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PDHengi neer.

Course MA-3002

Hot-Dip Galvanizing for Corrosion



Hot-Dip Galvanizing for Corrosion Protection (3 hours)

Hot-Dip Galvanizing for Corrosion Protection is presented by the American Galvanizers
Association (AGA). Founded in 1935, the AGA has remained the first and last source of
information for the hot-dip galvanizing industry. One of the AGAs primary missions is to
provide information and assistance to the specifying community on topics such as
specification interpretation, project applications, design issues, and any technical research
or support that may be required.

In addition to this course, you are encouraged to take advantage of the following free
resources and services that will make the job of designing and specifying a corrosion
protection system much easier:

Specification Hotline
Architects, engineers, fabricators, and specifiers throughout North America can call with any
questions pertaining to hot-dip galvanizing after fabrication and speak with an AGA technical
representative. Call the AGA toll-free at 1-800-468-7732.

Literature and Library
If our technical representatives are unable to immediately answer your questions, they have
access to an extensive library to research various technical topics, as well as different hot-
dip galvanizing applications.

Galvanizing on the Web
The AGA website can be found at There, you can get instant access to
a wealth of technical information on hot-dip galvanizing, download or order the AGAs
newest publications, and have access to a listing of member galvanizers, their kettle sizes,
locations, phone numbers, etc. The website also has numerous links to members and other
affiliated associations.

Galvanizing I nsights
The associations specifier newsletter is designed and published specifically for you. Each
issue focuses on major subjects pertinent to the industry; past issues have focused on
reinforcing steel, painting over hot-dip galvanized steel, turnaround time, and coating
appearance, to name a few. Register for a free subscription to Galvanizing Insights on the
AGAs website, at

If you have questions throughout this course, please contact the AGA technical department
at or call 800-468-7732.

Section 1: Tour of the City
Corrosion is an incessant and costly problem. A recent study funded by the FHWA (Federal
Highway Administration), NACE International and CC Technologies determined the total
direct cost of corrosion is $279 billion per year, or 3.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic
product (GDP). Indirect costs (to the users/society) such as traffic delays, lost business,
wasted energy are estimated to be almost five to ten times the direct cost, meaning the
overall cost to society could be as high as 30 percent of the GDP.

The following is a corrosion tour of the city. Here you will see things you cross paths with
everyday and, most likely, take for granted as natural, unavoidable, uncontrollable sights.

Pictured here is an obvious lack of maintenance of this corrosion prevention system leading to ultimate
project failure with apparent safety concerns.

This is a very common sight the complete failure of parking blocks due to unprotected reinforcing steel

This sign says IRS Problems, but it clearly indicates Corrosion Problems! This sign shows the
common occurrence of corner and edge corrosion, where, with a barrier corrosion protection system such
as the one seen here, the paint tends to be thinner.

This painted railing shows severe red-rust clumping. Not only is this unsightly, but it is extremely
hazardous because the rusting is so extensive the railing is completely deteriorated in many locations.

This series of photos depicts two different corrosion situations: First, the concrete steps show staining
and cracks in different areas. In the third photo, it is apparent the concrete was patched, which is an
obvious repair of spalled concrete. Unfortunately, the patched area has stained and cracked again.
Second, while its difficult to see in the photos, the railing going up the steps is painted-over black steel
with visible blistering, peeling, and rusting.

Here is a shot of a light pole with an unprotected base plate and fasteners. The corroded base plate and
fasteners are causing staining on the underlying concrete base, but notice the hot-dip galvanized pole
it looks the same as the day it was hot-dip galvanized.

Last on our city tour is a severely corroded beam from the famous Williamsburg Bridge located in New
York City and built in 1903. When this photo was taken, the bridge was still in use and traveled daily by
over 100,000 vehicles; the lower level also accommodated train traffic. After more than 30 instances of
this extensive corrosion were identified, the bridge was closed. The direct cost of the repair soared to
over $750 million. The indirect costs are even more expansive: the loss of productivity due to the
resultant traffic congestion, the loss of income by the businesses in the affected area, and the
environmental impact from blasting are estimated to exceed the bridge repairs direct costs by about ten
times or close to $7.5 billion.

