is 8.5% longer. In fact, at U.S. Bridge, we have a 35-year warranty on our galvanized steel beam bridges — we’re that confident in lasting quality of galvanization.

Environmentally-Friendly

There are several environmental advantages to hot-dip galvanizing, beyond just the financial and durability impact. The key to sustainable construction of bridges is to continually lower the environmental impact of producing products. This is possible with zinc and steel.

Both zinc and steel are two naturally occurring, abundant elements. Ore — which steel is composed of — is the fourth-most abundant element on Earth. Zinc is 24th. Both are infinitely recyclable without the loss of physical or chemical properties. These materials can be used over and over without compromising their integrity.

With less maintenance, galvanizing will also prevent potentially harming environments during maintenance and traffic delays.

Build Sustainable Bridges with U.S. Bridge

In summary, hot-dip galvanizing steel is about the savings on the life-cycle of your bridge and the environmental benefits. With decades of experience in hot-dip galvanizing, we guarantee the highest level of quality in our steel bridge parts.

U.S. Bridge has been serving communities for more than 80 years, building bridges that withstand time. Our bridge experts will advise you on the best option for your bridge. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can make your bridge project a long-lasting success.

Steel Bridges & Their Impact on the Environment

The United States has been relying on steel for generations, and with good reason. Lighter in weight than many building materials, steel is affordable and durable, making it a great option for constructing everything from buildings to bridges. However, at U.S. Bridge, we especially appreciate the environmental benefits of steel. Read on to learn about the big benefits associated with building bridges from steel.

Steel Is Recyclable

The environmental benefits of steel include the fact that the material can be recycled with ease. Because of steel’s unique metallurgic properties, it doesn’t degrade over time like other materials. So, the product can be melted down and recycled for other purposes, while adding less waste. In fact, steel is currently the most recycled material on Earth.

Steel Has Economic Benefits

Another reason that steel is a great building material — and an environmentally friendly one — is that it has economic benefits. Builders can put steel constructions and bridges together quickly and affordably because steel weighs less than other materials. The ability to use less expensive equipment and lifts means money is saved in the long run. Municipal governments and communities can then use these funds for other purposes, like environmental conservation.

Steel Is Durable

It’s hard to save money when you’re constantly having to repair the same buildings or bridges. One of the best reasons to use steel for these projects is that it lasts for decades. This means you won’t have to spend valuable taxpayer dollars replacing the same structures again and again. Additionally, steel is a strong material that’s unlikely to be damaged by inclement weather conditions like storms and hurricanes. Steel even holds up well in the event of an earthquake. Because steel components require less maintenance, you can save money on both supplies and labor. The fewer resources needed to maintain steel, the fewer resources required from the environment.

Learn More About Steel Environmental Benefits

At U.S. Bridge, we create a wide array of bridges for communities throughout the nation. Relying on over 80 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing bridges, we take care to ensure our products stand the test of time. To learn more about the environmental benefits of steel, or what we can do for you, call today or contact us online.

Steel, Our Most Sustainable Material

Steel is one of the most widely utilized building materials for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Commercial and residential building projects
  • Bridges and highway construction
  • Vehicles and household appliances

Fortunately, through decades of innovation, steel has become easier to manufacture; and just as importantly, steel is one of the most recycled and thus sustainable materials in the world.

Why is Sustainability Important?

Sustainable materials don’t deplete non-renewable natural resources during the manufacturing process. This is extremely important since non-renewable resources are only available in finite quantities. The other benefit to preserving non-renewable resources is to maintain the environment’s natural equilibrium.

What Makes Steel Sustainable?

One factor that makes steel a sustainable material is its significant reduction in energy emissions (by approximately 31 percent). One ton of steel now takes one-third less energy to manufacture than it did in 1990. Also, during steel production, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 36 percent. Steel is also the most recycled material in the world, with more than 65 million tons recycled per year.

What is Life Cycle Thinking?

The steel industry has committed itself to Life Cycle Thinking. This method of analysis allows the industry to continually examine its environmental impact. Thus, Life Cycle Thinking looks beyond simple eco-friendly practices to understand the impact of steel production on all aspects of daily life. This includes manufacturing, design and production, use and maintenance, disposal and recyclability of waste and components.

Using Recyclable Steel

An estimated 93 percent of steel currently used in construction projects is recycled. Additionally, 98 percent of a building’s steel is recycled back into other steel projects once the building reaches the end of its life-cycle. This recycling happens without any degradation to the quality of the steel, making it a truly reusable resource.

We at U.S. Bridge pride ourselves on building structures that last, without negatively impacting the environment. By working with a sustainable material, like steel, we’re confident that our bridges will be around for decades without leaving much of a carbon footprint.

U.S. Bridge has worked with local and state governments and recently completed a bridge-building project in under 30 days. To discover what our professional team can do for your next project, please contact us today.