Zinc, which is a naturally occurring metal, is abundantly available in the earth crust mainly in the form of ore. After melting, casting, rolling and many other related treatments, Zinc ore is transformed into various forms like Zinc anode, Zinc sheet and Zinc plate to be used in many specific applications. Zn plates and sheets are extensively used in construction industry as a main component for roofing, cladding, flashing and weathering applications. Most importantly, Zn plates are widely used as a corrosive resistant metal in structures and vessels that are partially or fully submerged in the water and soil.
Manufacturing process The efficiency of manufacturing process influences the operational competency of Zinc plate anodes. Several variables like mould temperature, humidity, casting temperature, casting technique, alloy composition and insert material affect the efficiency of the plates. Hence, it is crucial for the manufacturers to pay utmost attention in every stage of the anode manufacturing process.
Basic steps in the manufacturing of Zinc plates include:
Melting – As a first step, pure Zinc is melted to the required level using a process known as electrolysis. If there is a need for adding certain alloys like copper, titanium and aluminum, then a controlled level of alloys can be added in the furnace along with the Zinc at this stage.
Casting – The hot melted liquid is then transferred in to a casting machine where in the melted liquid gets solidified. As a result of a controlled cooling inside the machine, manufacturers get a fine and homogenous output.
Rolling – In order to get the solidified slab to the required thickness, three to four rolling process are performed on the slab. It is important to consider factors like temperature, rolling speed and reduction rate throughout the rolling process in order to get the product that meets required mechanical and dimensional characteristics and standards.
Slitting and Packaging – The last and final stage involves the cutting of rolled Zinc in to desired shape, size width, and diameter. Usually, rolled Zinc is sliced based on the specific applications.
There are numbers of testing methods are recommended to ensure the quality of anode plates. Some of them include:
Open and closed circuit testing
Destructive testing; this is done to inspect the insert centrality, bond integrity and grain structure of anode plates
Coating thickness testing
Magnetic particle testing
Consumption rate and capacity testing
As Zinc Plate are extensively used as a cathodic protection tool, manufacturing, assembly and testing of the same need to be accurate. Or else it affects the quality of the anodes.
A Introduction to the Manufacturing Process of Zinc Plates