Galvanized Steel and Sustainable Construction

Solutions for a circular economy

Make
Use
Reuse
Remake
Recycle

Make

Galvanizing is an efficient dip process – giving the highest level of protection for steel. Galvanizing of steel products maximises their durability, reuse and recycling.

Use

Galvanized steel is completely covered with a durable coating that can last the lifetime of the component – avoiding resource use for replacement or maintenance.

Reuse

Galvanized steel is robust and easily dismantled for reuse in multiple life cycles. The coating stays with the steel component in its next life cycle.

Remake

Galvanized steel products can be regalvanized and put back into service – avoiding production of new steel. Repurposing of galvanized steel products is often possible without regalvanizing.

Recycle

Steel and zinc are recycled together – without loss of properties – if the long life of galvanized steel eventually ends.

Learn more about galvanized steel and the circular economy

This new publication explains how the galvanizing industry is moving forwards - keeping galvanized steel at the forefront of solutions for tackling climate change and delivering the circular economy that is now firmly established in both policy and practice.

Galvanized steel can provide innovative solutions that optimise durability and facilitate circularity of steel structures and components. These solutions can be easily implemented using this well-established and simple method of protecting steel.

Why Galvanized Steel?

Recognition that the concept of a circular economy is fundamental to optimising sustainability of materials has again brought the simplicity, robustness, durability and inherent recyclability of metal structures and components to the forefront of sustainable design. Hot dip galvanized steel perfectly illustrates this:

  • Hot dip galvanizing of steel products after fabrication delivers the highest levels of corrosion protection – the steel structure or component will often achieve its design life with no maintenance.
  • The galvanized coating can follow the steel structure through multiple cycles of reuse.
  • A galvanized coating is inherently climate resilient as its protective ability is largely unaffected by changes in temperature and other climatic factors.
  • Galvanized coatings are bonded to the steel, which allows the steel product to be reused along with the original coating without need for recoating (just think of those scaffolding poles that are repeatedly assembled and disassembled around our buildings).
  • Galvanized steel components that have reached the end of their design life, or are uninstalled for any other reason, can be re-galvanized and returned to the original use.
  • If the reuse cycles come to an end, both steel and zinc are recycled together in the well-established steel recycling processes – with the zinc being returned, without loss of properties, to zinc production plants and eventually back into the galvanizing process.

If a material system was specially designed for the circular economy, hot dip galvanizing would be an excellent example. But, it is here today and has been following these principles for decades.

About EGGA

European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA) is the industry organisation for Europe’s general galvanizing sector. It is a federation of 14 National Associations that represent the industry in Europe.