Section 2: Why Unprotected Steel Corrodes
So, why does unprotected steel corrode? Corrosion can simplistically be viewed as the
tendency for any metal in an elevated energy state such as a steel beam, plate, or bar
to revert back to its lower, more natural energy state of iron ore. This tendency is known
as the Law of Entropy.

Here is a bimetallic couple model to help explain the corrosion process:

A bimetallic couple is the connection of two different metals (typical examples include brass
or bronze valves connected to steel or cast iron pipes, stainless steel fasteners connected to
steel or cast iron, etc.). Metals corrode via an electrochemical process; an electrochemical
process is corrosion accompanied by a flow of electrons between cathodic and anodic
metallic surfaces.

Four elements must be present at the same time for corrosion to occur: a cathode, anode,
electrolyte solution, and a return current path (these terms are defined next). If you
take away any one of these elements, corrosion will not take place.

A cathode is an electrode* at which positive ions** are discharged, negative ions
are formed, or other reducing actions occur.
An anode is an electrode at which negative ions are discharged, positive ions are
formed, or other oxidizing reactions occur.
An electrolyte is a conducting medium in which the flow of current is accompanied
by movement of matter most often an aqueous solution of acids, bases, or salts,
but may include many other media. An electrolyte is also a substance that is
capable of forming a conducting liquid medium when dissolved or melted.
The return current path is the metallic pathway connecting the anode to the
cathode. It is often the underlying substrate metal.

*An electrode is a conductor through which current enters or leaves an electrolytic cell.
**An ion is an electrified portion of matter.

So, in a bimetallic couple model with zinc and steel as the dissimilar metals, corrosion
occurs at the anode (zinc). The cathode (steel) is protected from corrosion. This is how the
term cathodic or sacrificial protection (zinc sacrifices itself to protect steel) is derived. The
term anode corrosion may also be familiar to you.

By using any two dissimilar metals, it could be possible to have anodic corrosion or cathodic
protection. Different metals can protect other metals, according to the order of metals
listed in the Galvanic Series of Metals a list of metals and alloys arranged according to
their relative potentials in a given environment.

To explain, this table shows the Galvanic Series of Metals arranged in order of
electrochemical activity in a seawater electrolyte. Metals high in the scale provide cathodic
or sacrificial protection to the metals below them. Since zinc is higher than steel, zinc will
protect steel.

The scale indicates that magnesium, aluminum, and cadmium also should protect steel. In
most normal applications, magnesium is highly reactive and is rapidly consumed. Aluminum
forms a resistant oxide coating and its effectiveness in providing cathodic protection is
limited. Cadmium provides the same cathodic protection for steel as zinc, but for technical
and economic reasons, its applications are limited.

The corrosion process when two dissimilar metals are in contact was just explained using
the bimetallic couple. But what about corrosion that occurs on one piece of steel with no
other dissimilar metal in contact? Following is an explanation of how corrosion occurs in
that instance:

Rust, a corrosion by-product (and the more natural state of iron), can be the result of a
chemical and/or an electrochemical process. Just like other metals, steel begins to corrode
immediately upon contact with air, trying to revert to its natural state of iron oxide through
the chemical reactions of iron and oxygen. Electrochemical reactions begin when there is a
difference in electrical potential between small areas on the steel surface involving anodes,
cathodes, and an electrolyte. The potential differences come from different states of iron
oxide from steel impurities as well as other surface defects. This electrochemical process
accelerates the change in steel from iron to iron oxide.

The anodic and cathodic areas on a piece of steel are microscopic. Moisture in the air
provides the electrolyte and completes the electrical path between the anodes and cathodes
on the metal surface. Due to potential differences, a small electric current begins to flow as
the metal is consumed in the anodic area. The iron ions produced at the anode combine
with the environment to form the loose, flaky iron oxide known as rust.

