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Prospects Bright for Applications of Galvanized Steel in Automobile and Construction Industries
Jul 19,2010 11:31CST
smm insight

SHANGHAI, July 19 (SMM) -- Promoting applications of galvanized steel in the automobile and construction industries will become a top priority of the International Zinc Association.

Galvanized Steel Makes Possible Lighter Vehicles

Galvanized plate is the largest consumer of zinc, and the construction and transportation industries, especially light vehicles are major end-users of zinc.

At present, lightweight cars are becoming more popular due to the need for environmental protection and energy savings.  Experimental results show that if the weight of the car is cut  by half, fuel consumption will be reduced by almost half as well.  25% of the weight in a car is from the car body, so the use of lightweight materials is important, and the use of galvanized plates makes possible lighter cars.

The average zinc coating mass is 70 grams/m2/side, the average thickness of steel products is 1mm, and the zinc mass is 1% of the weight of steel products.  If steel consumption in the car body and cover plates of each vehicle is 385 kilograms, the amount of zinc used is 3.85 kilograms per vehicle.  In addition to the characteristics of lighter weight, galvanized steel also enjoys costs less, has higher strength, better energy absorption, longer service life, and better formability, welding and coating ability compared to other materials.

Applications of Galvanized Steel Needs More Promotion

The advantage of traditional steel products in construction industry is undermined by the ease by which steel can corrode or rust.  According to estimates from the US National Association of Corrosion Engineers, a total loss of 3.2% of GDP or about USD 300 billion results from corrosion every year.

Galvanized steel enjoys 2 to 2.5x higher chloride tolerance than black steel, and which completely avoids the carbonization effects of reinforced concrete.  Galvanized steel also provide an excellent reinforced binding force when combined with black steel.

The traditional galvanized steel market which serves the construction industry remains bullish given the sustainability of the construction sector and housing markets, but the promotion of galvanized steel in emerging markets is still difficult. 

Construction steel structure has been applied nationwide in China, but the positive impact on galvanized steel markets has been limited.  In China, galvanized steel has been applied on a limited scale, but the use will continue to grow due to booming domestic construction, housing, and automobile demand.


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