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Entries in sheet metal (1)

Thursday
Apr292010

material world: galvanized steel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebbbeginsfromdream//CC BY 2.0Invented in the early 1800s, corrugated sheet metal has evolved from a wavy iron to sheet steel that’s been hot-dipped in zinc for protection against rusting—which occurs naturally when steel is exposed to the elements.

The material quickly became widely used in construction for its many benefits. The “corrugated” rolling curves not only define its look, they also enhance its strength by distributing weight across channels instead of individual stress points throughout a flat sheet.

So not only can it support weight greater than itself, it’s rust resistant, affordable, easy to transport and easy to install. Few if any materials have matched its versatility which is why it’s maintained its popularity in rural and urban areas—not to mention developed and developing countries.

Derived from electrical impulse experiments first done by Italian physicist Luigi Galvani (1737-98), galvanization is synonymous with a crystalized—or spangle—finish that’s most often used on watering cans and outdoor accessories.

The prolific and consistent use of galvanized steel—especially corrugated steel—sealed its fate as an iconic reference to industry and the industrial age. Today it adds an urban flavor to any outdoor—or indoor setting.

For small plants, herbie is the perfect size to keep a variety of fresh herbs handy for cooking. The refined proportions of oscar planters literally elevate greenery or florals while the soft gray metal contrasts with and enhances landscapes.

Left outdoors for extended periods of time, galvanized steel can develop a patina that’s either a white-ish calcification or slight rusting—both are inherent characteristics of these natural materials.