Wheatland Tube Color

Corrosion Protection

As part of Wheatland’s initiative to educate our customers on our products and processes, we have developed this Q&A resource to help you to understand what corrosion protection is, the industry requirements and how Wheatland meets those requirements, and which those environments require special coatings for protection. We have enlisted our in-house expert, Mike Ziegler, product development, coatings and quality, to answer a few questions about this subject.

Q: In the steel pipe world, what does corrosion protection mean?

     A: Basically, the idea of corrosion protection in our industry comes down to keeping the steel of the pipes from being converted to iron oxide (rust). The main way in which this is done is to coat the pipe with something that prevents that oxidation reaction from occurring. The two most common examples of this are galvanizing and painting.

Q: What are the industry requirements for corrosion protection?

     A: Given the wide variety of end-markets that we support, that’s a complicated question to answer.  For pipe products that go into electrical applications (e.g., conduit), there are a number of requirements maintained by organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These requirements detail the length of time that a pipe must be able to withstand being exposed to various corrosive environments without degradation. Other end-use areas — such as sprinkler pipe, gas transmission pipe, drill casings, drinking water piping and others — are also governed by various regulations that address the type of environments those pipes are likely to be exposed to as well as how long the pipe should be able to withstand those environments. For example, the industry requirement for corrosion resistance in electrical conduit is 600 hours of exposure to a saltwater mist without any visible red rust formation on the surface.

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Making Cents of FasTrak Plus: What do Pennies and EMT have in Common?

The title of this post isn’t the beginning of a bad joke; it’s a question that highlights one of the key aspects of FasTrak Plus EMT. Depending on your perspective, you can probably think of a bunch of different answers, but the one we’re thinking of is zinc.

 

Since 1982, U.S. One Cent Pieces (better known as pennies) have been made from 97.5 percent by weight zinc with a thin cosmetic plating of copper to maintain their recognizable color. FasTrak Plus, on the other hand, is made with 100 percent made in America steel, and galvanized with a layer of zinc alloy to give it protection from corrosion and maintain its recognizable appearance.

Unlike pennies and some galvanized products on the market, our high temperature galvanizing process doesn’t just plate a cosmetic layer of zinc on the pipe; it actually enables the zinc to react with the surface of the steel to provide the multiple alloy layers shown in the cross-sectional microscope image below. This strengthens the bond between the zinc and the steel, which leads to a greater level of corrosion protection. 

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The Science of Slip: FasTrak Plus Electrical Metallic Tubing

When you first walk into a car dealership and lay your eyes on the vehicle that you’ve been researching on the web for the past month, what’s the first thing you see?  If you’re like most people it’s the paint job. The glossy, shiny, just waxed looking clearcoat over the rich and vibrant basecoat is the very first that catches your eye.

This is also the first thing that comes to mind when we think of paint; how it adds to the beauty and appearance of the things that are painted. However, the true beauty of that paint isn’t just skin deep!  A small army of scientists have spent countless hours in the lab making sure that not only does every layer of the paint job look great, but that it also functions to protects your investment in that new ride from rust, acid rain, sunlight, gravel, and all the other things that Mother Nature (and the 18 wheeler in front of you) can throw at it.

That functional aspect of paint is at the heart of our new FasTrak Plus line of EMTproducts. All EMT manufacturers paint the inside surface of EMT, but not all coatings are created equal. 

At JMC Steel Group, we understand how important it is to our customer to be able to easily push and pull wires through our EMT, and we understand how to deliver that performance.

At a microscopic level, any roughness on the inside of the tube will act like Velcro®, pulling at the surface of the wire passing through the tube and creating drag which makes it harder to move the wire.  We’ve worked with our suppliers’ coatings experts to develop a new coating which not only smoothly covers any roughness, but also builds a molecular layer of lubricant at the surface of the coating. 

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