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Why Galvanised Steel Is The Perfect Choice For A Litter Bin

August 21, 2023

Galvanised steel can change the world. For litter bins.

Sorry about the profound opening. But if you search for bins online, there’s a good chance you’ll see the two words, ‘galvanised steel’ pop up a fair bit. 

But why?

In this article, our eyes are on galvanised steel. We’ll explore the who’s, the why’s and the how’s.

And by doing so, you’ll learn why galvanised steel is the perfect choice for a litter bin.

How is galvanised steel made?

Galvanised steel is a steel like no other. To make it, you take standard steel and bathe it in molten zinc. We know it sounds intriguing, but please don’t try this at home…

This unique process is what makes galvanised steel so popular: its rust and corrosion-resistant properties. The zinc coating acts like a protective barrier over the steel, allowing the steel itself to live a long, prosperous life. 

Take a look at this process in action:

We know. It’s a satisfying watch.

When and where is galvanised steel used?

Galvanised steel is used for materials and products where corrosion resistance and durability are essential. 

That’s why you’ll often see this type of steel used in the manufacturing, construction, automotive and marine industries. It’s one we certainly use a lot of in our products, something we can show you in a bit.

Who galvanised steel?

Good question. Unfortunately, it wasn’t originally us. Man’s search for galvanised steel actually started over 300 years ago in 1742. 

The noble French chemist, P.J. Melouin, conjured the idea of obtaining a zinc coating by dipping iron into molten zinc. It wasn’t until 1836 where a French civil engineer and chemist by the name of Stanislas Sorel brought the idea of galvanising to life and saw tangible results by following this method.

And now, here we are. Theories that began centuries ago are now a big part of modern manufacturing processes. I think they can pat themselves on the back.

Advantages of galvanised steel

Where to begin! 

We’ll focus on the key benefits of galvanised steel, especially when it comes to litter bins.

1. Galvanised steel is rust-proof

If you have a litter bin in mind that’s made from galvanised steel and will be placed outdoors, you’re in luck.

The zinc coating of galvanised steel acts as a sacrificial barrier, keeping the steel of the bin completely harm-free from rust and corrosion. So, for areas where moisture or salt is high, you won’t have to worry about the bin being damaged, even over long periods of time. Which, funnily enough, brings us on to our next point…

2. Galvanised steel has long life expectancy

As galvanised steel bins fight well against rust and corrosion, this naturally improves the lifespan of the bin. Therefore, you’re getting more ‘bang for your buck’ as it were. You won’t have to think about purchasing new replacement bins because your galvanised steel bin will look good as new. 

Of course, the sheer strength of this type of steel helps matters, too.

3. Galvanised steel is durable

Galvanised steel is like standard steel but with an armour plate on. That’s the best way to think about it. 

So when you think about a bin made from this material that is still standing strong after awful weather and a good old fashion battering, you start to understand why.

4. Galvanised steel is environmentally-friendly

A big one for sustainability lovers, including ourselves.

So, here’s a few reasons why…

Thanks to the durability and corrosion resistance of a galvanised steel bin, fewer resources are used in factories (including our own) to manufacture new bins on a frequent basis. 

Naturally, then, it allows us and like-minded manufacturing companies to save on energy consumption and raw materials. 

Also, zinc is eco-friendly because it’s recyclable. That means plenty of galvanised steel litter bins can be recycled if they get too damaged.

One of our MLB Litter Bins during the manufacturing process

Okay. Let’s run it back – mainly because these questions get asked A LOT.

Will galvanised steel rust?

The answer is, it depends.

In most cases, Galvanised steel will not rust because the layer of zinc is the defensive barrier that prevents any harsh elements affecting the steel.

But if you’re placing a bin in super harsh elements that remain consistent, then you may see some minor rusting occur.

Is galvanised steel waterproof?

Well, not completely. Galvanised steel does act as an excellent barrier against moisture – better than most bins, in fact. But any moisture-related damages aren’t 100% avoidable. It’ll just take a lot of work for any of these damages to show up.

You can prevent this easily, though. By frequently checking in on your bin/s, you can ensure that any water damages that are starting to creep up on the bin are quickly wiped out.

Disadvantages of galvanised steel

1. Weight

Due to the extra zinc coating that isn’t present on standard steel, it does add a bit more weight to products that are made from this material. 

A weighty bin isn’t a major issue. After all, it helps to secure the bin. But it may become an issue if you’re wanting to move the bin around freely – you may need a few pairs of extra hands if that’s the case.

2. Intricacy in design

Galvanising steel is a careful process. If not done properly for a bin, you can run into issues that have you scratching your head wondering how the galvanised steel is any different from standard steel.

3. Initial cost

The price on the label can seem high. But galvanised steel is known for its cost-effective capabilities thanks to its longevity. 

But we understand that not everyone would want to spend a generous amount on a bin, especially if you don’t trust what the internet is telling you about its long lifespan. 

There are more affordable bins on the market with a reduced initial cost, sure. But do they have the same capabilities as galvanised steel?

You’ve reached the rest checkpoint. Nice one. Replenish your thoughts and let’s get back to it – you’re almost there!

How does galvanised steel hold up against other types of steel?

Comparison is important because you need to know which material better suits your needs. 

We’ll refocus on the benefits of galvanised steel and compare this to stainless steel.

Galvanised steel vs stainless steel:

1. Corrosion and rust resistance

Galvanised steel: Offers good corrosion and rust resistance thanks to the zinc coating that protects the steel, effective against harsh weather.

Stainless steel: Provides excellent corrosion and rust resistance due to the chromium in its composition, ideal for environments with harsh weather.

2. Costs

Galvanised steel: Cost-effective over a long period of time thanks to the longevity of the material.

Stainless steel: Also cost-effective due to the lifespan, but generally more expensive than galvanised steel.

To summarise, stainless steel has better corrosion and rust-resistance qualities compared to galvanised steel but at a higher cost. Galvanised steel still provides fair resistance to corrosion and rust at a lower cost, even over time.

Galvanised steel vs aluminium:

Again, let’s compare aluminium to the benefits we’ve identified with galvanised steel.

1. Corrosion and rust resistance

Galvanised steel: I’m sure we don’t need to go over this again!

Aluminium: This material forms a thin layer of oxide on the surface which protects it from rust and corrosion. This results in a material that has slightly stronger resistance qualities compared to galvanised steel.

2. Weight

Galvanised steel: This form of steel is heavy, which can be useful for bins if sturdiness is a concern.

Aluminium: A lightweight material, great for applications where reduced weight is important.

3. Cost

Galvanised steel: More cost-effective thanks to the overall durability this material provides.

Aluminium: More expensive than galvanised steel as products made from this material don’t last as long, and the production costs to manufacture aluminium is naturally more expensive.

Overall, aluminium fights alongside galvanised steel for the corrosion and rust resistant podium. But when shopping for a bin, chances are you’re looking for something that’s cost-effective and sturdy in design. Galvanised steel outweighs (literally) aluminium in these compartments.

Our Torpedo Triple at Manchester Airport

Rounding things off

That was a lot of words to do with galvanised steel. But we can never talk about these things without diving into specifics.

We do work with this material every day!

Galvanised steel has its imperfections. Nobody is perfect. But when it comes to litter bins, it’s a top choice. And if you want reminding one last time, here’s why:

  • Strong durability increases the lifespan of the bin
  • In return, you have a cost-effective unit
  • Environmentally-friendly 
  • Reliable resistance against corrosion and rust

 

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Some of our galvanised steel bins