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Hot-dip galvanising hidden circularity champion

Europe aims to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Achieving this goal largely depends on how quickly the transition to a circular economy is achieved. The hot-dip galvanising industry makes an active contribution towards a climate-neutral continent. Hot-dip galvanised steel is durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable. It is therefore a perfect material for circular and sustainable construction and therefore perfectly meets the principles of a circular economy.

Unique durability of steel

Galvanised steel has an extremely long durability. The vast majority of the geographical area within the Benelux and Germany has a climate class of C2 to C3. This corresponds to a corrosion-free protection period of at least 40-100 years*. This is accompanied by a relatively maintenance-free character, certainly in comparison with other corrosion protection systems.

  • Sustainability through proven circularity

There are countless applications that show that hot-dip galvanized steel is demonstrably reusable and recyclable and can withstand regular (dis) assembly without damage. Think of scaffolding constructions, temporary bridges or complete buildings that can be disassembled, such as the GreenHouse building in Utrecht.

  • Sustainability through proven CO2 reduction

Using the example of a multi-storey car park, the TU of Berlin has investigated the environmental effects of hot-dip galvanising. This showed that in all environmental impact categories studied, the effects of hot dip galvanizing were lower than other coating systems. The use of hot dip galvanising saves up to 114 kg of CO2 per ton of steel over a 60 year life span compared to coating systems.

  • Sustainability through recycling without loss of quality

Hot dip galvanised steel is also particularly durable with regard to recycling, as it can be recycled as many times as needed without quality loss (downcycling). According to the European Commission Technical Steel Research and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety, approximately 88% of hot-dip galvanized steel is currently recycled, 11% is already reused.

Galvanised steel can be easily recycled with other steel scrap in the production of electric steel. Zinc evaporates early during this process and is collected in EAF (Electric Arc Furnaces) dust. The zinc in the EAF fabric is recycled in special factories and used to produce primary zinc.

Would you like to know more about how Thielco can support you in achieving your sustainability goals? Feel free to contact us and we are happy to help you.

 

*Source: "Guide for protection of steel against corrosion; Interior and exterior structures", Infosteel, VOM & ZIB, 2012.

**Source: "Life cycle analysis of corrosion protection systems for steel structures", Berlin University of Technology, 2006.