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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 wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico last year. With 155-MPH winds and severe flooding, the storm resulted in $100 billion in damage and took more than 4,000 lives, according to a report out of Harvard. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico and other hurricane-prone regions might not be out of the woods yet. According to forecasters, Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico are among the areas that need to take hurricane season precautions in 2018, as well.

What the Meteorologists Say

An article in the Huffington Post reveals that the 2018 hurricane season could be tumultuous. A weak La Nina in the Pacific, coupled with warm waters in the Atlantic, may result in more storms striking the continental U.S., along with Caribbean islands and Central America.

Braniff Davis, a Hurricane Harvey recovery analyst for Houston, is particularly concerned about the effect another storm would have on the area.

“There’s still a sense of Harvey PTSD here; every time we get a minor flooding event (which is just part of life in Houston, let’s be honest) people are afraid of what it means,” he said.

Puerto Rico Hurricane Season Precautions

The need for precautions is particularly crucial in Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to rebuild the infrastructure that was destroyed in 2017. Not only did the storm damage 300,000 houses, but the island suffered electric grid failures, destroyed roads, and bridges. And despite the Puerto Rican governor’s pleas for $95 billion to rebuild, many requests for FEMA aid have been denied.

“Puerto Rico is not ready for another hurricane,” said Telemundo Puerto Rico journalist Ivette Sosa. “We still have blue roofs on hundreds of houses all over the island. We have municipalities that still do not have electricity, and people in those areas are getting desperate.”

With little idea of what the future may hold, Puerto Rico is focusing on new construction that prioritizes durability, sustainability, and mold resistance. Additionally, the island has been building new emergency bridges with the aid of U.S. Bridge.

Contact Us Today

At U.S. Bridge, we specialize in building emergency bridges with prefabricated panels assembled in modules. To learn more about how we’re helping Puerto Rico or what we can do for your city, call today or contact us online.

Myths: Modular Prefabricated Short-Span Steel Bridges Are Only Temporary Structures

Modular, prefabricated steel bridges are often considered temporary structures. Using modular design and building bridges onsite has often been considered a more efficient building method, but a less stable one. However, after meeting all the permanence standards set by the AASHTO, the ASTM and the AWS, it was determined that pre-fab short span steel bridges can be considered permanent structures.

Standards for Permanence

Most often, the biggest concern facing modular bridges and permanence, relates to how they are constructed. Bridge parts must be assembled onsite, resulting in welding in possibly less than ideal conditions. For short span steel bridges, this concern is absolved because the welding is all done in a shop, under favorable conditions. This reduces the risk of introduced environmental factors during the welding process, and ensures the pre-fab bridge will withstand the rigors of time and weather.

Myth-Busting Short Span Steel Bridges

The Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) reports the bridge industry is generally moving toward a modular bridge design. Due to the ease of assembly and the efficiency with which they can be built, pre-fab bridges make more sense. Timing is especially important regarding bridge construction since more than a quarter of all bridges across the United States have been deemed as “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.” Also, using steel as the primary material for short span bridges brings a host of benefits including:

  • Consistent Quality
    Steel production is held to high standards and consistently meets quality requirements.
  • Sustainability
    Almost 93% of all steel is made from scrap steel.
  • American-made
    Structural steel is made in America, providing jobs to American workers and boosting the economy.
  • Quick fabrication and Installation
    Steel can be manufactured fairly quickly. This accelerates the construction timeline and decreases disruption to the surrounding areas.

To find out more about short-span steel bridges and how permanent they are, please contact us at U.S. Bridge today. Our expert team of engineers and builders are more than happy to discuss the benefits and strengths of modular bridge construction with you.