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    Profile of a Galvanizer – Or How Spoons Are Made to Shine

    Peiting, Germany, August 2014
    Chrome spoon

    Chrome car parts, shiny faucets, the smallest electronic components – few people realize that the signature of a galvanizer or a surface coater, as the job is now being called, can be found everywhere. Galvanizers enhance metallic and synthetic surfaces with the aid of electroplating and other surface technologies in order to endow them with certain properties, such as corrosion resistance, hardness, or electrical conductivity. So in addition to making surfaces shine, they also determine important characteristics, for example, the scratch resistance of chrome plating.All of this is accomplished with the aid of galvanizing baths, which have to be painstakingly prepared and monitored by the surface coater. Much of the process is automated these days, which means that a galvanizer has to work all the more carefully and monitor every process. Is the temperature correct and does the bath have the right composition? Has the right voltage been applied?As a result, this job requires not only technical knowledge, but also a solid grounding in the natural sciences, especially chemistry. Candidates applying for a three-year apprenticeship should also be able to present at least a school leaving certificate with good grades in scientific subjects. Other key traits include attentiveness and diligence, because galvanizers are also trained to protect the environment and dispose of materials properly, and they often have to be able to supervise special wastewater facilities.However, the most important thing is the joy of interacting with technology in this multifaceted job, whose products are a part of everyday life. For almost everything that is or appears to be made of metal is galvanized in one way or another. Doesn’t that sound like an exciting career with a future?