Galvalume steel is not your ordinary steel. This alloy is coated with a combination of zinc and aluminum, giving it incredible corrosion resistance. Similar to galvanized steel, which is the only coated with zinc, galvalume steel is not susceptible to rust.
Unlike other types of steel, though, galvalume has only been around since the early 1970s. Despite being several decades old, this alloy did not become the standard.
Any steel supplier in Utah, California, Texas, or anywhere in America attests that most people are not profoundly familiar with its qualities, good and bad. As a result, many individuals and businesses ignore galvalume steel when it is highly suitable for the application or choose it when it is uncalled for. To use this material to maximum effect, let us dispel the most common misconceptions about it.
Galvalume Stay Rustproof Forever
The layer of zinc and aluminum of this material provides the substrate barrier protection to inhibit corrosion despite the constant presence of moisture and oxygen. The problem is that its coating wears off over time.
The aluminum content lends the galvalume steel its exceptional rustproof characteristic, but the same aluminum content neutralizes the galvanic properties of zinc. This is why the material can’t self-heal scratches and other products of abrasion.
Galvalume steel is vulnerable to the effects of Tension Bend Staining. This phenomenon happens in metal areas with tight bends and deep folds. The coating in these places becomes so thin that it develops tiny cracks that are big enough for corrosive elements to penetrate.
The moment any part of the substrate is exposed to moisture and oxygen, it begins to rust. When used in products with complicated profiles, galvalume steel corrodes and discolors more quickly.
Galvalume Is Only for Walls and Roofs
There is no denying that the construction industry has the highest demand for galvalume steel. But this material is not exclusively used for making building envelopes.
Shrewd manufacturers turn to galvalume steel for producing certain parts of everyday appliances, including microwave oven bodies, refrigerator drain pans, and washing machine bases.
Furthermore, galvalume steel is also utilized to build ducts, garden tools, fluorescent light housings, buckets, aerosol can bottoms, school bus sub-floors, mufflers, and many more.
Galvalume Survives in All Environments
Galvalume steel products are resilient by design, but they tend to be highly sensitive to alkaline settings. They should not be used in, on, or around mortar or concrete, or else their deterioration accelerates.
Galvalume Shows Its Age Quickly
Although galvalume steel costs practically the same as galvanized steel, it lasts about twice as long. An average galvanized steel roof can begin to look old at the age of 10 and can fail 20 years after installation. On the other hand, galvalume steel panels can last up to 60 years. But then again, the longevity of any metal is relative to its environment. And this material is no exception.
Galvalume steel is not for everyone, but it an excellent material if used right. Discuss your needs to an experienced metal supplier or fabricator to choose the right kind of metal for your project.