Corrosion protection of scaffolds: painted vs. galvanised scaffolds
A scaffold should not only be made of stable, high-quality material in order to be sustainable and beneficial for you for a long time, but it should also be protected against the effects of weather and the heat that occurs during welding, for example. That is why good scaffolding systems are protected against corrosion. When it comes to corrosion protection, you can choose between different types.In scaffolding, painting or galvanising steel are particularly popular. Read here why this is the case and which method suits your use cases most.
When do you actually need corrosion protection?
Actually, it's obvious: your scaffolding material should be protected against corrosion in order to protect it from rust and other damage. These are not only unsightly, but also pose a real safety risk, as they can weaken the scaffolding material. So if you want to get the most of your scaffold for a long time, you should pay attention to the way in which it has been protected against corrosion. After all, it is always exposed to external influences - regardless of whether it stands outside in the rain or has to withstand the heat of welding and the influence of building materials. When it comes to protecting scaffolding against corrosion, you have a few options, and now we'll introduce you to two of the most popular.
Painted scaffolding systems
Painting scaffolding material is one of the most popular ways to protect it against rust and oxidation. The paint forms a protective coating around the material. If the scaffolding material now comes into contact with water, the steel under the protective coating is not affected. In addition to corrosion protection, painting also offers another advantage. Especially on construction sites where several scaffolders are employed, scaffolding material must be distinguished from one another. Painting can be used to personalise the scaffolding material so that it is easy to see which ledger belongs to whom.
Galvanised scaffolding systems
Galvanised scaffolding material is coated with a protective layer of e.g. zinc in a melting bath. Scafom-rux own manufacturing facilities hot-dip galvanise our scaffolding material, so it's protected against enviromnental impacts from the in- and outside. You can read more about this process in our blog in the coming weeks.
Galvanised scaffolding has the advantage over painted scaffolding that it is more durable and requires much less maintenance. This is because damage to the paint also means that the protection against external influences is impaired. To avoid this, repair work must be carried out regularly. Only after the damage has been repaired, the affected scaffolding part has been repainted and tested, should it be used again. For this reason, painted scaffolds are therefore more likely to be found on construction sites where they are not exposed to extreme conditions.
At the latest with the longer service life and the significantly lower repair costs, the fact that the initial purchase costs of galvanised scaffolding are often higher than those of painted scaffolding is balanced out again. Depending on how long you want to use your scaffolding, you can even get away cheaper in the end.
A good example of the economic advantages of hot-dip galvanised steel over painted steel can be found in architecture - more precisely in the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The steel used there was protected from corrosion by painting. However, this protective layer of paint has to be renewed every 7 years. This not only costs a lot of time - it takes about 2 years to repaint each time - but also money: in the past, just one new coat of paint on the Paris landmark cost 4 million euros. If the Eiffel Tower had been built of hot-dip galvanised steel, this maintenance work and cost would not have been necessary - even if the colour admittedly probably accounts for a large part of its charm.
Back to scaffolding. Galvanised scaffolds can be found on any type of project site. They are particularly popular in the offshore sector, in the shipbuilding industry or in other sectors where they are exposed to extreme conditions. For example, the high salt content of the water could cause paint to flake off more easily. Galvanised steel withstands this better than paint.
Regardless of whether the scaffolding is painted or galvanised - if you want to get something out of your scaffolding system for a long time, you should make sure its protected from corrosion. When making your decision, you should of course first and foremost keep your budget in mind. You should observe that
- Painted scaffolding can often be bought for a lower initial investment, but you should also bear in mind the following maintenance costs
- Galvanised scaffolds often require more initial investment, but there are hardly any subsequent costs
With over 50 years of experience in the scaffolding industry, Scafom-rux is here to help you decide which scaffolding is right for you. For an overview of our scaffolding systems and accessories, just take a look at our product overview.
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