As anodic areas corrode, new material of different composition and structure is exposed.
This results in a change of electrical potentials and also changes the location of anodic and
cathodic sites. The shifting of anodic and cathodic sites does not occur all at once. In time,
previously uncorroded areas are attacked and a uniform surface corrosion is produced. This
process continues until the steel is entirely consumed. The rate at which metals corrode is
determined by factors such as the electrical potential and resistance between anodic and
cathodic areas, the pH of the electrolyte, temperature, and humidity.

Section 3: The Solution to Corrosion
The problem of corrosion is clear. What is the solution?

As depicted earlier with the bimetallic couple, if all four required elements (anode, cathode,
electrolyte, and return current path) are present, corrosion can occur. But, by isolating the
metal from the electrolytes in the environment, the steel will be protected, and corrosion
will not occur. This is known as barrier protection. Two important properties of barrier
protection are adhesion to the base metal and abrasion resistance. Paint is perhaps the
best known example of a barrier protection system, but has many limitations. Hot-dip
galvanizing, applies an impervious zinc metal to steel, has extreme adhesion to the steel
(3600 psi), and is highly abrasion resistant. However, it is not only a terrific barrier
protection system, but also a cathodic protection system.

As has already been explained, zinc is anodic to steel; the galvanized coating will provide
cathodic protection to exposed steel. When zinc and steel are connected in the presence of
the electrolyte, the zinc is slowly consumed, while the steel is protected. The zincs
sacrificial action offers protection where small areas of steel may be exposed due to cut
edges, drill holes, scratches, or as the result of severe surface abrasion. Cathodic
protection of the steel from corrosion continues until all the zinc is consumed.

Hot-dip galvanizing is a factory-controlled process in which steel is protected against
corrosion by a zinc coating applied by dipping the steel into a bath of molten zinc. This
galvanizing process produces a durable, abrasion-resistant coating of zinc and zinc-iron
alloy layers metallurgically bonded to the base steel and completely covering (inside and
out) the piece of steel.

There are four basic phases to the galvanizing process:

1) Pre-inspection
When steel comes into the galvanizing plant, the material is first inspected to
ensure proper vent and drainage holes have been provided (proper venting
will be discussed in more detail shortly).

Another part of the pre-inspection phase includes hanging the steel pieces on
some sort of rack, chain, or wire system that will carry the material through
the galvanizing process. The racks are lifted and moved through the process
by an overhead crane system.

2) Cleaning
The steel must be thoroughly cleaned before it is galvanized, or the zinc will
not bond to it. In this second phase of the galvanizing process, the steel goes
through several cleaning steps.

The first step, caustic cleaning, consists of a hot alkali solution used to
remove organic contaminants like dirt, water-based paint, grease and/or oil
from the steel surface. All epoxies, vinyls, or asphalt must be removed by
grit blasting, sandblasting, or other mechanical means before galvanizing.
Removal of these materials is usually the responsibility of the fabricator,
however, the galvanizer will do this if necessary. After caustic cleaning, the
article goes through a clean water rinse.

Next in the cleaning process, mill scale and rust are removed from the steel
surface by pickling it in a dilute solution of heated sulfuric acid or an ambient-
temperature hydrochloric acid solution. After this step, the article goes
through another clean water rinse.

The final step of cleaning, called fluxing, removes oxides and prevents further
oxides from forming on the steel surface prior to galvanizing. Fluxing also
promotes bonding of the zinc to the steel surface. The process of applying
the flux to the steel depends upon whether the wet or dry galvanizing
method is used. Dry galvanizing, the most common method, requires the
steel to be dipped in an aqueous zinc ammonium chloride solution and then
thoroughly dried before galvanizing. The wet galvanizing process uses a flux
blanket floating on top of the molten zinc. The final cleaning occurs as the
material passes through the flux blanket before entering the galvanizing bath.

