Trailer Fabrication: Impact of Material Properties on Corrosion Resistance in Different Environments

Blog | July 9th, 2024

trailer fabrication

McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators in Melbourne explores how material properties impact trailer fabrication and its corrosion resistance in various environments.

In trailer fabrication, durability and longevity are of prime importance. Trailers are exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions, from coastal salt air to harsh outback terrains, each presenting unique challenges in terms of corrosion resistance. At McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators, we understand the significance of selecting the right materials to ensure your trailer withstands the test of time and delivers exceptional performance, no matter the environment.

Understanding Corrosion

Corrosion is the deterioration of a metal caused by its reaction with its environment. When it comes to trailers, exposure to elements like rain, salt spray (for coastal areas), and harsh chemicals can lead to corrosion, compromising the trailer’s structural integrity and aesthetics.

Material Selection for Trailer Fabrication

The key to combating corrosion lies in selecting the right materials for your trailer’s specific use case. Here’s a breakdown of some common materials used in trailer fabrication and its corrosion resistance properties:

•  Galvanised Steel: A popular choice for its affordability and decent corrosion resistance. The zinc coating provides a sacrificial layer, protecting the underlying steel from rust. However, galvanised steel can be susceptible to corrosion in harsh environments with high salt or chemical exposure.

•  Aluminium: A lightweight and naturally corrosion-resistant option. Aluminium forms a thin oxide layer that protects it from further oxidation. It’s ideal for trailers used in dry environments or for applications requiring weight reduction.

•  Stainless Steel: The ultimate choice for superior corrosion resistance. The presence of chromium in stainless steel creates a passive layer that prevents further oxidation. This makes it ideal for trailers exposed to harsh coastal environments or those transporting chemicals.

Matching Material to Environment

Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right material for your trailer based on its anticipated operating environment:

•  Mild Environments: Galvanised steel offers a cost-effective solution for trailers used primarily in dry inland areas with minimal exposure to harsh elements.

•  Moderate Environments: For trailers that might encounter occasional coastal use or mild chemical exposure, aluminium provides a good balance between weight and corrosion resistance.

•  Harsh Environments: Stainless steel reigns supreme for trailers operating in coastal regions, transporting chemicals, or enduring harsh weather conditions.

McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators: Your Partner in Durable Trailer Fabrication

At McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators, we understand the importance of building trailers that meet your specific needs and withstand the elements. Our experienced team will work closely with you to understand your trailer’s intended use and operating environment.

We will also recommend the optimal material selection based on corrosion resistance requirements and offer advice on additional corrosion protection measures like painting and coatings. Reach out to us today to discuss your trailer fabrication needs. We’ll help you build a trailer that’s not only functional but also built to last, regardless of the environment you throw at it.

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