ZINCAL Steel performs for decades in African Coastal conditions

Bounded by 3 oceans and the Mediterranean Sea, Africa has a vast coastline of 26,000 km.  Its deep rivers and natural ports have been historically important trading hubs, and remain as vibrant nodes of urban settlement and business. The populations of this vast coastline are blessed with abundant natural materials for building, but increasingly, as new infrastructure development booms, the use of metal as a practical, durable cladding material is taking off.

The Safal Group is the sole licensor of aluminium zinc coating technology in Africa, and sells its coated steel sheeting along 12,000 kms of this coastline, down the eastern seaboard from Djibouti to South Africa in the extreme South, and up west to Luanda in Angola. 

All coated steels are not the same:

Steel plays a huge role in development, but does have an inherent weakness - when used unprotected and exposed to the environment, it rusts and corrodes. To extend the service life of steel, it is generally protected with a corrosion inhibiting coating. The 2 most commonly used coatings to protect steel are:

  • Aluminium Zinc Coating (AZ) – aluminium and zinc
  • Galvanised Coating (GI) – zinc

The combination of Aluminium and Zinc extends the service life span of a steel roof by up to 4 times that of galvanised steel.

ZINCAL ULTIMA – made for Africa’s coastline

Aluminium Zinc coating technology, developed in the 1960’s in North America, enabled coated steel to deliver a service life of decades, even in aggressive coastal conditions.  This development revolutionised the metal cladding industry, and is today the most widely used coating technology worldwide.  In Africa, this coated steel is branded Zincal, and its factory colour-coated derivative is called Colorplus, produced in Africa at 3 coating mills which are owned by the Safal Group.

The thicker the coating, the longer is the resistance to corrosion and the longer the life of the protected steel substrate, and a coating of 54 microns on Zincal Ultima  gives it corrosion-proof performance credentials which are suitable for coastal areas where only pure aluminium was previously specified.