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Old 01-26-2007, 10:16 PM
russ69coupe russ69coupe is offline
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Default How to tell if metal is galvanized?

Hi.
I just joined, in fact this is my second post. The first being the intro.

I know that welding galvanized steel is a no-no without a lot of safety stuff that I can't afford, so I don't want to do it. I have gotten a lot of scrap metal for free from my place of work and my question is how can I be sure if it isn't galvanized? By looks alone, or is there any sort of simple test I can do? I have some stuff that doesn't look like plain metal, but it doesn't look the same as say a heater vent, maybe the best way to say it is it isn't as "heavy" looking. are there different levels of galvanizing?

Thanks.
Russ
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:41 PM
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TEK TEK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ69coupe
Hi.
I just joined, in fact this is my second post. The first being the intro.

I know that welding galvanized steel is a no-no without a lot of safety stuff that I can't afford, so I don't want to do it. I have gotten a lot of scrap metal for free from my place of work and my question is how can I be sure if it isn't galvanized? By looks alone, or is there any sort of simple test I can do? I have some stuff that doesn't look like plain metal, but it doesn't look the same as say a heater vent, maybe the best way to say it is it isn't as "heavy" looking. are there different levels of galvanizing?

Thanks.
Russ
Different levels? Maybe varying thicknesses. And welding galvy is not a death sentence. Grind some where you plan on welding and then do not breath the fumes. If you use flux-core or stick then have a fan going. Mig is a little harder 'cause of the cover gas but certainly doable.I prefer grinding it off or just welding it if its not too critical. I have used muriatic acid to get it off and it works real well but then you have an acid issue to deal with. Galvy is mostly shiney and you can scratch it with a knife sometimes, sometimes not if its thin and hard like a heater vent. You will be getting more on this as its a sensitive subject and there are a lot of opinions. Have fun!!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:14 AM
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Shopmonkey Shopmonkey is offline
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On the rare occasions I have welded galvanized, I took my work outdoors where the breeze could drift the smoke away. I also positioned myself with my back to the wind, so my body would shield the arc from the wind, also to drift the smoke away from me. I'm still alive!!!
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:16 AM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russ69coupe
I know that welding galvanized steel is a no-no without a lot of safety stuff that I can't afford.
Not true, I will post the mask I use and it is safe to weld galvanized with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russ69coupe
I have gotten a lot of scrap metal for free from my place of work and my question is how can I be sure if it isn't galvanized? By looks alone, or is there any sort of simple test I can do?
There are 2 main methods to galvanize metal; 1) hot dip galvanizing and 2) electrogalvanizing.

Hot dip galvanizing gives the large, kinda blochy crystal structure or pattern that is most readily identified as galvanized metal. Think of steel culverts as an example.

Electro-galvanizing is very popular it puts a thinner and more controled layer down on the steel and cosmetically looks better, it also paints better than hot dip.

Now for the kicker most galvanized materials have been passivated with a tri or hexa valent chrome compound which is very unhealthly also.

I would not recommend grinding on galvanized materials unless you have a dust mask on. I good quality dust mask will prevent grinding dust from entering you lungs, but they (dust masks) will not protect you from welding fumes.

Like I said I will post what I use but I have to get one from the shop first.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:14 AM
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Cavalry Cavalry is offline
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I use a mask simmilar to this one
http://cgi.ebay.com/3M-8515-N95-part...QQcmdZViewItem

read the back it should say something like "welding fumes, galvanized, etc. Most of the time even when you grind it off the galv welds like crap. Dont depend on this with your life...its still just a paper mask. if you smell fumes....STOP!

if you are all confused if something is galv or not just strike a quick arc on it. if you get a black burnt looking area with a white outside, spiderweb looking stuff floating around and lots of white smoke its likely galv. The arc though a helmet will also look very "green" and "flashy" if that means anything to you.
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