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Do magnets stick to galvanized steel?

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The interaction between magnets and galvanized steel is a topic that involves materials science and the principles of magnetism.

The interaction between magnets and galvanized steel is a topic that involves materials science and the principles of magnetism. First of all, we need to understand that the reason why magnets can adsorb certain metals is because these metals are magnetic, or they can be magnetized and attracted to magnets. However, as a non-magnetic metal, zinc does not attract magnets.

Galvanized steel is a special kind of steel whose manufacturing process involves plating a layer of zinc on the surface of ordinary steel. This process is usually done by hot dip galvanizing, in which the steel is dipped into a molten zinc solution that adheres to the steel surface and forms a protective layer. The main function of this layer of zinc is to provide anti-corrosion function and protect the steel from the external environment, thus significantly extending the service life of the steel.

Because zinc is a non-magnetic material, when the magnet is near the galvanized steel, the galvanized layer itself will not be attractive to the magnet. This means that if only the galvanized layer is considered, the magnet will not adhere to the galvanized steel. The reality, however, may be more complicated. If the substrate beneath the galvanized layer is magnetic steel, and the zinc layer is not thick enough to completely isolate the magnetic force between the magnet and the substrate, then the magnet may "stick" to the galvanized steel in this indirect way. This is because the magnet attracts the magnetic part of the substrate, which generates enough force to keep the magnet on the galvanized steel surface.

In the plating process, in order to improve the performance and appearance of galvanized steel, other surface treatment techniques may be used. For example, some galvanized steel may be further treated and covered with a black protective film, which not only provides additional anti-corrosion effect, but also improves the appearance of the product. However, this protective film is also usually non-magnetic, so it also does not affect the adsorption capacity of the magnet.

Whether the magnet will stick to the galvanized steel mainly depends on two factors: first, whether the steel under the galvanized layer is magnetic, and second, whether the thickness of the zinc layer is sufficient to prevent direct contact between the magnet and the magnetic substrate. If these two conditions are met, then it is possible for the magnet to be indirectly adsorbed on the galvanized steel through the magnetic substrate. On the contrary, if the galvanized layer is thick enough, or the substrate itself is not magnetic, then the magnet will not stick to the galvanized steel


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