Industry

Centre to wipe out rust with galvanised steel

ERASING RUST: The idea is to build corrosion-resistant buildingsand vehicles. File photo: K. Ananthan

ERASING RUST: The idea is to build corrosion-resistant buildingsand vehicles. File photo: K. Ananthan  

The Centre is considering a proposal to mandate galvanisation of steel in sectors such as automobile, construction and infrastructure in a bid to build corrosion-resistant vehicles and buildings.

Inter-ministerial discussions on the issue are underway and a Cabinet note would be moved to stipulate the usage of zinc-coated steel which would last much longer than regular steel, especially in corrosion-prone areas along India’s long coastline, Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on the sidelines of an international galvanising conference in the capital.

“India is the third largest producer of zinc but our consumption should also be higher and this will boost consumption of zinc as well as steel and curb losses of thousands of crore to the economy due to corrosion,” the minister said, adding that galvanised steel could also be deployed in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for affordable housing.

“We have had talks on this issue with a few ministries, including the Railways and Petroleum ministries and will talk to other concerned departments such as road transport and defence soon. It will need a policy decision that we will take to the Cabinet,” Mr. Singh said in response to a query from The Hindu on whether the government could mandate galvanisation for certain steel products.

Zinc coating

Tata Steel chief technology officer Vinay Mahashabde said that zinc can arrest corrosion and cars in the rest of the world are galvanised to last 15 to 20 years, but in India, rust appears on car surfaces within three to four years.

Earlier, the minister compared a zinc coating’s effect on prolonging steel’s life to the capacity of an ant to kill an elephant and said that all efforts are being made to minimise corrosion losses as part of the large scale infrastructure expansion under way in sectors such as roads, airports, power, ports and railways.

“Steel usage would also be substantial in the smart cities program launched by the Prime Minister so there is an imperative need to adopt corrosion control methods in order to provide uninterrupted services to infrastructure users and prolong the life of such national assets,” Mr. Singh said. Developed nations use galvanised steel for infrastructure projects, but in India, it’s not yet mandatory, he pointed out.

“India loses around 4 per cent to 5 per cent of gross domestic product annually on account of corrosion losses, according to our internal analytics”, said Sunil Duggal, CEO of Hindustan Zinc Limited.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:32:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/Centre-to-wipe-out-rust-with-galvanised-steel/article16076842.ece

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