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    October 3, 2023

    8 Common Misconceptions About Cold Galvanizing Compounds

    Cold galvanizing compounds are paint-like coatings that are applied to iron and steel surfaces to prevent corrosion. They can also be referred to as zinc-rich coatings. They are growing in popularity as more and more people discover the money-saving benefits of maintaining their metal structures rather than letting them fall into disrepair and replacing them.

    As industries and individuals seek effective solutions to safeguard metal structures from rust and deterioration, cold galvanizing compounds have emerged as a popular choice. However, misconceptions surrounding their application techniques and efficacy too often lead to suboptimal results. We take pride in not just selling to our customers, but educating and informing them as well. In an effort to do so, we want to take the time to debunk these myths, provide valuable insights, and equip you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions when it comes to preserving the integrity of your metal assets.

    Misconception #1: Cold galvanizing compound is a normal paint.

    Another way of saying this common misconception is “Normal paint will do the same thing as cold galvanizing compound.” While they do look the same, nothing could be further from the truth. These two are absolutely not the same thing.

    A cold galvanizing compound has the characteristics of a paint, but it's not a paint. The biggest difference between paint and cold galvanizing compounds exists in the percentage of zinc present in the corrosion-prevention film coating. Our unique formula provides a self-healing galvanic film that is impossible for others to match. "Ultra pure" Zinc dust (ASTM D520 Type III) is integrated with our trade-secret organic binder. This binder allows the zinc particles to remain in contact with each other so that the ZRC is anodic to the base metal, thereby imparting true galvanic action.

    A zinc rich coating is a coating that contains a high percentage of zinc dust which sacrificially corrodes when in direct contact with steel. Zinc rich coatings are applied to protect steel surfaces from corrosion and extend the surface's life. When applied to a metal surface, the zinc particles adhere to the surface and form a protective layer that acts as a “sacrificial anode.” In the presence of moisture and oxygen, the zinc in the coating corrodes sacrificially, protecting the underlying metal from rust and corrosion.

    Our products are internationally trusted as high-quality solutions to corrosion protection, and this isn't by chance. The ZRC difference is made possible by the high zinc content (95% by weight in the dried film) in our ultra-pure zinc dust and proprietary, non-encapsulating binder. Regular paint can’t make these claims.

    Misconception #2: It needs to be cold. 

    The terminology "cold galvanized" does not mean that it needs to be applied in a cold environment. A normal, temperate one will do just fine. This terminology is due to the fact that ZRC products are extensively used as an alternative to hot-dip galvanizing for effective rust prevention.

    Hot-dip galvanizing involves immersing the metal in molten zinc, creating a metallurgical bond between the zinc and the base metal, which provides excellent corrosion protection. In contrast, cold galvanizing compounds are called so because they offer a similar protective mechanism as hot-dip galvanizing but without the requirement of high temperatures. Instead, they can be applied directly to the metal surface at room temperature or close to it. This mechanism of corrosion protection is similar to hot-dip galvanizing, but the application process is much simpler and can be done in the field.

    Misconception #3: It is just for small areas. 

    Cold galvanizing compounds can be used for the overall galvanization of entire structures and not just for touch-ups. You can paint ZRC on anything from rusty fences and gates to a commercial fishing boat to a massive transmission tower. As you’ll read below, you can buy ZRC in several different application methods, some of which are ideal for covering a large surface area. That being said, it can be used for small spots, like boat propellers and touch-ups as well. There is no spot too large or too small to benefit from the rust protection ZRC provides.

    Misconception #4: You can paint right over rust. 

    Rust is a sign of corrosion, which can weaken and deteriorate metal surfaces over time. Painting over rust does not address the root problem — it just covers it up. In fact, it exacerbates the situation over time. 

    Another issue with painting over rust is that the paint may not adhere adequately to the surface. Rust creates a rough, uneven surface that does not provide a suitable base for the paint to adhere to, resulting in flaking or peeling paint over time. This leaves the metal surface exposed to further corrosion and rusting. 

    Think of rust on your metal structure like termites eating away at a wooden house. What would happen if you don’t properly address the problem, opting to paint over the boards when you needed an exterminator? Does that mean your pest problem is fixed? Far from it! In just the same way, in order to guarantee a durable paint job and optimal surface protection, it's essential to address the rust before painting and then use a cold galvanizing compound rather than traditional paint.

    Misconception #5: You have to use a brush-on method.

    Beyond selecting the exact ZRC product, you also have the option of whether you want it to be a brush-on or spray-on product. Our cold galvanizing paint was the original ZRC product, and is still the industry standard. Our experts recommend the brush-on applications when you’re undergoing a high-volume project, like steel girder I beams. If you have a big job ahead, we recommend liquid paint. This is because you will get more coverage from a gallon of cold galvanizing paint than a spray can.

    Our cold galvanizing compounds can be administered in aerosol form, or by use of a compressor or airless spray techniques. They offer the same superior performance you would find in the brush-on type. We can promise this because we add propellants and other ingredients so it sprays easily and evenly out of an aerosol can. Additionally, our aerosol application method is low in VOC and yields a consistent dry film thickness not found in low cost solutions. This does not change the performance of the product.

    Misconception #6: Anything you paint with ZRC has to be gray. 

    Our product is offered in our "Battleship Grey" color; this much is true. Think of it like a primer that should be in direct contact with the metal itself. It doesn’t need to be the top coat, though. Once ZRC is dry, go ahead and paint over it in any color you wish!

    Misconception #7: You can buy it at the hardware store.

    ZRC cold galvanizing compounds are the best of the best. For this reason, ZRC is not found in hardware stores. Our products are highly specialized, and as such can only be purchased directly from our website or by finding a local authorized distributor that has our product in stock. Our distributors have in-depth knowledge of the products they sell. 

    Shopping online can feel a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for. Which product is right for your project? Should you use a spray or brush-on paint? What if you need it right away? A dealer is able to provide detailed information and guidance on product selection, use, and maintenance. We make it easy to find a ZRC dealer directly through our website.

    Misconception #8: Choosing and applying the right compound is difficult. 

    To make it straightforward for you to find the right ZRC cold galvanizing compound, we have a Product Finder on our website. It's incredibly simple to use. You enter a few details, like the type of surface and any application environmental factors. Our software will automatically connect you with the right ZRC zinc coating to meet your needs. We encourage you to explore our unique products and their uses. 

    Even once the product is chosen and ordered, people can get intimidated about applying it. Don’t worry! While we’ve already established it doesn’t act like a regular paint, it does apply like one. Simply clean and remove rest from the surface of your metal, and then either spray and paint ZRC on. That’s it! 

    The most common misconception is that it’s overly complicated to achieve industry-leading rust protection when it is actually quite simple.

    Download: Guide to Surface Preparation

    Partner With ZRC for Convenient and Extensive Rust Protection

    Now that you’re more familiar with ZRC and cold-galvanizing compounds in general, you can order your needed rust prevention products with confidence. 

    One of the most significant benefits of making a purchase through our online store is convenience. You can shop from anywhere at any time, without having to leave your office or home. Our online store eliminates the need to physically visit a retailer, saving you time and effort. 

    Of course, buying directly from us means you’re getting it straight from the source, and saving money in the process. Not only that, you can have ZRC shipped anywhere, even somewhere without representation from a distributor. Simply click the button below to get started.

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