What is Metalizing?

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Your business relies on everything running smoothly. Corrosion and heavy wear of structures only slows things down. You may have heard of metalizing for corrosion protection, but what really is metalizing and how does it work?
Metalizing is a specific process within thermal spraying that is relevant to a variety of industries. Thermal spraying involves coating a surface with melted metal coating material for greater protection against rust, corrosion, etc. Solid material is liquefied, atomized, propelled to a substrate and finally re-solidified into a bonded coating. Typically, metal wire is melted in a combustion chamber and is instantly solidified on the surface. The process involves millions of particles that overlap and form into a buildup of sprayed metal, coated onto a steel structure.

So what kind of industries need these protective coatings?
Metalizing is primarily used for oil and gas transmission, process facilities, wind towers, water and wastewater storage, transition and treatment facilities, bridges and other steel structures.

Its benefits include:

  • Corrosion protection
  • Quick application as compared to regular paint coating
  • Rust prevention
  • Lasts up to ten times longer than paint due to protection, reducing the need for painting and blasting frequently
  • Impermeable
  • Non-porous
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Earth-friendly: no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or hazardous waste involved
  • Controlled evenly in process to make a uniform coating
  • Stands the test of time: utilized for close to 100 years around the world
  • Guards against extreme temperatures


Zinc and aluminum are most commonly used in metalizing. Both aluminum and zinc-based metalizing protects coating during galvanization. One of the most important aspects of successful metalizing is strong adhesion to the substrate, which can only happen if the surface is properly prepared. The area must be cleaned, vacuumed and metalized all on the same day to minimize flash rusting. This is not usually a problem since the metalizing process is quickly done without sacrificing quality.

In recent years, new technology has made field metalizing a viable and cost-effective approach for long-term protection. If you are looking for a contractor in California, Cor-Ray provides both twin wire and arc spray metalizing systems. They are capable of high production field applications of zinc, aluminum or alloy-based metalizing. Cor-Ray has accomplished many such projects including the Reading Room Dome of the Main San Diego Library. Call (562) 906-9770 or click for more information.

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