Zinc silicate is intended to be a temporary coating. Steel that is treated with zinc silicate is generally used at the start of construction of ships or offshore platforms. Zinc-silicate coating contains fine zinc particles that have an anodic function relative to the steel to which the coating is applied. This anodic function ensures that the zinc oxides, rather than the steel. During the oxidation process, white rings (zinc oxides) appear on the coated steel plate. These zinc oxides show that the coating is doing its work properly.
However, zinc-silicate coatings have a relatively short storage life, which is equal to the time it takes for all the zinc to oxidise. Depending on ambient conditions coated products can generally be stored for six months outdoors. If coated products need to be shipped abroad, exposing them to see mist or haze, the oxidation process will accelerate, reducing the storage time for coated products.