In this blog post, we will discuss How to Weld Galvanized Steel. We'll talk about what galvanizing steel is as well as the various types of welding that can be used to weld galvanized steel. You might also find some helpful tips for safety in your project, and information on the Advantages and disadvantages of welding galvanized steels.
So, how to weld galvanized steel? The best way to weld galvanized steel is by removing the zinc coating, no matter which welding process that you use. This means that you will need to take two steps after welding. The first is removing the coating and then re-spraying it with a layer of corrosion-resistant paint before you move onto your next task.
The process of welding galvanized steel not that critical, but it's worth knowing about a few things that will help make your welds cleaner and more reliable.
As mentioned, the zinc layer needs to be removed for welding, so you'll want to use a chipping hammer from time to time during the process of removing the coating.
Before we talk about how to weld galvanized steel, let's cover the basics.
# Table of Contents
What is galvanized steel?
Galvanized steel, also known as galvanizing or zinc coating is a type of metal that has been coated with the element zinc to prevent corrosion. Steel sheets are typically made out of iron but it's susceptible when exposed to moisture so this material needs protection from rusting and takes on an electroplated layer in order for it not be affected by water molecules.
Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to iron or steel that prevents rusting. Hot-dip galvanizing is probably the most common technique for this purpose; it involves submerging sections of metal in molten zinc. Your steel will be called galvanized steel if it has a coat of zinc.
Galvanized steel is coated with zinc. When it's welded, the coating around and at the point of contact burns away leaving a vulnerable spot. If corrosion resistance needs to be maintained after welding, some other form of protection must take place such as painting or re-galvanizing afterward.
Can You Weld Galvanized Metals?
Yes, Zinc-coated steel can be welded because of the zinc coating, but it becomes extremely toxic when heated. Take proper safety precautions by wearing a welding mask and gloves to prevent dangerous fumes from entering your body during an intense work session.
But, it's important to know what types of welding methods work best for galvanized steel. Let's discuss welding methods that are considered safe to use on galvanized steel.
Types of welding methods used in welding galvanized steel
The easiest way to weld galvanized steel is by using a special type of flux-coated wire that has been designed specifically for welding galvanized metals.
You can also weld steel by using an electric arc welder with the correct polarity and voltage setting to melt through two pieces of metal at once. This method is more difficult, however, because it requires a great deal more experience than just covering one side in zinc coating before melting it together with another piece of metal.
Alternatively, you may be able to use either oxyacetylene torches or gasless MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welders if your work area is well ventilated enough to prevent harmful fumes from making their way into your lungs during intense periods of work time.
It's important to note as well that you should never weld galvanized steel if the temperature is below freezing because it will cause your flux coating to solidify and impede any progress.
Now it's time to give you step by step process on How to Weld Galvanized Steel.
Step-01: Safe Workspace
You need to build a safe workspace for welding the galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is coated with zinc metal and produces toxic fumes on heating. You can avoid these by taking proper safety measures. It is essential to wear a high-quality mask, apron, and welding gloves during this procedure. You need to use an appropriate system of ventilation for welding galvanized steel.
Get a respirator:
You should get a respirator that is specially designed for welding the galvanized steel. You cannot use a dust respirator for welding purposes.
Use of fume extractor:
You need to set a fume extractor or fans 0.6 to 0.9m away from your workspace. It will absorb zinc fumes. If you don't afford a fume extractor, you should switch on as many fans as you can to avoid zinc fumes. It’s very dangerous to weld galvanized steel in a closed room. You should ventilate your room by opening many windows and doors.
Ground the welder:
To prevent electric currents, you have to ground your welder by placing the claw over the work surface.
The light of the workspace should be bright as well as direct. No one should visit your workspace during the welding of galvanized steel. There should not be any flammable thing in your workspace. Safe workspace is an essential element to protect you from any danger during the welding of galvanized steel.
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Step-02: Securing the Project
Put on your high-quality welding mask, respirator, and gloves to protect yourself from the highly toxic fumes of zinc.
Grinding the zinc:
You need to grind the zinc coating for welding. You can use a grinder or a sheet of sandpaper to grind the coating of zinc. It is helpful to maintain a steady arc. But it's not beneficial if the galvanized layer is thin. You can saturate the thin galvanized strips in vinegar. In grinding, galvanized steel does not release toxic fumes.
Placing the pieces on the work surface:
You don’t need to hold both pieces for welding. You have to put both the pieces on the work surface and arrange them. You should make sure that the pieces are placed together tightly. You should weld on concrete or any non-combustible surface.
Clamping the smaller pieces:
If you are going to weld smaller pieces of galvanized steel, you can use a welding clamp for holding two pieces or sheets of galvanized steel to make a perfect junction. Welding clamps are made up of iron and usually known as C-clamps.
