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Hot Dip Galvanized Steel Vs. Weathering Steel What's The Right Choice

Steel has long played a key role in American construction efforts. Not only is steel lighter in weight than many other building materials on the market, but it also earns points for durability, affordability, and environmental friendliness. Still, bridge builders may struggle with whether to use more traditional weathering steel or increasingly popular hot-dip galvanized steel. Read on to discover how these options stack up.Hot Dip Galvanized Steel Vs. Weathering Steel What's The Right Choice

Benefits and Drawbacks of Weathering Steel

Long a favorite among bridge builders, weathering steel offers numerous advantages over other building types. Strong and attractive, this material rusts in a way that provides protection against the elements. Builders refer to this as “useful corrosion.”

Still, the news about weathering steel isn’t all positive. Progressively corroding, weathering steel can deteriorate faster if moisture is present. To compensate for this loss of mass and strength, builders may need to use thicker sections of steel from the start. Additionally, salt air and humidity can damage weathering steel, resulting in accelerated corrosion.

Benefits of Hot-Dipped Galvanized Steel

Formed by dipping bare steel in molten zinc, hot-dip galvanized steel is a popular choice in bridge construction. Featuring the strength of weathering steel, hot-dip galvanized steel offers additional benefits, too. Barrier and cathodic protection mean that this material resists corrosion. As a result, this option requires less long-term maintenance than weathering steel. Additionally, hot-dip galvanized steel maintains its structure despite exposure to UV rays, snow, water, and soil and is 100 percent recyclable.

Trust U.S. Bridge With All Your Building Needs

As a bridge building leader, U.S. Bridge brings more than 80 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise to the table. We’re passionate about constructing bridges that withstand time and the elements while making use of materials that are safe for the environment. Ready to learn more about our products and services? Call our steel bridge experts today or contact us online for info.

 

Hurricane Maria Statistics In Puerto Rico

Immediately following the Puerto Rico hurricane, 100 percent of the island was without power. Additionally, parts of the island had become completely isolated due to the loss of bridges and roadways. Many of these structures were either swept away by the storm or deemed unsafe to travel in its aftermath. U.S. Bridge is proud to be part of the rebuilding effort in Puerto Rico. Take a look below to understand the full scope of the damage to Puerto Rico.

 

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Storm

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico for almost three weeks. The Category 5 hurricane had wind gusts of up to 175 MPH and is responsible for more than 1,000 deaths. With such an intense storm assaulting the island, its infrastructure was ill-prepared to handle the amount of flooding; as a result, downed trees and power lines made many roadways impassable. Plus, the lack of power leftmost Island residents without access to refrigerated food and medicine, and with only limited access to news and information regarding the storm.

Rebuilding Roadways

U.S. Bridge built five Liberty bridges in Puerto Rico. The effort required 800 metric tons of steel, all made in the USA, as well as three contractors. Altogether, these bridges accounted for 950 feet of roadway with a design life of 75 years.

USB PR Stats Update May20 2018

Reconnecting Communities

The five bridges are in areas hardest hit by the Puerto Rico hurricane. These areas are:

Each of these bridges passed rigorous requirements as set forth by FEMA, AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). The work in Puerto Rico required the use of three freight companies, two galvanizing companies, and two ship lines.

USB-PR-stats-communities-update-May20-2018

Delivering Relief

U.S. Bridge estimated that the building of the bridges took six weeks. In under two months, U.S. Bridge provided Puerto Ricans with just some of the relief needed to rebuild their lives.

As a leader in bridge design and manufacturing, U.S. Bridge is proud to serve as part of the rebuilding effort. The Puerto Rico hurricane was an unprecedented weather event, and our team of engineers is eager to bring their knowledge and expertise to the task at hand. For more information about U.S. Bridge, please contact us today. For more details regarding U.S. Bridge’s work in Puerto Rico, please see our infographic below. Also, download the high resolution version for printing here.

USB PR Stats Update May20 2018 01

 

Galvanized Steel For Bridges

Bridges are a key element of U.S. infrastructure. They literally keep America moving, ensuring that cross-country trade and interstate travel are easy for everyone. Galvanized steel is one of the most stable and sturdy of all bridge materials, and is thus considered one of the most reliable building materials. U.S. Bridge is proud to use it in our bridge projects. Below we’ll examine what galvanized steel is and why it’s the best material for long-lasting projects.

What is Galvanized Steel?

Galvanizing occurs when steel is treated with heat and bonded to zinc. The act of hot galvanizing the steel helps to prevent corrosion. Also, steel is the fourth most abundant element on Earth and zinc is the 24th, so there is no danger of depleting these elements.

Why use Galvanized Steel?

Aside from its strength, galvanized steel is a sustainable and recyclable. According to studies, galvanized steel components can last, maintenance-free, for over 30 years. Additionally, galvanized steel keeps costs down by requiring less maintenance. Finally, since zinc and steel are such abundant resources, the market is stable, keeping prices stagnant.

How is Steel Galvanized?

Using the “hot-dip” technique, steel is galvanized by being lowered into a vat of liquid zinc. As these vats have gotten bigger, galvanizing larger bridge components has gotten easier. As a result, entire bridges can now be galvanized instead of just smaller parts. This improves the overall bridge longevity.

Is Galvanized Steel Environmentally Friendly?

Yes. Galvanized steel is made of two naturally occurring elements – zinc and steel. The act of galvanizing the steel does not cause either element to deteriorate or become hazardous. Galvanized steel is also virtually 100% recyclable. Finally, the galvanizing process generates no harmful emissions.

U.S. Bridge is a leader in steel bridge design. Our bridges are manufactured using modular design. That means component pieces are transported to and assembled at the worksite. The modular process leads to quicker, more efficient construction. Please contact us today for more information about our bridges or to receive a quote for your next project.