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Why Hot-Dip Galvanize?

Perhaps the most critical choice made in the design of fabrication connections is how to protect the fasteners from corrosion. Hot-dip galvanizing delivers long-term, maintenance-free corrosion protection in a variety of exposure conditions. Whether used in atmospheric, concrete, soil or fresh- or saltwater applications, hot-dip galvanizing allows for maximum service-life to first maintenance. There will be no difficult field repairs and no labor and material costs associated with those repairs.

How Does Hot-Dip Galvanizing Protect Steel?
Left unprotected, steel eventually will corrode and suffer loss of mechanical properties and integrity. Hot-dip galvanizing prevents corrosion by coating steel with zinc. The galvanized coating is metallurgically bonded to the underlying steel, forming an impervious barrier between the steel substrate and the corrosive environment. The hot-dip galvanized coating also preferentially corrodes to protect the underlying steel and is able to protect small areas of steel that may become exposed when mechanically damaged. Hot-dip galvanizing is the most effective method for delivering long-term barrier and cathodic protection.

it is good. Following thorough rinsing. For fasteners galvanized to ASTM A 153/A 153 M (Zinc Coating [Hot-Dip] on Iron and Steel Hardware) or G 164-M 92 (Hot-Dip Galvanizing of Irregularly Shaped Articles). steel products and structures has been measured since the mid1920s. a guide is provided to help plan the scheduled maintenance.) involves immersion in a series of solutions. the fasteners are pickled in a dilute acid solution to remove scale and rust. the longer the barrier and cathodic protection delivered. Once the metallurgical reaction is complete and the fasteners are completely coated. The metallurgical reaction has taken place and the steel fasteners are completely covered with corrosion-protecting zinc. Inspection is the final step in the sequence conducted at the galvanizer’s plant.What is the Service Life Performance? – Hot-dip galvanized coatings have a proven performance under numerous environmental conditions. The thicker the coating. fluxing. With proper cleaning. The first solution is a caustic (hot alkali) solution to remove organic contaminants. which is a function of the chemistry and thickness of the fastener material. ensuring a smooth coating and buildup-free threads. The cleaning process for fasteners in a perforated metal basket and completely immersed in molten zinc. Fluxing removes oxides and prevents further oxides from forming prior to the actual hot-dip galvanizing. The basket is then spun to remove excess zinc. The excellent performance of hot-dip galvanized fasteners. surface preparation is the key to complete coating and long-lasting performance. In hot-dip galvanizing. inspection is simple. Rinsing follows again and then the third and final cleaning step. . Should maintenance be required to ensure extended protection in an aggressive environment. first maintenance will not be required for many years. Galvanized coatings are much thicker than zinc-plated coatings and painted coatings offer only barrier protection. takes place. fasteners are placed What are the Steps in the Galvanizing Process? As with any coating system. (See Figure 1 – Life of Protection vs. Thickness of Zinc and Type of Atmosphere. If the coating looks good. Zinc coatings’ corrosion resistance is linearly related to the thickness of the coating. Galvanizing has a built-in quality control system: the metallurgical reaction between zinc and steel will not occur unless the steel is completely clean. the zinc is drained from the basket.

Hardness – hot-dip fasteners have ironzinc alloy layers in the coating that are almost (100% Zn) 70 DPN Hardness (94% Zn 6% Fe) 179 DPN Hardness (90% Zn 10% Fe) 244 DPN Hardness (75% Zn 25% Fe) 250 DPN Hardness Eta Zeta Delta Gamma Base Steel 159 DPN Hardness twice as hard as the base steel itself. mils bottom line) *Service Life is defined as the time to 5% rusting of the steel surface Note: 1 mil ~ 1. with a consistent zinc thickness.82 MPa).4 (43 to 86 microns) mils of impervious zinc coating.) Ru ra l 150 Su Tem bu rba n arin e rial ust a per te M 100 Mo 50 de ly rate Ind ic Trop al Ma rine 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Average Zinc Thickness (microns top line. as governed by ASTM A 123-01. will have from 1. making damage likely during tightening. Coating thickness – hot-dip fasteners.7 to 3. Painted and zincplated coatings have a typical bond strength of only a few hundred PSI and are easily scratched and removed. up to only 1 mil (25 microns).8 oz. 250 3. such as paint. The coating is extremely diffiFigure 1 Service-Life Chart for Hot-Dip Galvanized Coatings Derived from The Zinc Coating Life Predictor (fortjava. Cathodic protection – unlike other barrier coatings.What Makes the Galvanized Coating a Good Choice for Fasteners? For a variety of reasons. Zincplated fasteners have only a pure zinc layer (no alloy layers) that is one-half as hard as the base steel. This abrasion resistance makes the galvanized coating difficult to damage during tightening.9 mils of zinc coating is the minimum thickness for 1/4" thick structural steel.html) 75 100 125 150 175 200 300 25 50 cult to damage.com:8080/zclp/index. the hot-dip galvanizing process delivers an excellent fastener. depending upon diameter. Standard Specification for Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coatings on Iron and Steel Products 200 Service Life* (yrs. zinc is a sacrificial metal and preferentially corrodes to protect the underlying steel. Complete & consistent coverage – the complete immersion in molten zinc ensures excellent corrosion protection for 100% of the exposed surfaces. Paints are generally very soft and easily damaged during installation./ft2 . Zinc-plated fasteners have a thin zinc coating. Bond strength – hot-dip fasteners have a coating bond strength in the range of 3600 psi (24.

zinc coatings can be repaired following the guidelines of ASTM A 780 (Practice for Repair of Damaged and Uncoated Areas of Hot-Dip Galvanized Coatings). independent of weather conditions. all edges and corners have at least as much zinc coating thickness as flat surfaces. Corrosion typically starts on these edges and corners. Larger connections are most commonly hot-dip galvanized. Applicability – hot-dip galvanizing is a factory-controlled process. Outdoor applications – the thicker zinc coating on hot-dip fasteners translates into excellent performance in extreme weather and atmospheric conditions. Fasteners that are zinc-plated or painted have very little zinc or paint on the edges and corners. Corner and edge protection – the formation of the ironzinc metallic layers is a vertical reaction. providing added corrosion benefits over other types of coatings. should field touch-up or repair of the galvanized coating be needed. but not appropriate for performance outside. hot-dip coatings are successfully painted. providing long-lasting underfilm corrosion protection. are well suited to inside applications and economical for very small connections and nails.Temperature range – hot-dip fasteners perform well across a broad temperature range – from continuous exposure in the arctic climates to the extremes of 392°F (200°C) in processing plants. Zinc-plated fasteners can similarly be painted. However. thus. Paintable – prepared according to ASTM D 6386 (Practice for Preparation of Zinc [Hot-Dip] Galvanized Coated Iron and Steel Product and Hardware Surfaces for Painting). Zinc-plated fasteners. with a thin zinc coating. Touch-up in the field is rarely necessary. .

galvanizeit. The information provided herein has been developed to provide accurate and authoritative information about after-fabrication hot-dip galvanized steel.554.org e-mail: aga@galvanizeit. This material provides general information only and is not intended as a substitute for competent professional examination and verification as to suitability and applicability. Suite 108 Englewood.0900 Fax 720. .American Galvanizers Association 6881 South Holly Circle. Anyone making use of this information assumes all liability arising from such use.468.org © 2001 American Galvanizers Association.7732 720.554. CO 80112 800.0909 www. The provided herein is not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of the AGA.

Hot-Dip Galvanized Fasteners AMERICAN GALVANIZERS ASSOCIATION .