People keep looking for a reasonable answer for whether can they weld galvanized steel?
Galvanized steel is a type of steel coated with zinc overt it. The coating protects the steel from corrosion. However, welding galvanized steel is possible and you can weld it through mig welding, tig welding even with stick welder. Tig welding is the best way to get high quality weld on galvanized steel.
Let’s learn in detail –
What Is Galvanized Steel?
Before diving into this comprehensive covering everything about galvanized steel welding, you should know what Galvanized steel is.
Galvanized steel is some regular sheets covered in zinc. It has a profound zinc coating, making it a little different from ordinary steel.
We know zinc is corrosion resistant thus presence of it makes the steel rust-resistant. It is different from regular steel because it is usually made with iron.
However, the galvanized steel is superior, with more extended working efficiency and fewer rusting problems when exposed to moisture.
Types Of Galvanization
There are 3 basic types of galvanization process over steel. They are
- Hot-Dip Galvanizing
In hot-dip galvanizing, the steel is immersed in a bath of molten zinc at a temperature of around 450°C (840°F). The zinc reacts with the steel surface, forming a series of zinc-iron alloy layers. The process creates a metallurgical bond between the zinc and the steel, providing excellent corrosion protection.
In this process, a thin layer of zinc is applied to the steel surface through electrolysis. The steel is immersed in an electrolyte solution, and an electric current is passed through the bath. The zinc ions in the electrolyte are attracted to the steel, forming a layer of zinc on the surface. Electro-galvanizing typically results in a thinner zinc coating compared to hot-dip galvanizing.
- Thermal Sprayed
In this process, zinc is sprayed over the surface of the steel using thermal technique. This process is used when hot-dip and electro galvanizing methods are not feasible.
Thermal sprayed galvanized steel may not provide the exact performance or characteristics as traditional hot-dip galvanized steel. The coating thickness, corrosion resistance, and other properties may differ
How Strong Is Galvanized Steel?
States show that Galvanized steel is one of the most common and widely used steels in today’s steel market.
The steel possesses a standard yield strength of almost 470 to 550 MPa. It also has a standard tensile strength of nearly 510 to 600MPa. It is way stronger than simple stainless steel on the market.
On general bases, the steel is well-formed and comes into roll products made in the form of girts, light, structural profiles, and others. The fame is just because this steel provides long-lasting durability when it is being used for different projects.
This steel provides you with the same elasticity as the original steel does. Besides that, you will find the corrosion-resistant added benefit of the excellent zinc-iron coating.
Adding more, the Galvanized steel is very famous when you need to use a strong piece of steel in modern frame buildings.
Telecommunication industries, automotive wind and solar industries, construction industries, and others like these are the famous industries where you can find the usage of galvanized steel.
Can You Weld Galvanized Steel?
Yes, galvanized steel can easily be welded. You must be very professional at creating a safe environment for welding this steel.
However, welding this steel is more than doing something you do for uncoated welding steel. The preparation method must be accurate. If certain precautions are not kept in mind, you may face issues like the whole puddle may pop up or blows out.
Another challenge you may face is because of zinc coat over the surface, it can be difficult to weld the steel as zinc react with the weld fusion creating weld puddle and inclusion. So a good extend of experience is needed to do the job.
Therefore, you must be aware of everything that needs to be done in the welding process. Don’t worry. I will tell you all about them.
Can You Stick Weld Galvanized Steel?
Yes, you can go for a stick welding process for galvanized steel. It is either to be done using an Arc welder or A MIG welder. However, you have to face coating of zin and some other materials, including lead, that may cause distortions in the welding process
How Do You Weld Galvanized Steel With an Arc Welder? (Step by step)
Using a standard Arc welder machine to weld the galvanized steel pieces together is probably the best process.
Because arc welding provides high heat arcs that can quickly melt the flux, this usually happens when an arc welder uses AC.
Therefore, below, I have described some easiest steps to work with an arc welder to complete the galvanized steel welding process. Please have a look.
#1 Considerations Before Welding With Arc Welder
Before you begin, keep in mind to do the following items in order.
