There are a myriad of examples of hot-dip galvanized steel projects throughout the world. Below are a few applications:
Michigan/M-102 Bridge Rail
With the original steel guardrail panels galvanized back in 1955, the rails on the MI/M-102 Bridge and Rail Project were due for corrosion repair. Fortunately, because of the protection provided by the galvanized coating on the railing panels, highway traffic damaged only 15-20 percent of the more than 300 tons of steel that would need replacement in the repair. After attending an educational Galvanize It! seminar, Sue Datta of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) learned how many states have been taking old guardrail, stripping, regalvanizing, and returning it to service – so MDOT decided to regalvanize the existing steel guardrail panels.
The state saved more than half of the budget earmarked for this project because they only had to replace 20 percent of the old material. The money saved on this project allowed MDOT to start the next project – one originally slated to begin in 2009.
The cost savings merely added to the original benefits of galvanizing this project – after 50 years of Michigan weather, traffic mishaps, road grime, and salts, the galvanized steel remained corrosion free. The new railings for this project will provided maintenance-free corrosion protection well into the future.
One can almost hear the ripping, throaty roar of a Harley Davidson motorcycle upon viewing the industrial, frank steel structure of the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. A steely, modern tribute to this American icon, the 130,000 square foot museum is located on the shores of the Menomonee River on a 20-acre reclaimed industrial site.
Rather than find a decorative skin for the buildings comprising the museum, the designers turned to the motorcycles themselves for inspiration. Durability, long-life, quality – hot-dip galvanized steel encompasses all of these ideals, making it the natural selection to serve as an honest representation of the elements of Harley Davidson engineering. The architecture of the museum reveals exposed I-beams, columns, gusset plates and cross bracing, all open to the harsh effects of sun, snow, and rain. Hot-dip galvanized steel will withstand these tough elements, providing maintenance-free protection from the damaging effects of corrosion, both structurally and aesthetically.
With 2.5 million pounds of steel galvanized, good communication between the designers, fabricator, and galvanizer resulted in a smooth process with a quality product. Quick turnover and enormous savings compared to rendering the same look with paint sweetened the deal, as well. Now, this $75 million galvanized structure will stand as a durable, corrosion-free homage to Harley Davidson history, culture, and engineering.
San Joaquin Solar Farm
The South San Joaquin Solar Farm, which is one of the largest solar projects in the United States, is a 1.9 megawatt single-axis solar tracking system constructed to provide electricity to the De Groot Water Treatment Plant. In this forward-thinking, environmentally friendly project, 11,040 solar modules produce 3.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity output annually – enough to power 550 homes and offsetting nearly four million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Nearly 9,000 pieces were galvanized on this environmentally conscious “green” project. This solar installation will transform San Joaquin into one of the “greenest” spots in California and will nearly wipe out the entire $500,000 annual electricity bill the Irrigation Department pays to run their plant. As the need to “go green” continues, the need for hot-dip galvanizing on solar projects will undoubtedly continue to increase. Galvanized steel, in addition to saving the waste and expense of corrosion maintenance and repair, is also recyclable – making it an environmentally friendly choice that easily integrates with the intentions of the Solar Farm.
7th Avenue Light Rail Transit Refurbishment
The City of Calgary, Alberta is a leader in the use of hot-dip galvanizing and duplex systems for infrastructure. Over the past decade, duplex systems have been used extensively on major overpass guardrails and pedestrian rails. Recently, the city has specified galvanizing for all reinforced steel in bridges. So when the city was ready to refurbish the 7th Avenue Light Rail Transit (LRT) System, hot-dip galvanizing was the logical choice.
Because many commuters rely on the rail system, turnaround time was of the essence. The system had to be de-energized, erected, and re-energized in a 72-hour timeframe to minimize the impact on commuters. To create a uniform appearance, all hardware, hollow structural steel chords, tension members, columns, upper and lower arms, ornamental light posts, handrails, benches, and trash bins were hot-dip galvanized. The durable coating will be able to withstand the extreme winter climate and constant foot and rail traffic, while remaining aesthetically appealing. Following the success of this project, there are plans for up to 14 more similar station refurbishments in the near future.