What Is A Galvanized Chain Link Fence?

In a previous post, we discussed the durability of chain link and wood fencing, highlighting the advantages of galvanized chain link fencing. Today, we will delve into the reasons behind its durability.

Most chain link fencing is galvanized, meaning that a layer of zinc is applied to the steel. This process forms a protective barrier that prevents rusting and corrosion. The zinc coating not only enhances durability but also provides scratch resistance.

The Process of Galvanization

Without galvanization, the steel wire in chain link fencing would be exposed to moisture and oxygen, leading to rust and corrosion. Galvanization solves this problem by bonding a layer of zinc to the steel wire, creating a shield against the elements. This significantly extends the lifespan of the fence and prevents rust formation.

In most cases, the steel fence wire is galvanized before being woven into the typical chain link pattern. The most widely used galvanization method is called “hot-dipped galvanization.” This involves submerging the steel wire in molten zinc, resulting in a chemical reaction that permanently fuses the two metals together.

Hot-Dip Galvanization

Unlike a simple coating, hot-dip galvanization creates a unified layer of zinc that extends throughout the wire. The outermost layer consists of pure zinc, while the inner layers are a combination of zinc and steel.

While hot-dip galvanization is the most popular method, there are other ways to galvanize steel wire. One alternative is passing the wire through molten zinc, which creates a thinner layer of zinc but at a lower cost.

Various techniques can be employed to apply zinc to steel wire, but hot-dip galvanization remains the most common and durable method. It produces a thick and firmly bonded layer of zinc less prone to flaking or chipping. Other methods, such as spraying or painting, result in thinner layers of zinc, offering less durability. Electroplating is a more expensive option that also yields a thinner layer of zinc.

In the next post, we will explore vinyl-coated chain link fencing as another option that provides good rust protection.