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The Longevity of Metal Security Fencing

Learn more about the longevity of metal security fencing and how this can differ between palisade and mesh fencing systems.

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Metal fencing is a staple when it comes to the realm of security barriers, but just how long will your fencing last? The resilience of this type of fencing can be increased significantly through different manufacturing processes, each of which can help to enhance lifespan of the product.

In this article, we’ll explore the longevity of metal security fencing and how this can differ between the palisade and mesh fencing systems available from Lochrin Bain.

Palisade Fencing & Hot Dip Galvanizing

Today, most palisade fencing sold in the UK is hot dip galvanized to the BS1461 standard. This process, as outlined by the Galvanizers Association here, involves a comprehensive chemical cleaning of the steel, followed by immersion into a molten zinc bath at approximately 450°C. The resultant cooling in a quench tank ensures a robust, metallurgical bond between the zinc and the steel, offering unparalleled corrosion protection.

A hot dip galvanized palisade fence.
A hot dip galvanized palisade fence with a design life guarantee of up to 40 years.

As advancements in technology continue, hot dip galvanizing remains the most environmentally friendly method for steel preservation used in construction. The zinc coating not only extends the material’s life but does so in a sustainable manner. Its self-repairing nature means that when damaged, the zinc will sacrifice itself to protect the base metal, leading to significant maintenance-free lifespans.

The Galvanizers Association’s corrosion map helps us in tailoring our fencing solutions to specific geographic locations across the UK. By considering the average coating thickness in microns, we are able to offer industry-leading design life guarantees across our steel palisade fencing systems.

Products such as our Lochrin Classic, Lochrin Combi, Lochrin Palisade, together with the palisade fencing options available under our security rated product range can all benefit from design life guarantees ranging from 25 to 40 years depending on the location.

Mesh Fencing & Pre-Galvanizing

As standard, our mesh fencing products are pre-galvanized. During this process, a layer of zinc is applied to the steel wires before they are fabricated into the finished product.

Whilst pre-galvanizing offers a basic level of protection against rust and corrosion, it is not as durable or long lasting as hot dip galvanizing and therefore leads to shorter design life guarantees ranging from 5 to 10 years depending on location.

Another drawback of pre-galvanized mesh fencing is the requirement for the product to be powder coated after fabrication, otherwise the mesh fencing will rust much sooner. Should the powder coating ever be compromised, then after a short period of time these areas will start to corrode. We often see this where gardening and landscaping teams have had to strim around the posts and have damaged the coating in the process – a problem that doesn’t apply to our palisade fencing options which are hot dip galvanized instead.

To help mitigate the issues of pre-galvanizing, some of our mesh fencing systems such as our Lochrin FlatGUARD and Lochrin 358 can be supplied with the wires hot dip galvanized after fabrication. However, this option is available only on request and is less popular due to the additional cost.

Powder Coating for Enhanced Lifespans

To further enhance the durability of metal security fencing, most systems can be powder-coated. This not only alters the appearance but also adds an additional layer of protection, extending the lifespan of the product. As mentioned previously, all our pre-galvanized mesh fencing systems must be powder coated, but many of our hot dip galvanized palisade fencing customers also opt for powder coating, either to enhance the lifespan of their fence or to benefit from the improved aesthetics that powder coating can provide.

Please be aware that in coastal or marine environments, a marine-grade powder coating is available and offers superior defence against harsher conditions. This adaptability allows the product to withstand diverse environmental challenges, as evidenced by the range of corrosion classifications it can resist, from C1 to C5-M, and the extreme CX category.

Comparing The Options

When comparing palisade to mesh fencing, it’s important to highlight the value for money that steel palisade offers in terms of whole life cost. Whilst we offer a wide range of both palisade and mesh systems, palisade fencing is inherently designed for greater longevity. This factor becomes crucial when considering the overall expenditure over the lifespan of the fence and is why many of our customers opt for this premium product.

Regarding maintenance, hot dip galvanized products like Lochrin Palisade and Combi require minimal upkeep, standing strong for decades to come without the need for intensive maintenance. This contrasts with pre-galvanized and powder-coated finishes used across our mesh fencing ranges which necessitate regular cleaning and maintenance for optimal lifespans. Even when mesh panels are hot dip galvanized prior to coating, the reduced zinc uptake inherent in the raw material used for mesh panels leads to a shorter lifespan due to quicker corrosion.

In summary, the choice of steel palisade fencing, with its hot dip galvanized protection, offers a robust, low-maintenance, and long-lasting perimeter security solution, affirming its position as a superior choice in metal security fences.

Should you have any questions regarding the longevity of our products or the design life guarantee that we may be able to provide for your project, then please get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to assist you.