3) Galvanizing
The galvanizing phase of the process requires the steel material to be
immersed in a molten zinc bath consisting of a minimum of 98% pure zinc.
The bath temperature is maintained at approximately 850 F (approx. 455 C),
and the metallurgical reaction and bonding of zinc to steel occurs when the
material reaches the bath temperature.

4) Final Inspection
The fourth and final phase of the process occurs when the quality of the
galvanized coating is determined through visual inspection and measurement
of the zinc coating. As explained previously, if the steel surface is not
properly and thoroughly cleaned, zinc will not react with and adhere to the
steel and bare spots will be evident. During measurement the thickness of
the zinc coating is magnetically calculated to ensure adherence to
Section 4: The Galvanized Zinc Coating
Now that youve learned about the galvanizing process, its time to examine the actual zinc
coating. Galvanizing is a superior coating protection system because, unlike any other
coating, zinc forms a metallurgical bond with steel. During galvanizing, molten zinc reacts
with the steels surface to form a series of zinc-iron alloy layers. Pictured here is a
photomicrograph of a cross-section of a galvanized steel coating.

The first zinc-iron alloy layer, the Gamma layer, is approximately 75% zinc and 25% iron
The Delta layer, is approximately 90% zinc and 10% iron
The Zeta layer, is approximately 94% zinc and 6% iron
The Eta layer, which forms as the material is withdrawn from the molten zinc bath, is
100% pure zinc

As you can see, the Gamma, Delta and Zeta layers form approximately 60% of the total
galvanized coating.

All of the layers created through galvanizing Gamma, Delta, and Zeta have different
hardness values. The Diamond Pyramid Number (DPN) is a progressive measurement of
hardness; the higher the number, the greater the hardness.
The base steel has a DPN of approximately 159
Even though the Gamma layer is a thin compact layer, it has a DPN of approximately 250
The Delta layer has a DPN of approximately 245
The Zeta layer has a DPN of approximately 180
Lastly, the pure zinc layer (Eta) has a DPN of approximately 70 and is very ductile
providing good impact resistance for the bonded galvanized coating

Therefore, the Gamma, Delta and Zeta layers are actually harder than the base steel.
These high hardness values provide good abrasion resistance.
A zinc coating prevents steel from corroding, and as has been stated before, zinc is less
noble than steel. The long-lasting protection zinc affords steel is based on three factors:
The zinc coating acts as a barrier against the penetration of water, oxygen, and
atmospheric pollutants
The zinc coating cathodically protects the steel from coating imperfections caused by
accidental abrasion, cutting, drilling, or bending
Zinc protects steel due to the formation of zinc corrosion by-products, or what is
collectively termed the zinc patina.

Like any other metal, zinc begins to corrode when exposed to atmospheric conditions.
When galvanized steel is removed from the zinc bath, its galvanized coating will
immediately begin to oxidize as it is exposed to air. A corrosion-resistant film of zinc oxide
is formed usually within 24 hours of galvanizing. The silvery-metallic appearance of
galvanized material changes to a light, matte-gray color as the zinc oxidizes. Zinc oxide is a
white powdery material and its development is the first step in the creation of the protective
zinc patina.

The zinc oxide develops into zinc hydroxide. When the barely-discernable, whitish layer of
zinc oxide is exposed to freely moving air, it reacts with moisture in the atmosphere such
as dew, rainfall, or even humidity to form a porous, gelatinous, grayish-white zinc
hydroxide. Depending on the type of exposure, the zinc hydroxide can form anywhere from
hours to several months after galvanizing.

During the normal wetting-drying cycle galvanized steel is exposed to in natural weather
conditions, the zinc hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and progresses
into a thin, compact, tightly-adherent layer of basic zinc carbonate. This grayish-white film
can take anywhere from three to twelve months to form. This progression to zinc carbonate
provides the excellent barrier protection afforded by the galvanized coating. Because the
zinc carbonate is relatively insoluble, it prevents rapid atmospheric corrosion of the zinc on
the surface of galvanized steel. The rate of formation of the zinc patina depends not only
on the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, but also on the period during which the zinc
surface remains wet.

