A Brief History of Galvanized Steel

The history of galvanized steel can be traced back to over 300 years ago when an alchemist dreamt of immersing clean iron into molten zinc; the result was a shimmering silver coating onto the iron.

It was not until in 1742 that this seemingly prophetic dream was realized by a French chemist named Melouin. Melouin presented a paper to the French Royal Academy describing how a zinc coating can be created by dipping iron into molten zinc. Interest in Melouin’s discovery spread quickly to other scientific circles, which eventually resulted in its first application as a cheap protective coating for household utensils.

Electrical Properties of Galvanization

Luigi Galvani, after whom the process of galvanization is named, discovered the electrical phenomenon of twitching a frog’s leg muscles when contacted by two dissimilar metals: copper and iron. This discovery in 1780 led to further studies carried out years later by Michael Faraday, the British scientist known for his major contributions in electromagnetism.

Alessandro Volta continued to experiment with dissimilar metals and electrical currents in 1800. Volta constructed a stack of alternating zinc and silver plates with a piece of cloth soaked in a salt solution between each plate. This is later coined as the Voltaic pile and became the world’s first battery.

Protection from Corrosion

In 1824, Sir Humphry Davy, the Cornish chemist known for his studies on electrical isolation, introduced metal corrosion and metal protection using two dissimilar metals. From this discovery, he suggested that the copper bottoms of wooden naval ships could be protected from corrosion by attaching iron or zinc plates to them. This led to the first possible use of galvanized corrugated iron for the Navy at Pembroke Docks, Wales in 1844.

By 1850, the British galvanizing industry was using 10,000 tons of zinc every year for protecting iron. During this period, many metal engineers were producing materials that eventually seared ‘galvanizing’ into the global lexicon.

Today, galvanizing remains as one of the main methods of combating steel corrosion in harsh working environments throughout various industries and markets. Galvanized steel is now being in lighting roads, powering homes, hospitals, and offices, and strengthening infrastructure.

What was previously solely used for corrosion protection is now also beneficial for durability, versatility, sustainability, cost-efficiency, and even aesthetics.

Galvanized Steel Services in Michigan

Hascall Stell has one of the most diverse and comprehensive inventories of steel sheet services in Michigan. Among our products is coated steel that comes in galvanized, electro-galvanized, galvanneal, and galvalume variants.

Our sheets come in two different processes. If you want a cold-reduced, round-edged sheet, we have the Flat-Rolled Steel Coil. This steel sheet delivers tensile strength, yield, and elongation. We also have the Flat-Rolled Steel Sheets and Blanks that can be processed according to your exact specifications.

Each product in our steel sheet inventory is evaluated by gauge, width, length, and physical and chemical properties. This demonstrates our attention to detail and our commitment to providing you high-quality handpicked products.

With over 45 years of experience, we have established ourselves as experts in flat-roll steel processing. We offer reliable services along with competitive pricing.

Request a quote today. Contact us for more information.

  • “The material you sent us was the best we have ever run. We will be buying from you again”
    Production Supervisor at a Holland based metal stamper
  • “Paperwork was in order and passed our receiving process.”
    Quality Manager From a Grand Rapids Laser Cutting Company
  • “Hascall Steel's team asked me highly relevant questions to identify my true needs”
    Purchaser - Tennessee Stamper
  • “I appreciate Hascall Steel for knowing the market and planning ahead”
    Program Buyer - Detroit Manufacturer
  • “Hascall Steel's team reached out to check proactively if I needed my standard order. I appreciate them looking out for me”
    Shop Supervisor at a West Michigan Fabrication Company


We love customer relationships that become true partnerships between your team and our sales representatives.

Request a Quote

At Hascall Steel we understand that part of being an expert is being able to tailor steel to your needs. With that in mind there are some key areas that will help us fulfill your steel order in a way that is best suited to your company’s capacities. By working with our sales team, we can adjust several aspects of your order to make things easier for your team members. Next are some areas to keep in mind that can improve efficiency and quality.


Often customers place an order with the following basic information: Quantity/Gauge/Width/Length/Steel Type…

However there are quite a few QUALIFIERS that will help us all get the best value from the informational exchange.


When discussing material with our Sales Team, be sure to include tolerances for your gauge, width, and length (if applicable). In some cases, Hascall can meet tolerances as low as +/-.001 on gauge, +/-.003 on width, and +/-.015 on length. Specifications – Many steel specifications come with sub categories that can alter chemistries and mechanical boundaries. Be sure to have the full specification when ordering or talk with your sales representative to discuss options.


Proper packaging can help reduce unloading and production time. ID – We offer ID sizes in 16”, 20”, and 24” OD – We are able to provide OD sizes up to 72” Skidding – Standard or custom skidding available, just let us know how you would like your material skidded to best meet your equipment needs.
Paper – Protective paper is standard on all orders but can be applied with standard or full wrapping both with and without Hascall Logos. Max Coil and Skid Weight – Coils can be adjusted to meet your max lift and coil capacities.
Offloading – Material can be shipped skidded or standing and set for Forklift on the side or the rear of the bed. Material can also be shipped ready for sheet lifter or overhead crane offload.


Steel is only good if it gets there when you need it. At Hascall we have an experienced Logistics team that will ensure that your steel arrives on time in the way that best suits your needs. Whether you would like delivery via our in-house Steel Man Transportation service or if you would like to pick up your material personally, our team can set up appointments that meet your schedule. Our Logistics team can also arrange a 3rd party carrier if needed. Delivery dates, times, and address should be discussed with your Sales Representative prior to ordering.


And lastly, we know each customer is unique. There may be special requests that we would love to accommodate. These may range from a sample of the steel attached to the packaging, to increased tag requirements and frequencies. We are happy to work with you in order to be your trusted choice in slit steel coil and blanks.