Hot Dip Galvanized Steel Distribution Poles

Information courtesy of the American Galvanizers Association, ©1997

A New Choice

As a direct substitute for wood, galvanized steel distribution poles are designed to carry conductors and equipment for electrical distribution; light duty transmission; and telephone, cable, and other telecommunications facilities. Galvanized steel distribution poles withstand atmospheric and environmental rigors.

Corrosion Protection

Zinc protects steel from corrosion. The reason for the extensive use of galvanizing is the two-fold nature of the coating. As a barrier coating, it provides a tough, metallurgically bonded zinc coating which completely covers (inside and out) the steel surface and seals the steel from the corrosive action of the environment. Additionally, the sacrificial action of the zinc protects the steel even where damage or minor discontinuity occurs in the coating.

Financial Considerations

The initial price of a galvanized steel pole is comparable to wood. Additionally, a galvanized steel pole’s life expectancy is long and has a low life-cycle cost.


Galvanized steel poles are the answer to EPA regulations and deforestation issues. Not only is the zinc coating environmentally friendly, it is virtually 100 percent recyclable. In addition, galvanized steel poles can be salvaged and recycled after they have outlived their design life.


Galvanized steel poles can be customized for embedded or anchor base installations, which will expand application possibilities. Galvanized steel poles can be fabricated to support larger and heavier loadings with longer spans, as well as being capable of handling greater height requirements.


The steel structures do not require a full-length copper grounding wire. They are already self conducting for grounding purposes. As a result, no installation of a ground wire is required.


Weighing approximately 60 percent less than wood structures, galvanized steel poles are easier and less expensive to handle and install.


After installing galvanized steel poles, hardware will never need to be re-tightened due to pole shrinkage. Steel retains its shape and strength and is not susceptible to damage by woodpeckers, insects, rot or fire.

Click here to view - Zinc Coatings: Microstructures of Various Zinc Coatings (pdf format), Copyright 2000, American Galvanizers Association.

American Galvanizers Association
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© 2001 AGA