Why Should You Avoid Galvanized Steel?

If you use weirs or flumes in your water management system, then you know how important it is to choose the right material for these tools. A popular weir and flume material choice for many systems is galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is very cost-effective, which is what makes it such an attractive option. However, like any manufacturing material, galvanized steel has its drawbacks, and this is particularly true when it comes to water management applications.

Learn about the disadvantages of using galvanized steel for flumes and weirs, and find out why the superior choice is purchasing fiberglass flumes.

The Weaknesses of Galvanized Steel Flumes

If you’re not familiar with the properties of galvanized steel, then you’re probably unaware that the element that is most responsible for its durability is zinc. While zinc is certainly a useful material, it can also pose a big problem depending on the circumstances of your water management system.

If your water management system deals in fresh water, for example, there is the risk that the zinc in your galvanized steel weir or flume will corrode over time. While zinc corrodes more slowly in hard water than soft water, this still poses a risk to the overall health and functioning of your water management operation.


How Corrosion Occurs

Unfortunately, galvanized steel flumes and weirs face several different corrosion risks than just those posed by the exposure to fresh water. Understanding these threats is the best way to decide if you’ll use galvanized steel or some other manufacturing material.

Gases, particularly oxygen, react negatively to the zinc contained in galvanized steel and eventually cause corrosion. Additional causes of corrosion of galvanized steel can include a constant flow rate, ions in the water and hardness. If you must use galvanized steel in your water system, the best way to prevent, or at least slow corrosion, is to make sure your operators periodically check your flumes and weirs for decay and damage.


Why Fiberglass is a Better Choice

If you’re concerned about the risks of corrosion when using galvanized steel in your water system, then you might want to choose another material for your flumes and weirs. Although many systems prefer stainless steel, the better choice is to use fiberglass.

Fiberglass comes with no associated risk of corrosion, and will typically have a lifespan of fifteen years. In addition, fiberglass is resilient to most common stresses in a water system, although it its gel coating is slightly vulnerable to sediment in the water. For almost every water management system that there is, fiberglass flumes are the ideal flow management and measurement option, particularly if you’re concerned with long-term durability.


Purchase Fiberglass Flumes

Choosing the right material for your flumes and weirs is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your water management system, and as we have seen, the best material that you could ask for is fiberglass. If you’re interested in purchasing fiberglass flumes for your operation, then your top source is Tracom, FRP.

Tracom offers water management systems a wide selection of durable fiberglass products, including flumes and weirs, and we can assist you in finding the right tools for you. Contact Tracom today to learn more about our products and services.



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