Now, remember the IRS Problems sign presented at the beginning of this presentation?
This photomicrograph shown here is a cross-section of the edge of a galvanized object.
Since the galvanizing reaction between zinc and iron is a diffusion process, the coating
grows perpendicular to the surface. Thus, galvanizing produces coatings that are at least as
thick, if not thicker, at the corners and edges as the coating on the rest of the part. As
coating damage is most likely to occur at the edges of an object, this is where added
protection is needed most. Unlike galvanizing, brush or sprayed barrier coatings and plated
materials have a natural tendency to thin at the corners and edges, as depicted in the IRS
Problems sign.

Specifiers often ask if it is possible to tell the galvanizer how much zinc to put on the steel.
But since the galvanized coating thickness is primarily determined by the chemical
composition and surface conditions of the steel, determining what a products final coating
thickness will be is almost entirely out of the hands of the galvanizer.

There are many additional benefits of hot-dip galvanized steel, including the complete
coverage afforded. Because the galvanizing process involves total immersion of the steel
material into the molten zinc bath, all surfaces are coated, meaning galvanizing provides
protection both inside and outside of hollow structures. This is a great benefit because
corrosion tends to occur at an increased rate on the inside of some hollow structures where
the environment can be extremely humid. Painted hollow structures have no corrosion
protection on the inside.

A wide variety of shapes and sizes ranging from small nuts, bolts, and fasteners to larger
structural pieces, to even the most intricately detailed artistic pieces can be galvanized.

Processing time is another benefit derived from specifying hot-dip galvanizing as the
corrosion-prevention method for steel. While other methods are dependent upon proper
weather and humidity conditions for correct application, hot-dip galvanizing can be
accomplished rain or shine, with service meeting most delivery schedules. There are also
no installation delays due to curing times some corrosion protection systems require. Since
zinc solidifies upon withdrawal from the zinc bath, it is possible for the material to be
galvanized, transported to the job site, and installed all in the same day. And theres no
problem with leaving the galvanized steel out at the job site because, unlike other corrosion
protection methods, UV rays do not compromise the integrity of the galvanized coating.

Section 5: Galvanized Steel vs. the Environment
Environments in which hot-dip galvanizing is commonly used include outdoor and indoor
atmospheres, to contain/carry hundreds of different chemicals, fresh water, sea water, soils,
concrete, and in contact with other metals.

Since at least 1926, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) and other
organizations have been continuously collecting records on the behavior of zinc coatings
under various atmospheric conditions throughout the world. Exposure atmospheres have
been divided into the following:
Temperate Marine
Tropical Marine

The first and harshest atmosphere is industrial; most city or urban-area atmospheres are
classified as industrial. (Keep in mind, of course, these atmospheres are generalized; there
may be very harsh micro-environments within some atmospheres or applications, such as in
the middle of a chemical plant).

Visit the American Galvanizers Association web site,, and click
on the Zinc Coating Life Predictor. By entering known atmospheric data for any specific
location in the world, you can accurately predict the durability of galvanized steel in that
specific location.

Suburban atmospheres are generally less corrosive than industrial areas, and as the term
suggests, are found in largely residential, perimeter communities.

Temperate marine atmospheres are usually less corrosive than suburban atmospheres. The
length of service life of the galvanizing coating in marine environments is influenced by
proximity to the coastline and prevailing wind direction and intensity.

Tropical marine atmospheres are similar to temperate marine atmospheres, except they are
found in warmer climates.

Rural atmospheres are usually the least aggressive of the five atmospheric types. This is
primarily due to the relatively low level of sulfur dioxide and other emissions found in the
other four atmospheres.

Atmospheric classifications are a guide to predicting corrosion rates for general
environmental conditions. However, since applications and atmospheres vary, the
appropriate classification should be carefully selected on a job-by-job basis.

