When Galvalume hit the metal industry, it was a true game changer. The mix of 55 percent aluminum and 45 percent zinc alloy allowed panels to hold its rust-inhibited beauty longer than any other product on the market. Twenty years of research went into its development by Bethlehem Steel and today its production under strict standards by a consortium of approved licensees around the world is maintained by BIEC International Inc.
As with any good product, especially one with monetary value, there are unscrupulous dealers waiting in the wings. Galvalume is no different. While there are now other good products on the market with a 55-45 mix of aluminum and zinc, the problem is when they are mislabeled as Galvalume, which is a licensed brand.
Much of this questionable product is currently coming from Vietnam.
“I have seen [the term Galvalume] used illegally,” said Don Switzer, of Steel Dynamics, a licensed Galvalume producer. “And I have seen people in this country buying the aluminum zinc non-Galvalume product, I’ve seen paperwork and it says 55 percent aluminum, 45 percent zinc, but by the time it gets to the consumer it is marketed as Galvalume. By the time it goes through the trading company to the reseller to the reformer, by the time it gets to the consumer at the end of that chain, it has been washed out and marketed as a Galvalume product.”
The BIEC is pursuing legal action. In the meantime, builders should ask for paperwork from their suppliers confirming they are buying registered Galvalume, with the Galvalume insignia clearly visible.