Galvanized Vs. Galvalume: Explained.


If you’re in the market for Bunger Steel roofing and have talked to contractors about the job, they have probably asked you whether you prefer “Galvanized” steel or “Galvalume.” Many contractors are familiar with working with both. They understand what it’s like installing one compared to the other, and how each performs over time.

Here at Bunger Steel, we specialize in building with steel for multiple uses and applications.

Here, we will clear up the differences between these two types of metal so that you can choose between these two types of steel with confidence.

Galvalume vs. Galvanized steel: Pros & Cons

What is Galvanized Steel?

Galvanized steel was developed in the early to middle 19th century for use in commercial applications. Since then, it has been a staple of construction, manufacturing, and fabrication for its durability and resistance to corrosion. It is made by dipping carbon steel sheet into molten zinc. This creates a chemical bond that produces the sparkling crystalline surface that galvanized steel is known for.

Galvanized steel is preferred for its appearance and is typically used for agricultural structures and applications where rust is not a primary concern.

For residential applications, the preferred type is G-90 galvanized steel.

What is Galvalume?

Galvalume is a newer type of production steel sheet developed by Bethlehem Steel in 1972. It is created in a similar way to galvanized steel, by dipping steel or iron into molten metal. But instead of using pure molten zinc, Galvalume is created by immersion into a molten mixture of zinc, aluminum, and silicon.

The zinc bonds with the steel, just as it does in the galvanization process, creating protective crystalline structures. The aluminum is added for additional corrosion resistance and added heat reflection. The silicon improves the adhesion of the zinc and the aluminum to the steel, allowing the coating to stay in place better during mechanical processing.

Galvalume is used primarily to add protection to iron-based materials. It is less valued for its appearance than galvanized metals with the characteristic glittering veneer. Galvalume is used in locations and applications where rust and corrosion are of particular concern. Factors that create an additional risk of rust (like coastal locations and water processing) are often considered key reasons to use Galvalume rather than galvanized steel.

Typical applications include;

  • Residential projects: family homes, condominiums, and the like.
  • Commercial structures: schools, stores, hospitals, and more.
  • Agricultural applications: confinement spaces not for animals, storage, barns, and more.
  • Architectural structures: because of its silicon component, Galvalume is often used for structural applications where galvanized metals are not expected to offer optimal durability.
  • Industrial Structural Applications: for factories, warehouses, and the like, Galvalume is sometimes preferred.

Consult the Experts at Bunger Steel 

Here at Bunger Steel in Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, Arizona- we build top quality steel buildings and install steel roofing to suit your needs, tastes, and budget. To learn more about Bunger Metal Buildings, call or find us online today to schedule your initial consultation.

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