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Expert calls for increased usage of galvanised steel

Speaking to Bizz Buzz, Dr Rahul Sharma, Director-India, International Zinc Association, puts global cost of corrosion $2.5 trillion

Expert calls for increased usage of galvanised steel

Visakhapatnam: Only 15 per cent of steel consumed in India getting galvanisation – a manufacturing process that involves a coating of zinc to prevent rusting/ corrosion endangering several super-structures and high-rise buildings to a lot of risk.

According to the Corcon Institute of Corrosion, the global cost of corrosion is $2.5 trillion per year, which equates to 3-4 per cent of global GDP and about 4 per cent in India. According to an estimate, steel worth Rs 43,857 crore is prone to corrosion.

Infrastructure failure due to corrosion has an impact on buildings, which has an impact on the economy. The International Zinc Association, the only industry association committed completely to the interests of zinc and its consumers, held a knowledge conference in the city recently to create awareness on use of galvanised steel.

Speaking to Bizz Buzz, International Zinc Association (IZA) Director-India (Technology and Market Development) Dr Rahul Sharma said due to lack of awareness and the focus to reduce cost of construction, several organisations are using only 15 per cent galvanised steel out of 128 million of crude steel produced in India.

He said an approach to give preference to L-1 in giving contracts should be dispensed with to ensure quality of structures and their longevity. This also saves money on periodical painting and other expenses.

"It is very important to reiterate the role of infrastructure in any country and growth and development. The IZA, with the help of Hindustan Zinc, has always focused on creating awareness around the implementation of zinc as an alternative. Through this platform we want to address the need for longevity and protection of countries and premium infrastructures and call for the need to adopt durable and proven corrosion protection methods, like structure galvanisation," he said adding they are planning to organise awareness programmes across India.

Sharma said Tata Steel, JSW and SAIL-Bokaro are the major producers of galvanised steel in India. Power Grid is credited with usage of 100 per cent galvanised steel for its transmission towers. Railways use it for laying track with less maintenance. NHAI also uses galvanised steel.

He said the per capita consumption in India is 0.5 kg as against 2.5 kg in developed countries and the world average of 2.2 kg. It is 4 kg in China as against 2.7 in the USA and 2.9 in Europe. Earlier, Dr Sharma and Dr Kenneth D'Souza, Technical Expert, IZA highlighted their concern at the knowledge conference over corrosion and its impact on infrastructure and public safety and called for a thorough corrosion protection mechanism that will not only ensure infrastructure longevity but also minimize economic and environmental damages.

Santosh Patnaik
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