- Set up a safe working environment for yourself by wearing necessary gloves, helmets, shoes, and clothes.
- Be sure to have a fume extractor so that you shouldn’t be disturbed or targeted by those unhealthy odors.
- Remove the zinc coating using sandpaper or any grinder from the surface you want to weld.
- Keep in mind to position the steel pieces precisely in the same places where you want them to Collaborate with each other.
- You can also use a clamp to hold the pieces together and prevent a sudden injury while welding.
- Ensure to use the welder and do welding in an outside environment. However, in the case of having a shop, an arc welder is the best and easiest way to make things the way you want them.
#2. Selecting The Rods For Welding
Considering the size of the metal to weld, you can use any rod of any length to fix it into the tube. Then you can turn on your welder, and this rod will help you in the welding process.
#3. Start Welding The Metal Pieces
Suppose you are holding two pieces together, and in this case, you should start welding from one end of the seam where both meet.
Turn the welder on and keep placing the rod on at a maximum distance of 1 to 2 inches away from the starting point of the seam. After that, you better know how to release the flux.
#4. Keep Welding Until It Becomes Attached And Firmed
Keep holding the tube and moving back or forward to fix the joints together firmly. Ensure that you have used the welder properly and flux has been spread to all the opened spaces of the metal. In this way, you will successfully weld the galvanized steel by using an arc welder
What Welding Rods Are Best For Galvanized Steel?
If you have ensured that a rod is ready and will be comfortable to work with your welder, you can use any rod.
However, always remember that a smaller rod is made for welding smaller areas. And a bigger rod is made for welding a larger area of galvanized steel.
You can use 7018, 6013, 6010, and 6011 welding rods with your welder.
Can You MIG Weld Galvanized Steel?
Yes, you can use the MIG Welding process for welding the galvanized steel. Because as compared to an arc welder, a standard MIG welding instrument or machine has inert gas to use instead of flux.
It is all to do to maintain a comfortable welding process. So, it is possible that you can have a MIG welding process at your welding shop for galvanized steel.
What MIG Wire To Use For Galvanized Steel?
It is believed that if you use some solid wires in the MIG welding process for galvanized steel, you will not be able to do it properly.
Instead of this, some highly recommended self-shielded flux core wires are used. These are the best material for welding galvanized steel as they have flux material. To make a selection for the wire, using the E71T-14 is the best flux cord wire you can use for welding galvanized steel
How Do You Weld Galvanized Steel With a MIG Welder? (Step by step)
Welding the galvanized steel can also be done using a MIG welder, which is the second most appraising method. Therefore, below are the steps to perform welding utilizing a MIG welder.
#1. Begin With Replacing The Mig Wire
Before you start, you must have a flux cord wire in your MIG machine instead of a standard wire. Be sure to change it by rewinding the wire on the desired pool.
#2. Making Replacements With Drive Roll And Flux Cord
Since you need to change the standard wire with a flux cord wire, the Drive roll must also be replaced. In this case, most machines easily allow you to return the drive roll.
Because all you have to do is remove a confident small bold and replace the roll with the required one.
Moreover, be careful to attach the flux core spool and feed the cored inside the machine. Plus, into the gun used for welding.
#3. Remember To Alter The Polarity
When you have switched to the Flux Cord wire, you must change the MIG machine polarity to the Negative DC.
Because with standard one, the machine keeps using the Positive DC polarity. It can be done easily when you switch the wire given inside the device from a positive pole to the negative one.
#4. Remove The Coating From Galvanized Steel
Don’t forget to remove the zinc from the metal before welding it. It is easier to do because you can use a grinder or sandpaper to remove this coating. Once done, you can use a towel to clean those metal pieces.
#5. Welding The Metal Using MIG Machine
After completing the above step, begin with welding your metal together. In this process, keep in mind to pull the weld instead of pushing it. Because when you apply to make, it may lead to the porosity & weaker weld.
#6. Now You Can Re-Galvanized The Metal Back To Its Original Shape
The bare metal must be coated using a galvanizing spray once the cleaning process of the spatter and slag has been done. If the welding project is more significant, it might require a whole gallon of the galvanizing compound.
