Quite often we get a customer who is unsure of which surface finish to purchase. Should we purchase hot galvanised Bike Racks or powdercoated Bike Racks? This question most commonly arises during the purchase of School Bike Racks.
As you can imagine, School Bike Racks are probably the most abused of all Bike Racks. The kids ride into them, stand on them and the Racks are usually outside in an exposed position 365 days per year. As such, when a client contacts me to enquire about School Bike Racks I usually suggest that they go for a hot galvanised surface finish.
When our Bike Racks are sent to be hot dipped, they undergo a process known as batch hot-dip galvanising. The Bike Racks are immersed in a bath of liquid zinc which, once cooled, produces a thick protective zinc coating. Before the coating is applied, the steel is cleaned to remove all oils, greases, and any spot rust. The cleaning cycle usually consists of de-greasing, followed by acid pickling to remove scale and rust, and fluxing, which inhibits oxidation of the steel before dipping in the molten zinc.
Hot-dip galvanising is used on all sorts of products besides Bike Racks, ranging in size from small parts such as nuts, bolts, and nails to very large structural shapes such as bridge components. Because the material is immersed in molten zinc, the zinc flows into recesses and other areas difficult to access, coating all areas of complex shapes thoroughly for corrosion protection.
The end result is a thick, matte coating of zinc which is suitable for all external applications such as where our School Bike Racks end up. Because of the amount of zinc required and the extra labour needed to clean the excess zinc off the finished product, hot-dipped bicycle stands will always be more expensive than the same products when zinc plated.