Using the Service Life Chart, look at the protective life of galvanized coatings in keeping
with the five atmospheres just described. A galvanized coatings protective life is
determined primarily by the thickness of the coating and the severity of the exposure
conditions. The thickness of a galvanized coating is expressed in mil thickness (one mil is
equal to a one-thousandth of an inch).

For example, consider a galvanized structure in a tropical marine atmosphere. According to
the ASTM A 123, for a piece of steel with a thickness of 1/4 inch or greater, the minimum
mil thickness requirement is 3.9 mils. Typically, the zinc coating thickness is greater than
the minimum requirement; the average coating thickness is often between 5 and 7 mils.
So, with a coating of 5 mils followed up to the tropical marine environment line and across,
the chart indicates it will take approximately 100 years to create five percent surface rust.
This doesnt mean the project will be completely corroded in 100 years, but rather that in
100 years, 5 percent of the steel will be exposed. Ninety-five percent of the steel surface is
still being protected by the zinc coating Five percent surface rust, as shown on the chart,
indicates it is time to think about coating the galvanized surface by cleaning and preparing
it, then brushing or spray-applying a different corrosion prevention method if disassembly
for regalvanizing is not a feasible solution.

(Note: There is a difference between rust and brown staining that the human eye can rarely
detect. Brown staining is occasionally visible when all of the free zinc (Eta) layer is
consumed. Brown staining is the iron oxide corrosion by-product from the iron content
percentages found in the zinc-iron alloy layers of the Gamma, Delta, and Zeta layers of the
galvanized coating. Since its hard to tell the difference by just looking at it, use a
measurement gauge. If there is any mil thickness measurement, then brown staining has
occurred and corrosion protection will continue to be provided by the remaining zinc

When galvanized steel is used in contact with liquids, a different set of conditions
determines its corrosion resistance. A liquids degree of acidity or alkalinity is the factor of
greatest importance. This is usually expressed on a logarithmic scale as the pH number.
Zinc coatings corrode faster in liquids with a pH below 4.5 or above 12.5. This should not
be considered a hard and fast rule because factors such as agitation, aeration,
temperature, polarization, and the presence of inhibitors may also affect the rate of
corrosion. However generally at intermediate pH values a protective film is formed on
the zinc surface, and the rate of corrosion is very slow. Since many liquids fall within this
pH range, galvanized steel containers are widely used in storing and transporting many
chemical solutions.

Galvanizing is also successfully used to protect steel in fresh water exposure. The term
fresh water is used loosely here to refer to all forms of water, except seawater. Water
with relatively high free oxygen or carbon dioxide content is more corrosive than water
containing less of these gases. Hard water is much less corrosive toward zinc than soft

Galvanized coatings also provide considerable protection to steel immersed in seawater and
exposed to salt spray. However, it is the dissolved salts (primarily sulfides and chlorides) in
seawater that are the prime determinants of the corrosion behavior of the zinc immersed in
seawater. Although anticipated galvanized coating life is shorter in seawater than in many
other exposures, galvanized steel performs much better than many other coating systems in
this environment.

Section 6: All Zinc Coatings are not Created Equal
Many people use galvanizing as a generic term for all types of zinc coatings, but all zinc
coatings are not the same. In fact, their physical, chemical, and corrosion resistance
properties can be extremely different. This section will explore the differences in the
several types of zinc coatings available.

