Tag Archive for: hot dip galvanizing

Life-Cycle Costs of Galvanized Bridges

Initial and maintenance costs are factors to consider when it comes to bridge building. So, choosing the right galvanizing for corrosion protection can be challenging. Hot-dip galvanized steel allows bridges to be durable and maintenance-free for 50-60 years or more. However, there are myths about how galvanizing bridges can be expensive. The reality is that the initial cost of hot-dip galvanized plate girder and beam steel can be less expensive in the long run. Think life-cycle costs. So, bridge builders should consider what is best: getting paint that will require significant and costly maintenance at 10 to 15 year intervals or selecting the best choice right off the bat? Read on to see the benefits of the life-cycle of galvanized bridges.

Decision Making Based on Life-Cycle Costs

Considering the life-cycle costs of galvanized bridges can help bridge builders save money in the end. With galvanized steel being more durable and maintenance-free for decades, steel bridges end up requiring less upkeep. However, more often than not, the selection of a paint corrosion protection is the responsibility of architects, engineers, or project owners. This means that they will most likely base their decision on initial cost, historical preference, and established specifications. In that order too. But while these are all important elements, the life-cycle for the duration of the design life is often greater than the initial cost.

The Complexity of Calculations

Calculating life-cycle cost is no easy task. Not only do exponential financial equations need to be considered, but also the cost of future maintenance. And the latter must be calculated in today’s dollars, while considering what inflation means to future value of money and what interest could be earned on the money used.

Thankfully, to make calculations simpler, the American Galvanizers Association created a life-cycle cost calculator. So, now bridge builders have a tool to help them calculate such costs.

Thinking About the Future

Overall, life-cycle costs bring about savings. But this goes beyond the savings that companies can have. It’s also about the quality of the bridge and the maintenance-free aspect that galvanizing offers. 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 your project.

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.