Two common methods of providing protective finishes to underlying metal are powder coating and galvanizing.
The benefits of powder coating include a strong and durable finish with a range of colors available, such as a safety yellow or a custom color. This finish involves a barrier – layer protection. An electrostatically charged coating applied to the surface bonds with the surface base. This creates a layer to protect against chips and scratches, corrosion, and weather. Regular maintenance helps to keep it less susceptible to penetration. If penetrated, moisture and humidity can reach the metal and can lead to corrosion. This should be a key consideration during the product selection process.
Galvanized coating also provides a layer of protection by adding a coating of zinc. This zinc coating provides protection against rust and corrosion. A common method of galvanizing is dipping steel in a bath of molten zinc. A bond forms between the zinc and steel. The galvanized coating absorbs corrosive materials before they can reach the underlying metal. Galvanizing provides thick, long-lasting and low maintenance protection.
Which Coating is Better for Your Edge Fall Protection Concerns?
First, consider color. Perhaps in your application, color matters. If this is the case, then powder coating may be preferred because there are many color options available. Zinc comes in one color and may be appropriate for your color preference.
Next, consider durability. Which coating protects longer and better? Galvanizing leaves a thick layer of protection against corrosion and can last a very long time. This is especially important for safety equipment in rooftop and other outdoor installations or industrial requirements that sit in harsh elements. Powder coating benefits can last a long time as well. Keep in mind that powder coating is more porous, making it easier to be susceptible to scratching, denting, or cracking under impact.
Finally, consider cost. The galvanizing process provides base metal protection and can be a low-cost option in maintenance, first-time, and lifetime costs. Powder coating also provides a tough protective barrier-layer finish and needs some maintenance, especially some touch-up paint if scratched or chipped.
Use Both Coatings?
It is possible to galvanize with zinc as a base coating for enhanced corrosion protection followed by a powder coating. The powder coating provides a top layer to decrease the rate that corrosion impacts the underlying zinc. You’ll find this in a variety of high quality equipment safety products.
Still unsure as to powder coating vs. galvanizing, or both suits your edge fall protection needs? Feel free to reach out to EDGE Fall for more information.