Zinc-Plated vs Powder-Coated Steel Hooks: Which Is Best?

Steel hook by Monroe

Steel hooks offer a convenient hanging solution. You can install them in your garage, closet, kitchen, shed, workplace and just about anywhere else. Consisting of a U-shaped piece of steel, steel hooks provide a stable place from which to hang objects.

While they all feature a U-shaped design, however, there are different types of steel hooks. Some of the most popular types include zinc-plated and powder-coated. So, what’s the difference between zinc-plated and powder-coated steel hooks?

What Are Zinc-Plated Steel Hooks?

Zinc-plated steel hooks are characterized by the presence of a thin outer layer of zinc. They are still made of steel — just like all steel hooks. Zinc-plated steel hooks simply have a layer of zinc over their steel base.

There are different ways to apply the layer of zinc. The raw zinc is typically heated, after which it’s brushed or sprayed over the steel hook. Alternatively, the steel hook may be dipped in a bath of molten zinc.

What Are Powder-Coated Steel Hooks?

Powder-coated steel hooks are characterized by a dry finishing process. Known as powder coating, this finishing process involves the application of micro-sized powder particles.

Powder coating involves spraying dry powder particles onto an object, such as a steel hook. The powder is typically sprayed using a special tool known as an electrostatic or cornea gun. The electrostatic or cornea gun applies an electrical charge to the powder particles. And because the object is electrically grounded, the powder particles stick to it. Once applied, the powder particles are cured, thereby forming a solid and impenetrable barrier over the object.

Choosing Between Zinc-Plated and Powder-Coated Steel Hooks

Whether you choose zinc-plated or powder-coated steel hooks, you can rest assured knowing that they will be protected from rust and corrosion. They both feature a protective layer that prevents oxygen from reaching the underlying steel.

Steel, of course, may rust when exposed to oxygen. Steel is an iron alloy comprised of iron, carbon and other elements. Iron — the main element in steel — is susceptible to oxidation. When exposed to oxygen, iron will undergo a chemical reaction known as oxidation. This chemical reaction will convert some of the iron to iron oxide, which is also known as steel.

Zinc-plated and powder-coated steel hooks offer a superior level of protection against rust and corrosion. The former features a layer of zinc, whereas the latter features a layer of powder particles. Regardless, both types of steel hooks feature a protective layer.

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