In its simplest terms, a fabric building is made up of framework and cladding. However, choosing the best suited and highest-quality raw materials is critical to creating the best, fit-for-purpose fabric buildings.
A building’s framework gives a structure its support, shape and size. The framework is the backbone of a building and is critical to its strength and longevity. In the fabric building industry, there are two primary materials used in framework. A very small percentage of manufacturers utilize aluminum frames, but steel is the overwhelmingly dominant material.
Carbon steel, structural tubing is the dominant material used in fabric building framework. Carbon steel is subject to corrosion (rust). Galvanization or galvanizing is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel, to minimize the impact of corrosion. There are two primary methods for galvanizing steel tubing used in fabric buildings – inline galvanizing and hot dip galvanizing. Epoxy coating and powder coating are also available for specific applications.
Inline galvanizing is a process that coats the tube with molten zinc during the tube manufacturing process. Inline galvanizing produces a bright, smooth, virtually lead-free coating that is exceptionally durable and can stand up to severe fabrication processes. Inline galvanizing also acts as an excellent primer for epoxy or powder coating.
Hot Dip Galvanizing
Hot dip galvanizing is the process of dipping an already formed part into a molten zinc bath. Hot dip galvanizing produces a relatively smooth and bright coating with exceptional durability.
Which Galvanizing Process is Better?
Manufacturers utilizing inline galvanized tubing in their framework receive straight tubing from the manufacturer, then cut, bend and weld it to form finished framework. In contrast, hot dip galvanized framework is galvanized after the framework is formed. Which is better? That’s debatable. For the vast majority of applications, framing manufactured with inline galvanized tubing will provide the corrosion protection you need. For more corrosive applications, framing manufactured with hot dip galvanized tubing may be more applicable. For highly corrosive environments, inline galvanized tubing coated with epoxy is superior.