India with a GDP of around $2 trillion loses more than Rs 6 lakh crore (as much as $100 billion) every year on account of corrosion, which can be checked by using zinc to galvanise steel structures. The loss is around 4-5 per cent of GDP annually said, Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) CEO Sunil Duggal. The West, ahead of India in terms of infrastructure, mandates use of zinc for galvanizing steel structures in bridges, highways, public utilities, metro stations and airports, among others, to make them long-lasting and robust, he added.
Citing examples of the Athens Bridge in Pennsylvania (US) and the Curtis Road Bridge in Michigan (US), Duggal said structures utilizing galvanised steel rebars have much longer life span than the conventional ones. Galvanised rebar can withstand chloride concentration at least 4-5 times higher than the black steel rebar and remains passivated at lower pH levels, substantially slowing the rate of corrosion, he noted. Duggal said HZL in association with International Zinc Association (IZA) is organizing a two-day international galvanizing conference in the national capital.
The meet will deliberate on the potential zinc and steel market, role of zinc in infrastructure and its application in emerging sectors like automobiles, rail tracks as well as the galvanization of rebars to strengthen structures, particularly in coastal areas.
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