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Protection of iron or steel against exposure to the atmosphere and consequent rusting by application of a zinc coating. Properly applied, galvanizing may protect from atmospheric corrosion for 15–30 years or more. If the coating is damaged, the iron or steel continues to be protected by sacrificial corrosion, a phenomenon in which atmospheric oxidation spares the iron and affects the zinc (as long as it lasts). See alsoterneplate.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on galvanizing, visit Britannica.com.