Maintenance-Free Finish for 30 years
Steel has one glaring weakness: corrosion. When faced with constant exposure to harsh environments, vehicle scales are especially vulnerable. A corrosion-resistant galvanized finish ensures that a unique vehicle scale has what it takes to last a lifetime.
A new bus-stop scale welcomes visitors to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio. This full-length truck scale is the centerpiece of a permanent exhibit at COSI, an interactive science center and museum. It fosters the center’s goals of giving visitors of all ages a better understanding of science, industry, health, and history.
The exhibit greets busloads of visitors at the science center’s entrance, providing an interactive demonstration of how to determine net weight. A school bus arriving at COSI stops on the scale to display its gross weight. When the students exit the bus, they subtract the tare weight of the empty bus to determine the net weight of the entire group of students.
The scale’s location on a city street creates special concerns. During the winter months, the city’s road crews treat it for snow and ice just as they would any other local road.
Prior to a snowfall, trucks spray the road with a salt/brine solution to prevent icing. Once snow has fallen, heavy-duty snowplows clear it from the roads and spread chemically treated salt on the plowed driving surfaces.
Salt and other chemicals can be highly corrosive to the steel frame that supports the scale’s concrete driving surface. In this case, the entire frame was galvanized to prevent corrosion.
The scale was installed in a pit to make the scale deck flush with the surface of the street. Pits require regular maintenance to keep them from filling with water when drains get clogged by debris.
To ensure that the scale will continue to operate reliably, it is equipped with POWERCELL PDX load cells. This technology provides a watertight network that keeps working even if the load cells are immersed in water for extended periods.
Hot-dip galvanizing is a process used to coat steel with a protective layer of zinc. The steel surface is prepared by removing oxide and other residues. Then the steel is immersed in a bath of molten zinc at a temperature of about 860°F (460°C) for up to 10 minutes.
Galvanizing causes a metallurgical reaction, forming an alloy that acts as a barrier between the steel and the outside atmosphere. If the galvanized surface is damaged, the zinc sacrifices itself and reseals the steel against the atmosphere, effectively preventing it from corroding.
The American Galvanizers Association estimates that galvanized steel will need no maintenance for about 70 years. Galvanizing provides long-lasting protection in applications as diverse as mining, chemical, waste, and seaports.