Does galvanized wire rust?

Galvanized baling wire will rust when its protective coating wears off, but it lasts much longer than non-galvanized wire. The galvanization process coats the wire in a layer of zinc which acts as a shield to prevent rust and other forms of corrosion.

The zinc coating offers what is called cathodic protection. Zinc is more reactive than steel, so it corrodes first, protecting the steel and extending the lifespan of the wire. Superior corrosion resistance and longevity are the main benefits of galvanized wire

To put it simply, yes, galvanized wire rusts, but not very quickly.

How long does it take for galvanized wire to rust?

The rate at which galvanized wire rusts depends on the environment and the galvanization class (thickness of the zinc coating). A Class 1 galvanized wire will rust in anywhere from 2–11 years, depending on the environment. Class 3 galvanized wire can last anywhere from 13–30 years before it rusts, depending on the conditions.

How to protect galvanized steel from rusting

To protect galvanized steel from rusting, the following measures can be taken:

  • Repair damaged coatings. Remove rust with vinegar and a wire brush, and then apply a suitable zinc-rich paint or coating to the affected area.
  • Prevent build-up and damage. Unless it is necessary, keep the wire out of corrosive environments. Insulate it from direct contact with other metals such as copper and brass, and avoid abrasive cleansers that might damage the protective zinc patina.
  • Trust cathodic protection. Even if the coating is damaged, the surrounding zinc will corrode before any rust accumulates on the underlying steel wire.

Our galvanizing process

Here is how we carry out our hot-dip galvanizing process:

  1. Surface preparation. We clean the wire to remove impurities from the metal surface, ensuring proper zinc coating adhesion.
  2. Pickling. The wire is immersed in acid to remove oxides and scale, preparing the surface for galvanization.
  3. Fluxing. The wire is dipped in a zinc ammonium chloride flux solution. This prevents oxidation and ensures a uniform zinc coating.
  4. Galvanizing. We submerge the wire into a 450°C molten zinc bath.
  5. Alloy formation. The iron in the wire reacts with the zinc, forming corrosion-resistant zinc-iron alloys.
  6. Withdrawal. We slowly withdraw the wire from the bath, allowing excess zinc to drain for an even coating.
  7. Quenching. The wire is rapidly cooled in water or a quenching solution, solidifying the coating and completing the galvanization process.

We offer high-tensile galvanized wire and regular galvanized wire by the stem. We also sell galvanized bale ties

Class 1 and Class 3 galvanization

We offer Class 1 and Class 3 galvanization on our wire products. Here are some of the differences between the two classes:

  • Class 1 galvanization is our basic zinc-coated steel wire. It features a protective layer of 0.28 ounces of zinc per square foot. While more economical, rusting transpires within 2–11 years, based on environmental factors. In coastal regions, a Class 1 coating degrades even earlier due to saltwater corrosion.
  • Class 3 galvanization is our premium zinc coating. At 0.80 ounces per square foot, it features nearly 3 times more zinc. This robust zinc layer better resists corrosion, enduring 13–30 years on average. For extreme weather conditions, Class 3 galvanization is a popular choice.

What is galvanized wire used for?

Galvanized wire comes in regular and high-tensile varieties. It is used for a wide range of industrial applications, these include:

  • Baling. Galvanized wire is used for securing recyclables such as aluminum cans, textiles, and plastic. It is also used for bundling hay, branches, and other agricultural materials.
  • Fencing. Galvanized steel wire is commonly used to create chain-link fencing, welded wire mesh, and other protective enclosures.
  • Vineyards and orchards. Galvanized wire is used for running trellises and supporting the growth of crops such as grapes or tomatoes. High-tensile wire is often preferred because of its rigidity and superior load strength.
  • Construction. Galvanized wire is used for binding or baling materials on construction sites, as well as for supporting structures.
  • Telecommunication industry. High-tensile galvanized wire is used in the manufacture of reinforcement for overhead aluminum and steel conductors.

Baling wire products we offer

Baling Wire Direct sells the following high-quality baling wire products.

Baling Wire FAQ

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