Can You Weld Galvanized Steel To Stainless Steel?
Yes, you can do that. But first, you will have to remove the zinc coating from the galvanized steel to convert it into pure stainless steel.
You can use any chemical solution to remove all the galvanizing compounds from the metal surface.
Can You Weld Galvanized To Aluminum?
You cannot weld the Galvanized steel to aluminum using those standard welding techniques. There could be several dangerous reactions while performing this type of welding.
Which Type of Weld Is Best for Galvanized Steel?
As stated earlier, you can weld galvanized steel by taking guidance from different methods. You can weld your galvanized steel using MIG, TIG, Or Flux Core, as these are the easiest and most widely used methods for welding Galvanized steel.
Moreover, An Arc welder can also be used for welding this galvanized steel.
But the question is, which one is the best method to weld this steel? Undoubtedly, using An Arc welder is the best method for welding steel. Because for Arc welder, you can easily find the welding rods.
On top of that, it doesn’t involve you in complicated usage processes. Plus, using an arc welder doesn’t require special conditions such as space, special equipment, or other things.
What Happens If You Inhale Fumes From Welding Galvanized Steel?
When you keep performing the welding process of Galvanized steel, you will experience or see some fumes emitting during the welding.
These fumes are hazardous if you accidentally inhale them. Below are the things that may happen to you when you inhale these fumes.
- You may suffer from galvanizing poisoning if the inhaling process continues while welding the galvanized steel.
- Therefore, it must be essential to cover your eyes and lungs by wearing some protective gear made with a heavy-duty respirator. But the fortunate thing is, even if you experience sickness, it is not fatal.
- It is likely to tell that if you ask a person who has already experienced the Galvanized poisoning, he will tell you his experience that it is not a picnic to enjoy.
- You may also experience diseases like fatigue, chills, dry throat, vomiting, etc. mostly people name the poisoning Zinc Shivers or Zinc Shakes.
5 Vital Things to Know about Welding Galvanized Steel Safely
While welding galvanized steel or before starting it, you should take some precautionary measures regarding your Safety. Safety is the only thing that matters while playing with fire. Please look at the things to focus on while welding this steel.
1. Material issues when welding galvanized steel
Some specific issues might occur while welding this steel when it comes to the materials. These are given as follows.
You must be crucial and protect your galvanized steel products with proper care and maintenance because this will keep them excellent and available to use. To do that, you can follow the following guidelines.
- The exposure of the galvanized steel products must be in environments where the pH shouldn’t be between 6 to 12. It will increase the corrosion to the maximum level in such conditions.
- Especially in corrosive environments, you have to have no direct contact between the galvanized steel products and the other dissimilar metals. These metals could be brass and copper etc.
- Don’t do abrasive cleaning of the galvanized products because this results in the consumption of more zin. Ultimately, the steel life starts getting reduced.
- Those products located in the high corrosive areas, including coastal and some industrial places, must be adequately rinsed with water. This water must be potable. The products must also be protected from direct sunlight and rain.
- Your galvanized steel products must also not be stored in poorly ventilated areas for a more extended period. Ensure to have a dry and a place with good ventilation.
2. Corrosion Issues:
When you begin welding galvanized steel, corrosion resistance is the most common problem you may face. We galvanize because we don’t want the steel to meet rusting.
But before you even start, you have to remove the galvanized zinc and then uncover the area for corrosion.
You have to galvanize the steel pieces again once you have completed the welding process. However, it might be a little time-consuming. But it is the best way to maintain the corrosion feature of the steel.
3. Coating Issues:
Your galvanized steel also comes covered with a zinc coating which becomes another issue in preventing the normal welding process.
Therefore, before you successfully end the welding process, remove this coating. To do that, you need a professional welder. The filler material can be utilized to remove the zinc coating from the steel portion required to be welded.
4. Health Issues Regarding Welding Galvanized Steel
Materials issues are just one aspect of welding galvanized steel. Apart from that, you also need to take care of some health concerns. Please have a look at them!
