As you’re looking for new hardware and fittings, you’ll notice many of them come in different finishes. These finishes are not just created for looks. Many of them indicate the strength and use of the hardware itself. When you know what these finishes are created for, it can make your choice of hardware a lot easier.
Let’s use gate hardware as a perfect example. Different finishes will provide a certain level of protection from the elements. It’s important to remember that most gate hardware is exposed to weather conditions, from extreme heat to heavy rain. So like any material your gate is constructed from, your hardware needs to be durable enough to last.
Take a quick look at our range of hardware online, and you’ll notice that many of our products are made with the following finishes; stainless steel, galvanised and zinc plated. Each of these options provides a certain level of corrosion protection. The level of corrosion protection you need all comes down to what you’ll be using your hardware for.
For gate hardware, a latch needs the highest level of corrosion protection because it’s being used outside where it’s exposed to the elements. Screws or bolts that have been installed inside may not need such a high level of corrosion protection. In this case, a zinc-plated finish may be a better option. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what these different hardware finishes are and what they’re used for.
Stainless steel is often the top choice when it comes to hardware and finishes. Most stainless steel products available in Australia are made up of at least 50% iron and 10% chromium. Producers add chromium thanks to its special ability to add more corrosion resistance to a product. One of the strongest versions of stainless steel finishes available today is 316 marine-grade stainless steel.
This stainless steel finish provides the highest level of corrosion resistance against chemical corrosives such as saltwater. It’s incredibly resistant to harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat and cold. 316 marine-grade stainless steel is typically made up of around 16% chromium, 8% nickel, and 2% molybdenum. So the next time you’re looking for new gate hardware or other screws for outdoor use, make sure it has a corrosion-resistant finish like 316 marine-grade stainless steel.
Ruspert® coating is a relatively new finish that was created back in the 1980s. It’s made with distinct layers of zinc and a ceramic solution. The top coating of baked ceramic acts as a physical barrier that protects the remaining layers of zinc and the base metal of the product it’s on.
One of the main advantages of a ruspert® coating is the resistance to mechanical damage. So when you find fasteners like a screw with this coating, you can be certain it’s highly resistant to movement and abrasion. Check out our latest range of Bolts & Nuts, and you’ll find a whole range made with this Black Ruspert® finish.
When you find hardware that’s been galvanised, you can rest assured it’s made to last. The process of galvanising involves applying a protective layer to materials like steel and iron. There are many ways to galvanise metal. One of the most common methods is called the hot-dip galvanisation process. This involves the base metal getting dipped into a hot layer of metal, such as zinc.
Zinc is often used thanks to its anti-corrosive properties. It’s very resistant to rust. Even when the top layer has been scratched, an effective galvanising process can help a metal last for up to 50 years. So installing new galvanised hardware can definitely be worth the investment. Today you can find many examples of galvanised products in our extensive hardware and fasteners range. This range includes our bolts, screws, rigging, and gate hardware.
Zinc plating is commonly used for covering substrate metals such as steel and iron. It provides a protective layer to prevent the metal underneath it from corrosion. Zinc forms a physical barrier but it’s the way it reacts to corrosive elements that really lends itself to widespread use. When exposed to oxygen and water molecules in the air, it forms zinc hydroxide. This then reacts with carbon dioxide in the air to create a thin layer of zinc carbonate which provides further protection.
Zinc plating on its own is one of the weaker options compared to the others we’ve mentioned here. But don’t count it out. Zinc still provides a high level of strength and a reasonable level of corrosion resistance for hardware products. Products like fasteners with a zinc coating are best suited for indoor projects.
FIND THE BEST HARDWARE FINISHES IN OUR PRODUCT RANGE
Take a quick look at our latest range of fasteners and you’ll see many of your products come in finishes like stainless steel, black ruspert®, galvanised and zinc plating. These finishes ensure that our products are corrosion-resistant and provide a solution for all your DIY needs.
If you’re looking to install something new outside, then check out our latest range of gate hardware, chains and wire. Many of these are made with quality finishes like stainless steel to help them withstand the toughest outdoor weather conditions.