Step-03: Use an Arc Welder
The best method to weld the galvanized steel is by arc welder. It uses alternate current to produce high heat arc. This high heat arc melts the flux. If you use an arc welder, you should work outside because sometimes there is splatter due to the spread of arc. Arc welder is the most comfortable welder to use; you can use it either you are new to welding.
Selecting the welding rod:
Selecting the welding rod is a crucial step in welding galvanized steel. You should select large welding rod based on the size of the metal that can weld a larger area as compared to small rods. Generally 6013, 7018, 7014, 6010 and 6011 rod are used for galvanized welding.
Start welding the pieces on one end of the seam if you are going to weld two pieces of galvanized steel. Once you start welding, sparks will come out. You'll avoid those sparks if you take proper precautionary measures.
You have to move your rod forward and backward to apply welding flux as well as to heat it. First, you'll move your rod down to the junction. Then you'll cover the second surface. You have to wait for some minutes to let the flux settle.
Welding of a tear:
If you are welding a tear in galvanized steel, you should start from the edge. After working slowly on the external edge, you can move towards the center of the opening. Move your rod forward and backward until the hole is filled.
Why Can’t You Galvanize After Welding?
The process of galvanizing steel before welding is much easier and cheaper than if one were to do it after the fact.
When welding galvanized steel, the process of melting down one metal (the filler material) with another (the base material), causes a chemical reaction to occur that leaves residue on both metals being welded together.
This is not an issue when galvanizing before welding because all surfaces are clean and free from dirt or corrosion. Welding after galvanization won't work because there will be residue left over from the welding process which will create rust spots in your new piece once it begins to corrode.
It can also result in brittle pieces and leave you with uneven edges due to irregular heating patterns during the cooling phase of the welder's arc as well as unintended penetration depths leaving internal defects such as porosity and cold shuts present in the welds.
The galvanizing process also helps to protect against rusting which is a major concern for those who do not want their project exposed to unpredictable weather conditions such as rain.
This can cause your steel sheet metal to corrode and start showing signs of rust, even if it's in an air-tight environment that doesn't get wet easily! This will lead to reduced performance longevity because corrosion has weakened the structural integrity of what you have made due to rusted joints or brittle pieces breaking off over time.
Finally, when galvanizing before welding, one can use any type of filler material without having fear and concerns about how the internal structure might be compromised from using improper materials.
How do you maintain galvanized steel?
Steel can be a tricky material to work with because it corrodes quickly and easily. To avoid rusting, you'll need to have some general care and maintenance of your product in order to keep the steel corrosion-free for as long as possible!
Here are just a few helpful tips for how to maintain galvanized steel:
- It is important to keep galvanized steel products away from high pH levels, as the coating on these can be compromised and start corroding. The corrosion will happen at a faster rate than the normal metal that has not been treated with this protective layer of zinc oxide (galvanization).
- Rinse the metal thoroughly after each use.
- Remove any welding slag with a wire brush and blow off remaining debris.
- Protect from scratching by covering it with at least two coats of protective paint, or apply an anti-rust coating such as zinc chromate primer on new steel surfaces before painting.
- Never cut into your galvanized surface because this will weaken the material's barrier against corrosion! Instead, make all cuts outside the bounds of the protected area first and then remove them later for cutting inside that space.
- Protect from sunlight by applying a coating to the surface or covering it with some sort of shade cloth.
We hope that this blog post has given you a better understanding of what galvanized steel is, as well as the methods used to weld it. Galvanized metal can be an excellent addition to any building or structure and if maintained properly, will last for many years. If you have any questions about galvanizing metals in your construction project, feel free to contact us!
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Can galvanized steel be welded?
Yes, you can weld galvanized steel. But you have to take proper safety precautions to avoid yourself from toxic zinc metal.
What wire do I use to weld galvanized steel?
You can use 0.035 inches, ER70S-3, or ER70S-2 wire for welding galvanized steel.
What happens when you weld galvanized steel?
While welding galvanized steel, there will be lots of fumes of zinc. If you are not wearing the apron, gloves, and masks, it can cause poisoning and headache.
Can welding galvanized steel kill you?
Yes, welding galvanized steel can kill you. Fumes produced during the welding of galvanized steel are highly toxic. If you inhale that toxic fumes, these fumes will create fluid into your lungs. You can avoid these fumes by wearing a helmet or respirator.
What is the best welding rod for galvanized steel?
There are no specific tools for the welding of galvanized steel. You can use 6010, 6013, or 6011 for welding galvanized steel.
How bad is welding smoke for you?
Welding smoke can cause poisoning, severe nausea, dizziness, and headache. You will be sick after exposure to the welding smoke. You should avoid welding smoke by using a respirator.
Last Updated on July 11, 2021 by weldinghubs