- Metal Fume Fever
The zinc coating begins a vaporization process during the welding process of galvanized steel. The process produces some zinc oxide fumes that go into the air directly.
As a result, there appears a gas that could be dangerous to your health and becomes the reason for Metal Fume Fever.
If you are a welder and inhale such gas into your lungs, you may have some symptoms. These symptoms may include a high fever, thirst, headaches, shivering, etc.
However, don’t worry because these symptoms will not stay longer than 48 hours after their exposure!
- Long Term Health Concerns
Galvanized steel welding may also give the welders some long health issues. It is related to a thin layer of lead over the galvanized coating.
While welding, this lead vaporizes and produces lead oxide fumes. When entering the inhalers’ lungs, these fumes can cause long-term health diseases, including brain and lung cancer. Or you may face some severe complications in the nervous system.
So, be careful to have proper equipment while welding to avoid these health problems.
5. Safety Issue
That’s true that even if specific issues affect your health while welding, there could be a big reason for the welder not having the proper training and necessary equipment.
In this case, a welder must be adequately trained, and he must be equipped with some heavy-duty welding tools to complete this risky job.
The welder must ensure proper airflow while welding. He should have a welding shield, and his face must be kept out of fumes.
Moreover, the Safety should be at the top level, which is only possible when the welder has a quality mask. Even if you are going to weld such steel, you should be adequately trained and highly guided.
Ways to Improve Safety in Welding
Besides worrying about what will happen to you while welding the galvanized steel, you can improve your Safety by doing several things.
Yes, it is possible! Therefore, follow all the safety steps below to make things better for yourself.
Before starting welding, you must be dressed appropriately in your heavy heat-resistant uniform. No skin area should be exposed as it could damage the skin from ultraviolet radiation.
Moreover, do not bother to keep any butane lighters or matches in your pockets while welding.
Have Appropriate And Required Gear
Your life is everything and the best thing that matters. So, no one will be responsible if you get injured or suffer any disease while exposed to the welding.
Therefore, you must be provided with a proper welding kit and all the necessary gear. The tools and equipment include helmets, some essential welding gloves, heavy-duty leather jackets, and solid pair of shoes.
Despite these, you must have a respirator while welding the galvanized steel.
All in all, ensure the best protection practices for your skin and ensure that your life should be in safe hands. Take every precautionary measure you can take.
Ensure The Maximum Air For Breathing
You know very well about the causes that fumes or other smoke can cause to your health. The breathable air can easily be replaced even without your knowledge.
Therefore, breathable air must be prioritized and present to work in a sustainable environment.
Take an exhaust hood if you have to work in some confined places. It will help you remove the fumes from the air and ensure that you breathe safely.
Keep Those Eyes Protected
Welding is a crucial process, and the Eyes play a more significant part in completing this work. Therefore, you must pay proper attention to protecting your eyes while welding.
Because even a little exposure to the arc rays coming from welding can cause your eyes to feel pain for hours.
To prevent this, a welder must have a welding helmet. Moreover, he can use safety glasses to avert his eyes from hurting while welding.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Galvanized Steel Give Off Toxic Fumes When Welding?
Yes, it does so because zinc converts into zinc mono oxide and lead converts to lead mono oxide. Both pollute the air.
Can Welding Galvanized Kill You?
Yes, it can if you haven’t made sure all those safety precautions are usually recommended while welding galvanized steel. The lead mono oxide resulting from this type of welding mainly causes lung and blog cancer.
Can You Weld Zinc Plated Steel?
Yes, you can weld the zinc-plated or galvanized piece of steel. But for that, you will have to remove the zinc coating. Then you can apply several methods to finish the welding job.
Lastly, I hope that your every single confusion regarding can you weld galvanized steel has been cleared if you have read this article up to this end. I am sure that there is nothing left that you didn’t understand.
But even after reading this information, your mind makes some queries about it. I am ready to answer them. Just let me know what it is, and I will help you best solve your problems.
Hence, it’s been a tiresome day. Take some rest and keep living a good life. See you next time.