Galvanized Plating vs Zinc Plating

Two processes that are popular in the metal finishing industry are galvanized plating and zinc plating. We listed some of the similarities and differences here to help companies make the right choice for their product.

Galvanized and Zinc Plating Compared

  • Both processes use zinc coating as protective layer for a substrate/metal
  • Galvanized plating produces a metal finish that looks dull and has a rough surface; zinc plating, on the other hand, looks shiny and pretty.
  • Zinc metal plating is preferred for those who also aim for aesthetics; galvanized produces a fairly strong material that prevents corrosion (more protection) in many circumstances.
  • Zinc plating is also preferred for those who need superficial protection, for indoor use, and in dry environment; galvanized plating is commonly used for outdoors or in a more wet (or hot) environment.
  • With galvanized plating, a process called hot-dip galvanizing is used, which is a process of coating a substrate by passing the material through a molten bath of zinc at a temperature of about 460 degree Celsius. The resulting finish can be used in a place where the temperature is 200 degree Celsius and below; the zinc coating can peel when the material is exposed to temperature of more than 200 degree Celsius.
  • With zinc plating, the process involves cleaning the metal surface with an alkaline detergent, then, treating the substrate with acid for rust removal; the protective coating (zinc) is deposited by immersing the substrate in a chemical bath containing dissolved zinc. (See more on zinc metal plating)
  • With zinc plating, the coating is only typically 3 microns thick; with galvanized plating, the result is typically 50 microns thick, which therefore provides much more protection against corrosion.
  • Zinc plating is a popular choice for coating nuts, bolts, washers, metal stampings, automotive parts, fabricated parts for industrial applications, as well as sheet metals; galvanized plating is used in a multitude of materials in the construction industry, including large structural shapes.

For further questions please feel free to contact GMP Plating.

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