Yes. Blog over.
Just kidding. Let’s really dive in this week. Its gonna get technical, so get out your protractor and your TI-85.
When researching hardware for marine equipment, you will find many impassioned opinions. The quick and easy answer you might find (especially from sellers of stainless steel hardware), is that stainless steel is rust resistant, strong, and zinc is neither. So why wouldn’t you use stainless steel on your dock for all nuts & bolts needs? As with many quick and easy, quotable opinions, there is more nuance to it than that.
When you hear that stainless steel is largely rust free, that doesn’t take into account galvanic action against two similar metals (rubbing against the aluminum of your dock). Aluminum and stainless steel combined, cause galvanic corrosion, since it is an anode and a cathode coming into contact with one another. The word corrosion there, you guessed correctly, means rust. Rust not just for the stainless steel but the aluminum of your dock as well, and the constant exposure to water and the elements only exacerbates galvanic corrosion. You don’t want rust anywhere, but better your hardware than the struts supporting you as you walk overtop of the structure. Aluminum is the weaker of the two in this rust battle, and a failing frame is worse than a failing bolt.
Now when you read about stainless steel versus zinc plated metal. You will hear that zinc isn’t rust resistant like stainless steel is, and not as strong. However, they are conveniently leaving out higher quality Zinc, which ARE rust resistant as well as being as strong as stainless steel. Jack Docks uses grade 8, which maxes out its tensile strength at 150,000 PSI, which is the exact same strength stainless steel maxes at. These are often used for armored vehicles and vehicle suspensions, due to their strength and ability to withstand outdoor conditions.
This is why experts will use high quality zinc plated metal when combining with aluminum materials, especially when you add water to the mix. We encourage you to do an easy web-search for ‘stainless steel with aluminum’ and see for yourself. Don’t take our word for it! (Talk about standard zinc as bad for a dock)
To shop online with some peace of mind that your dock will last, check out http://www.jackdocks.com