4 Factors That Determine the Thickness of Steel Protective Coatings

It is essential for you to work closely with your steel fabricator so that they can use the appropriate thickness of anti-corrosion coatings. This will ensure that your steel products reach their expected service life. The article discusses some of the important site-specific information that can help in determining the correct thickness of the coatings used.


You should gather data about the temperature ranges to which the steel products will be exposed while they are at your facility. Higher temperatures increase the rate at which the chemical reactions that cause corrosion takes place. Prolonged exposure of the steel in such conditions may require the use of a thicker protective coating.

Airborne salinity

The amount of salts in the air around your facility also needs to be examined before the steel fabrication process starts. Higher levels of salinity will increase the chemical reaction rates. On the other hand, low levels of airborne salinity may allow you to use a thin protective coating. This is because the threat level posed by salts in the air will be low.

Relative humidity

The level of humidity can also have an impact on how quickly steel products will corrode. Higher levels of humidity provide a medium through which chemical reactions can occur between the steel products and their surroundings. As such, paces with higher humidity, such as low-lying areas, will experience higher rates of corrosion. Steel products meant to be used in these places need to have thicker protective coatings in comparison to places with lower levels of humidity.

Sheltering conditions

You also need to tell the steel fabricator whether the products will be used outdoors or indoors. Materials that are used outdoors are more likely to corrode at a higher rate due to their constant exposure to the elements. It is, therefore, necessary to give such products a thicker protective coating to prolong their service life. Conversely, products that will be used indoors may not need a very thick anti-corrosion coating since those products will face a lower risk of corrosion resulting from their exposure to the elements.

It is evident that successful steel fabrication is the outcome of effective collaboration between the fabricator and the client. It is therefore vital for you to provide as much site-specific information as possible to the fabricator. You can also ask the fabricator to visit your facility so that he or she can gather firsthand information about the exact service conditions.