Corrosion protection for metal structures which many of us here in Australia take for granted is sometimes struck at the ‘aspiration phase’ when it comes to metal structures imported in from overseas. It short, corrosion protection is often regarded as ‘optional’ or at best, done poorly.

What’s driving this? Cost mainly with suppliers potentially cutting corners to meet a price target, sometimes poor manufacturing practices, indifference or all of the above!

In this discussion, we will look at some of the simply strategies which need to be considered when procuring metal structures from overseas.

  1. Be aware of where your supplier stores their steel stock. Is it out somewhere in the open and exposed to the weather or is it stored properly in a dry warehouse?
  2. When visiting a plant which works on stainless steel, does the manufacturer use practice good separation between stainless steel and mild steel works? Are proper hygiene procedures complied with to minimize cross contamination between different metals? Do workers isolate cutting tools used on stainless steel from all other metals?
  3. Are steel members properly prepared through sand blasting or acid washing prior to being powder coated or spray painted?
  4. Are steel member destined for galvanising prepared and cleaned properly before hot dipping?
  5. Are weep holes for steel destined for hot dip galvanising appropriately large?
  6. Is there a surveillance process to check that mild and stainless steel parts are not welded together?
  7. Are there checks that chromed parts are not passed off as stainless steel?