Refer to the photomicrograph of various zinc coatings:

Metallizing (or zinc spraying) is feeding zinc in either wire or powder form through a
spray gun, where it is melted and sprayed onto the steel surface by using combustion gases
and/or auxiliary compressed air to provide the necessary velocity. Metallizing allows coating
of fabricated items that cannot be galvanized because of their size, because the coating
must be applied on the job site, or as a means of touching-up or repairing a hot-dip
galvanized coating. This form of zinc coating is normally sealed with a thin coating of a low-
viscosity polyurethane, epoxy, or vinyl resin. There are some limitations as to how
thorough the zinc coverage is due to the inaccessible areas of some structures, such as
recesses, hollows, or cavities (painting offers a similar limitation). Coating consistency is
dependent on operator experience, and coating variation is always a possibility. Like paint,
coatings may be thinner at corners and edges. Metallizing provides a minimum amount of
cathodic protection, but with no zinc-iron alloy layers to provide abrasion resistance. The
black areas on the photomicrograph above are voids. Metallizing is 85 percent as dense as
hot-dip galvanizing.

Zinc-rich paint, often inaccurately called cold galvanizing, consists of zinc dust in organic
or inorganic binders. The white particles in the photomicrograph are zinc oxides; the black
areas are the binders. Zinc-rich coatings are barrier coatings that also provide limited
cathodic protection. The binder must be conductive, or the zinc particles must be in
sufficient percentage of the overall paint and in contact, in order to provide cathodic
protection. Suitable zinc-rich paints provide a useful repair coating for damaged galvanized
coatings. However, uneven film coats may develop if applied by brush or roller, and mud
cracking may occur if the paint is applied too thickly.

Continuous galvanizing (galvanized sheet) is a hot-dip process, although usually
limited to steel mill operations. The process consists of coating sheet steel, strip, or wire on
machines over 500 feet in length, running the materials through the molten zinc at speeds
of over 300 feet per minute. The resulting mil thickness is minimal compared to hot-dip
galvanizing with minimal zinc-iron alloy layers but barrier and cathodic protection are
provided. Continuously galvanized sheet steel is generally suitable for interior applications
or for exterior applications where paint is applied over the zinc coating.

Electroplating (or electrogalvanizing) refers to zinc coatings applied to steel sheet and
strip by electro-deposition in a steel mill facility. There are no zinc-iron alloy layers, but
barrier and cathodic protection are provided. The finish of electroplated steel is very
smooth, however, the thin coating which is produced is generally not very appropriate for
exterior applications. Electroplated fasteners are most commonly used in interior

Section 7: Specifying for Design
Now that todays severe corrosion problems and its various solutions have been discussed,
its time to examine how to specify hot-dip galvanized steel in project designs.

Protection against corrosion begins on the drawing board. No matter what corrosion
prevention system is used, it must be factored into the design of the product. Once the
decision has been made to use hot-dip galvanizing, the design engineer should ensure the
steel pieces can be suitably fabricated for high-quality galvanizing.

Certain rules must be followed in order to design components for hot-dip galvanizing after
fabrication. Adopting the design practices shown in the next couple of pages, along with
those listed in ASTM A 385 Practice for Providing High Quality Zinc Coatings (Hot-Dip), will
produce optimum quality galvanizing, reduce costs, assist with the timely processing of the
product, and ensure the safety of the galvanizing personnel.

The most important rule of designing for hot-dip galvanizing is the designer, fabricator, and
galvanizer work together before the product is manufactured. This three-way
communication will eliminate issues that could delay or prevent superior galvanizing quality.

Most ferrous materials (those containing iron) are suitable for hot-dip galvanizing. Cast
iron, malleable iron, cast steels, and hot- and cold-rolled steels all can be protected from
corrosion by hot-dip galvanizing. Structural steel shapes, including those of high-strength,
low-alloy materials are hot-dip galvanized to obtain long-lasting protection.

Though most ferrous materials can be hot-dip galvanized, the chemical composition of the
material affects the characteristics of the galvanized coating. During galvanizing, the
ferrous material reacts with the zinc to form a series of zinc-iron alloy layers normally
covered by a layer of pure zinc. For most hot-rolled steels, the zinc-iron alloy portion of the
coating will represent 50 to 70 percent of the total coating thickness.

Steel compositions vary depending on strength and service requirements. Major elements
in the steel, such as silicon and phosphorus, affect the galvanizing process, as well as the
structure and appearance of the coating. For example, certain elements present in the steel
may result in a coating composed almost entirely, or completely of zinc-iron alloys.

