Protecting Steel with Zinc Oxide Coating

protecting steel with zinc oxide coating


Zinc oxide for coating steel is a popular method to protect industrial and commercial machinery, tools, and equipment against corrosion and environmental damage. It has the ability to form a protective layer through basic oxides, hydrated sulfates, and carbonates. 



Zinc oxide for commercial and industrial purposes


Zinc oxide is a white compound/power that is insoluble in water. It is used as an additive in various products and materials including steel, cosmetics, rubber, ceramics, plastic, food supplements, paint, batteries, ferrites, tapes, adhesives, and ointments.


Although it is derived chemically from zincite, the zinc oxide for coating steel is produced synthetically.



Zinc oxide for coating steel – industrial applications 


Zinc oxide is now a popular powder to produce an anti-corrosive, protective layer over numerous steel materials, machinery, and equipment. It is specially synthesized and used for galvanized iron. 


Iron has to be coated with zinc oxide because its high reactivity rate with organic coatings leads to a lack of adhesion and brittleness. So, it retains the adherence and flexibility on the surface where organic coatings are useless to apply. One more advantage of using zinc oxide for coating steel is that the coating remains intact for long years. 



How does zinc oxide coating steel work?


Zinc oxide is highly doped (n-type) with indium, gallium, or aluminum to form a transparent anti-corrosive protective layer on steel materials. The aluminum, gallium, and indium have the lowest resistivity and highest transparency of up to 90%. These conductive elements are essential in zinc oxide coatings which are used to protect the steel materials against heat and corrosion. 


It lets the visible elements of the spectrum in the steel materials but reflects the infrared rays back into the environment. Consequently, saving energy. 


Apart from saving energy, the zinc oxide coating also reflects infrared radiations to keep the heat away from the materials.


It is mainly used for outdoor applications to decrease the oxidation rates and reduce the effects of solar radiation and photo-yellowing. 



Outdoor applications


Metallic zinc oxide steel coating prevents the reaction between the acidic oil fragments and steel. The steel parts have a dominant corrosion mode which ruins the structural integrity of the steel materials, such as the garage door, mowing machine, steel window frames, etc. 



The characteristics 


It provides protection while forming a layer on the steel comprising of hydrates sulfates, oxides, and basic carbonates. The protective zinc oxide steel coating protects the material against environmental factors, such as humidity, and reduces the rate of corrosion. 


The ability of zinc oxide to form protective layers over the steel is mainly due to the PH of the environment, containing acidic pollutants. In short, the concentration of zinc oxide in the protection layer for steel varies with the PH of the environment. 





Zinc oxide is a much cheaper and effective compound to form anti-corrosive protective layers over steel materials.



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