Galvanized Iron vs Galvanized Steel: The Difference Explained

We use metal products in our daily lives, but do we know the difference between galvanized iron and galvanized steel? They may seem similar, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Galvanized iron is a low-carbon steel sheet coated with zinc, while galvanized steel is a welded steel plate with a hot-dip or galvanized zinc coating.

In this article, we will explore the differences in meaning, characteristics, and use of these two materials. We will also delve into the different types of galvanized steel plates, including hot-dip, alloyed, electrogalvanized, single-sided, double-sided differential, and alloy and composite galvanized steel plates.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of galvanized iron vs galvanized steel, and be able to make an informed decision on which material to use for your next project.

So, whether you’re a construction worker, a DIY enthusiast, or just curious about metallurgy, read on to discover the fascinating world of galvanized metal.

I. Difference Between Galvanized Steel Sheet and Galvanized Iron Sheet

1. Difference in meaning

Galvanized iron is a kind of low carbon steel sheet coated with zinc on the surface.

Its basic thickness is generally 0.44~1.2 mm, and the thickness of zinc layer is also greater than 0.02 mm.

Galvanized iron sheet can be divided into flat sheet and corrugated (corrugated) sheet.

Ungalvanized sheet is commonly known as black iron sheet.

Galvanized steel plate is a kind of welded steel plate with hot-dip or galvanized zinc coating on the surface.

Galvanized steel plate can be divided into ordinary electrolytic plate and fingerprint resistant electrolytic plate.

Fingerprint-resistant plate is mainly based on the ordinary electrolytic plate for additional fingerprint-resistant treatment, which can resist sweat, and is generally used on parts without any treatment.

The common electrolytic plate can be divided into phosphating plate and passivation plate.

2. Differences in characteristics

The galvanized iron sheet is basically not easy to rust and has strong corrosion resistance, and has strong ductility.

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Galvanized steel plate can effectively prevent steel corrosion, prolong service life, and has excellent painting, decoration, formability, heat conduction and heat reflection.

3. Difference in use

Galvanized iron sheet is a kind of iron coiled material widely used in industry, manufacturing and other industries. It is often used to manufacture roofs, coils and various containers.

Galvanized steel sheet is widely used in construction, vehicles, household appliances, daily necessities, light industry, agriculture, transportation and other industries.

II. Type of Galvanized Steel Plate

1. Hot-dip galvanized steel sheet

Immerse the sheet steel into the molten zinc bath to make its surface adhere to the zinc sheet steel.

At present, it is also basically produced by a continuous galvanizing process, which can continuously dip the rolled steel plate into the molten zinc plating bath to make galvanized steel plate;

2. Alloyed galvanized steel sheet

Moreover, this kind of steel plate is basically manufactured by a hot dip method, but it can be heated to about 500 ℃ immediately after it is out of the tank, which is also an alloy coating that can make it produce zinc and iron.

This kind of galvanized sheet also has very good coating adhesion and weldability;

3. Electrogalvanized steel sheet

The galvanized steel plate is mainly manufactured by electroplating method, which basically has a particularly good processing performance.

However, the coating is relatively thin and its corrosion resistance is not as good as that of hot-dip galvanized sheet;

4. Single-sided galvanized steel plate and double-sided differential galvanized steel plate

Single-sided galvanized steel plate, that is, products that are galvanized on one side only.

It has better adaptability than double-sided galvanized sheet in welding, coating, anti-rust treatment, processing, etc.

In order to overcome the shortcoming of single side without zinc coating, there is another kind of galvanized sheet coated with thin layer of zinc on the other side, that is, double-sided differential galvanized sheet;

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5. Alloy and composite galvanized steel plate

It mainly uses zinc and other metals such as lead and zinc to make alloy and even composite plating steel plate.

This kind of steel plate not only has excellent anti-rust performance, but also has good coating performance.

III. Choosing Between Galvanized Iron and Galvanized Steel

Project Requirements

When selecting material for a project, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements. Galvanized iron, commonly used for water pipes and general-purpose applications, is known for its good corrosion resistance and high pliability. However, it may not be as suitable for heavy-duty, outdoor, or load-bearing applications.

On the other hand, galvanized steel offers superior strength and durability. This material is often utilized in structural, automotive, and outdoor construction projects due to its robustness and resilience. It’s important to thoroughly assess the project’s demands, such as weight-bearing capacity, exposure to the elements, and longevity, before deciding on the appropriate material.

Budget Constraints

Both galvanized iron and galvanized steel provide excellent corrosion resistance; however, the cost may vary significantly. Galvanized iron tends to be more affordable than galvanized steel, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious projects. When considering budget constraints, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each material:

  • Galvanized Iron:
    • Pros: Affordable, corrosion-resistant, and pliable
    • Cons: Lower strength, not suitable for heavy-duty applications
  • Galvanized Steel:
    • Pros: Strong, durable, suitable for heavy-duty applications
    • Cons: More expensive than galvanized iron

In summary, choosing between galvanized iron and galvanized steel depends on the project’s specific requirements and budget constraints. Galvanized iron may be a preferable choice for general-purpose applications, while galvanized steel works best when strength and durability are required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between galvanized iron and galvanized steel?

Galvanized iron and galvanized steel are both coated with a layer of zinc to protect against corrosion. However, the primary difference lies in their base materials. Galvanized iron is made of wrought iron or cast iron, while galvanized steel is composed of carbon steel.

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How do the properties of galvanized iron and steel compare?

The properties of galvanized iron and steel are influenced by their base metal composition. Galvanized iron is more ductile and malleable, making it easier to work with during fabrication processes. On the other hand, galvanized steel is stronger, harder, and more resistant to wear due to its carbon content.

Which is more corrosion-resistant: galvanized iron or galvanized steel?

Both galvanized iron and steel demonstrate increased corrosion resistance compared to their non-galvanized counterparts. However, galvanized steel generally has a thicker zinc coating, which offers prolonged protection against rust and corrosion.

What are the primary uses of galvanized iron and steel?

Galvanized iron is commonly used for roofing, water pipes, and fencing due to its malleability and lower cost. Galvanized steel is often used in construction, automotive manufacturing, and industrial applications where additional strength and durability are required.

Is galvanized steel stronger than galvanized iron?

Yes, galvanized steel is stronger than galvanized iron due to the presence of carbon in its composition. This increased strength makes it suitable for applications where greater resistance to deformation or wear is necessary.

What are the price differences between mild steel and galvanized steel?

Galvanized steel is generally more expensive than mild steel due to the additional cost associated with the zinc coating process. However, the higher upfront cost is often offset by its increased lifespan and corrosion resistance, making it a cost-effective option in many applications.

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