Tuesday, November 07, 2006


What is galvanized steel? It's a process where zinc is bonded to the outside of steel in order to prevent corrosion or rust. Galvanized steel is used on cars, for hardware cloth (like chicken wire) and many other things. The zinc on the outside of the steel oxidizes to form zinc oxide which is not brittle like iron oxide.

The first known description of galvanizing with zinc comes from a French chemist, P.J. Malouin, in 1742. The process, however, is named after Lucie Galvani, a scientist who believed in a process called "animal electricity." He hung frog legs from his metal balcony and would watch them twitch as the wind blew them against the metal.

Galvani's contributions to the study of electricity were ignored in his time, but later on, his name was attached to the process known today as "galvanizing" when Stanilaus Sorel, an engineer, took out a patent on the process in 1837 and chose to name it after Galvani in tribute to his contributions to science.

Galvanizing animation

Sources: Wikipedia, An Anecdotal History of the Galvanizing Process (PDF), American Galvanizers Association (AGA) , American Zinc Association

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