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How to choose the proper finishing treatment for metal pipe?

It can not be denied that steel pipe is a product that tends to be prone to corrosion in service especially under certain harsh conditions. There are many types of metal surface treatments for steel pipe in a mill today. For one thing, fabrication services such as metal finishes will generally add to delivery time on your order. For the other thing, a proper coating can become a effective protective film for steel pipe against any damages or breakdown in order to extend the service life in applications.

1) Galvanizing

As iron and steel are fragile in the environment, the most popular finish for them is corrosion protection through “galvanizing”. Specifically, when it comes to pre galvanized pipe in the current market, Pre Galvanizing takes place before the manufacture of the product. This generally results in a better appearance than Hot Dip Galvanizing. Hot Dip Galvanizing is generally accomplished by two methods, both of which immerse or coat the metal with a liquid zinc bath after various processes. This protective coating is the interdiffusion of zinc and iron and will last for many years. Hot Dip Galvanizing should take place after a product has been manufactured/fabricated, so that all the edges of the material are protected by the galvanized coating. If the product’s galvanized coating becomes scarred or scratched, generally some protection remains as the coating will corrode before the metal.

2) Anodizing

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that forms a protective coating of aluminum oxide on the surface of aluminum. Aluminum oxide is a hard, durable, weather resistant substance. The coating is integral to the metal and cannot peel or flake. The coating may be colored by dyeing or may exhibit bronze tones through diffraction phenomena produced by the coating. However, anodizing is only appropriate on certain aluminum alloys. Bronze anodizing is available for certain types of architectural applications. There are three main advantages of anodizing for metal pipe as follows:

  • Generally less expensive than painting
  • Harder than PVDF, longer life, low maintenance
  • Unaffected by sunlight

3) Mechanical Finishes

Deburring – This mechanical finishing process removes burrs and sharp edges from metal sheets

Sand Blasting – Sand Blasting is a mechanical finishing. There are several types of Sand Blasting. Basically, the surface is subjected to a stream of high velocity sand under air or steam pressure. The sand removes scale or encrusted material and creates a dark gray brushed appearance. Sand Blasting may be a good choice when there is a desire to improve the appearance of a standard mill finish.

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