American Welding Society Forum
What are the safety issues with welding galvanized steel?
What are the best practices to avoid harming the operator?
I've always said that welding galvanized steel IS NOT a good engineering practice, although I myself have used it in certain cases in which there wasn't another option. In the old AWS technical forum there was the statement of a welder who was required to weld on galvanized steel for a certain period of time and he began feeling deseases that the doctors attributed to the aspiration of zinc oxyde fumes which weren't properly vented out. Apart from that, galvanized steel welding will present defects due to the zinc which has remained in the steel, no matter how well you've brushed or burnt it.
However, welding top specialists like Mr. Richard LaFave, Head of the AWS A5 Committee, believe that it's possbible to weld galvanized steel taking certain precautions. I must say that I'm not wholly convinced.
Giovanni S. Crisi
Sao Paulo - Brazil
I am not a welder, I’m looking for information on how I should have galvanized trailer that has been cut in half welded back together. It is a 2” x 1.5” rectangular beam. Should another piece of galvanized metal be used to weld the parts together? What type of welder should I look for.
Thanks any help is appreciated
Zinc, which is what makes up galvanzing, is not a weldable material. The purpose of zinc is to have a sacrificial coating protecting the carbon steel base metal. Zinc melts at relative low temperature compared to carbon steel and using a galvanized splice plate is not needed in my opinion. The welding process will burn off the zinc and the zinc is an impurity that is not wanted in the finished weld. You should remove any zinc in the areas to be welded and then come back after welding and prepare the surface for coating (perferrably by blasting) and apply a good zinc rich primer and a top coat to protect the primer. All of this assumes that the environment warrants the galvanizing in the first place. One caution, coatings do not adhere well to galvanizing, so go to a good industrial coating supplier and get the right type of primer if you decide to paint everything.
That question should go like this.
What are the safety issues in asking some one to breath a deadly gas?
Lots of ventilation. But may that effect the quality of the weld?
There are hoods that can supply freash air to the wearer.
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