In construction sites, LED light towers are typically exposed to rugged environments and rough contact. To ensure reliable operation under such conditions, it is crucial to incorporate a protective layer over the surface. The coating may serve as a barrier between the base metal and corrosive elements.
A common protective layer used to reinforce steel is molten zinc (at 860 °F or 460 °C), via hot-dip galvanization. Called galvanized steel, the material is capable of withstanding a wide range of destructive elements, such as saltwater, rain and dust particles.
Reducing Corrosive Reactions
Galvanized steel is extremely effective in decreasing interactions with corrosive substances on the surface of the material. Without the zinc coating, the base metal is open and free to react with acidic elements, which can be found in cleaning agents, rain and other unstable liquids. Without the protective layer, the material would be increasingly prone to rust.
From a cost perspective, galvanized steel is considered to be less expensive to incorporate with equipment than stainless steel. However, over time, the coating could fade, which will leave the compromised surface exposed. To prevent such occurrences, operators at the construction site must periodically check surface of the LED light tower for inconsistencies.
High-temperature and Marine Applications
Galvanized steel can help LED light towers endure high temperatures during operation. This material is applicable to temperatures up to 392 °F or 200 °C. Beyond this threshold, the protective layer will peel or melt away. LED light towers used in marine locations may also find galvanized steel to be advantageous, due to its ability to deter rust.
For thick galvanized steel, equipment manufacturers may apply electro-galvanization, which uses an electrolyte solution consisting of cyanide and zinc sulfate, instead of traditional hot-dip galvanization. This allows the manufacturer to control the thickness of the coating more accurately.