India loses around 4-5% of GDP annually on account of corrosion losses, Says CEO-HZL, Sunil Duggal

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Piyush Goyal to Inaugurate 2nd International Galvanizing Conference in Delhi” on 20-21 October 2016, at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Palace, New Delhi.

India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Mines, Power and Coal will inaugurate India’s largest galvanizing conference to be held in Delhi on 20-21, October 2016 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. The conference is being organized by the International Zinc Association in association with Hindustan Zinc and will deliberate upon potential zinc market, development of zinc & steel market, role of zinc in infrastructure, application in emerging sectors like automobiles, rail-tracks and galvanization of rebar to strengthen the structure particularly which are near coastal areas.

This 2-day International Galvanizing Conference will have over 20 speakers from industries and institutions like Hindustan Zinc, JSW, Tata Steel, PGCIL, Maruti, ESSAR, International Lead-Zinc Development Association and IIT Mumbai.

“India loses around 4-5% of GDP annually on account of corrosion losses. Western countries, which are far ahead of us in terms of Infrastructure, mandate the use of Galvanizing for the Steel Structures used for bridges, highways, public utility, Airports, Metro Stations, Railways stations etc. and that is how they are able to preserve long-lasting and robust structures. For instance, Athens Bridge Pennsylvania & Curtis Road Bridge Michigan are structures that utilize Galvanized Steel rebars and have much longer lifespan than the conventional bridges built with normal black steel rebar, as galvanized rebar can withstand chloride concentration at least four to five times higher than the black steel rebar and remains passivated at lower pH levels, substantially slowing the rate of corrosion.”, said Sunil Duggal, CEO of Hindustan Zinc.

“Galvanizing is not only important for the long life of public structures, but also for the safety and security of the public using these structures daily, and hence such an important matter can no longer be ignored. The country is going through the phase of urbanization and in the upcoming Infrastructure boom, Galvanizing, indeed plays a very important and irreplaceable role”, added Sunil Duggal.

Zinc, the 8th known metal to the mankind and is the 4th widely consumed metal in the world after iron, aluminium, and copper. With its strong anticorrosive properties, it is a friend of all metals. According to industrial sources, almost 58% of the zinc mined across the world is used for galvanizing. 14% is for die-casting, 10% for alloys and in brass making, 9% in chemicals, 6% in rolled zinc and 3% is used for other miscellaneous purpose.

“Car makers in Europe, North America, Korea and Japan have been using galvanised steel for body panels for decades. These car companies provide   anti-corrosion and perforation warranties for a minimum of 10 years. But there is no such protection for most cars made for the Indian consumers. Here the customers are advised to pay for extra coatings to protect the body of the car after purchase. More than 60% of the cars in India have surface rust which reduces steel strength and the life of the car.”, says Stephen Wilkinson, Executive Director, International Zinc Association.

Taking the case of China, the annual passenger vehicle sales will rise to 24 million in 2020, from 19 million last year, as per McKinsey & Co. forecasts and only about one thirds of locally-manufactured autos use galvanized panels to prevent corrosion and rusting. Among few production cuts and closures, Zinc has rebounded this year on demand growth and a supply crunch. In China, more vehicles are sold each year than the U.S. and Japan combined, and they rarely use galvanized steels, according to the International Zinc Association. Switching to the material would require about 350,000 metric tons a year of additional zinc and a similar move in India would need an extra 150,000 tons annually, according to last year’s estimations by the association.

Zinc, the anti-corrosion fighter is 2016’s top performer among base metals.

Zinc when used for galvanization in construction, acts as a boon to the steel industry. On exposure to water or humidity, Zinc corrodes preferentially and gives cathodic protection to iron. Building and construction industries use at least 2/3rd of the entire coated steel strip produced, mainly for roofing and cladding of commercial and industrial buildings. Much of the material used in building has a mill-applied organic coating on top of the zinc. The coastal regions are more prone to corrosion and thus use of galvanized steel gives them much needed breather of longer life to the buildings.

Hot dip galvanizing in its original form is also a growing industry. Casting stands out to be another important area which is based on new alloys and new technology. Competition from plastics threatened the market for zinc casting in the 1970s, but the development of new alloys and dramatic improvements in process control enabled zinc casting to hold their own in many areas, particularly where strength and applied finishes were required. Since the casting could be much thinner, less metal was used, it also reduced the weight and improved the quality but reduced the cost.

Zinc can also be recycled indefinitely without degradation. Thus there is also a specific market for zinc scrap and residues are classified, traded and priced according to zinc content and to the economics of turning the scrap into a useful product.

Zinc is essentially important for health. According to the World Health Organization, diarrhoea kills an astonishing 1.6 million children under the age of 5, every year.  An adult human body contains about 2-3 grams of zinc, which is the amount needed for the body’s enzymes and immune system to function properly. It plays significant role for taste, smell and towards healing wounds.

Zinc in our lives play important role also towards treating diarrhoea, memories, common cold, wound healing, growth, age-related chronic diseases and fertility.

Zinc has been found to be as essential element in the growth of humans and animals. Zinc-rich diet promotes fast healing of wounds. In agriculture, zinc compounds are used as a nutritive supplement to promote growth, in addition to their use as fungicides.

Zinc may be the only known cure for the common cold. According to the researchers, medical studies have found that if zinc lozenges or sprays are used with 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, the length of a cold is reduced. However experts feel that these over-the-counter treatments should be used with caution and under the doctor’s guidance.

Most of the global organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are working towards zinc deficiency among the most important cause of morbidity in developing countries.

Zinc, besides its major usage in galvanizing and in alloys such as brass, nickel silver and aluminium solder, is intensely used to boost immune system, for preventing lower-respiratory infections, for treating acne, as a protein, improving eyesight, as insect repellent, in sun screen, protecting lips & skin, for healing wounds, for providing sense of taste & smell, for paints, rubber, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastics, fertilizers, inks, soaps, batteries, textiles, electrical equipments to name a few. Zinc occurs naturally throughout the earth in plants and animals and the food we eat. An essential trace element, Zinc is imperatively required by the human body to act as a catalyst for the daily functioning of the body. Every cell requires zinc to multiply.

Interestingly, US penny is 98% zinc with a copper coating.

Also, galvanization of railway tracks helps ensure not just safety of trains but also give a longer life to railway tracks. Corrosion of railway tracks reduces its life to nearly half the expected life. Along with a heavy economic cost, corrosion of tracks is a threat to safety and smooth running of the trains. Experts have estimated losses of almost 4 per cent of GDP per year on account of corrosion which may be avoided if the railway tracks are galvanized.