Per ASTM A385, Section 3.2, certain elements found in steels are known to have an
influence on the coating structure. Carbon in excess of about 0.25%, phosphorus in excess
of 0.04%, or manganese in excess of about 1.3% will cause the production of coatings
different from the normal coating.

Silicon concentrations between 0.05 - 0.15%, or above 0.25% have a profound effect on
the nature of the coating produced (see chart below).

Optimum galvanizing appearance is seldom obtained when combining different materials
and surfaces. Whenever possible, the varying materials previously described should be
galvanized separately and assembled after galvanizing. When steels of special chemical
composition or varying surface finishes are joined in an assembly, the galvanized finish
generally is not uniform in appearance (though the variation in the color and texture of the
coating has no affect on the corrosion prevention provided by the galvanized coating).

You should try to avoid designing articles that have extreme differences in steel thickness.
The different thicknesses of steel will reach the zinc bath temperature at different times, as
well as have different cooling rates. This uneven heating and cooling can cause stresses or
the relieving of stresses that lead to warping or distortion.

When welded items are galvanized, both the cleanliness of the weld area and the metallic
composition of the weld itself affect the galvanizing quality and appearance around the
weld. Galvanized materials may be welded easily and satisfactorily by all common welding
techniques. Weld slag and weld flux should be removed by the fabricator prior to
galvanizing (weld flux residues are chemically inert in the normal pickling solutions used by
galvanizers, therefore, their existence will produce rough and incomplete zinc coverage).
The specifics of welding techniques can best be obtained from the American Welding Society
or your welding equipment supplier.

When designing articles to be galvanized, its best to avoid narrow gaps between plates,
overlapping surfaces, and back-to-back angles and channels. When overlapping contacting
surfaces cannot be avoided and are separated by 3/32 inch or less (the thickness of a
penny), all edges should be completely sealed by welding. The viscosity of the zinc
prevents it from entering any space narrower than this. If there is an opening, the less
viscous cleaning solutions will enter. Solutions may leach out of the opening later on,
causing brown weep staining on the galvanized coating.

Also, trapped solutions will flash to steam when the part is immersed in the 850 F molten
zinc-galvanizing bath. When the trapped steam is released, it can prevent zinc from
adhering to the steel adjacent to the lap joint.

Likewise, pickling acid salts can be retained in these tight areas due to inadequate rinsing.
The galvanized coating may be of good quality in the adjacent area, but humidity
encountered weeks, even months, later may wet these acid salts. This will cause brown
staining to seep out on top of the galvanized coating.

Brown staining can be removed easily by scrubbing the stained area with a soft, nylon
bristle brush. Do not use steel wool because steel particles will be imbedded in the zinc
coating and cause more brown staining.

Many structures and parts are fabricated using cold-working techniques. In some instances,
severe cold-working may cause the steel to become strain-age embrittled. While cold-
working increases the incidence of strain-age embrittlement, it may not become evident
until after galvanizing. Strain-age embrittlement occurs because the aging of a piece of
steel is relatively slow at ambient temperatures, but becomes more rapid at the elevated
temperature of the galvanizing bath. Any form of cold-working reduces the ductility of
steel. Operations such as punching holes, notching, producing fillets of small radii,
shearing, and sharp bending may lead to strain-age embrittlement of susceptible steels. To
avoid strain-age embrittlement, cold-worked steel may be stress-relieved per ASTM A143
prior to galvanizing. Cold-worked steels less than 1/8 inch thick, which are subsequently
galvanized, are unlikely to experience strain-age embrittlement.

With the increase in the sizes and capacities of galvanizing kettles, facilities can
accommodate fabrications in a significant range of shapes and sizes. Galvanizing kettles up
to 42 feet in length are available in most industrial areas. There are many kettles ranging
from 50 and 60 feet in length. Widths and depths vary but are generally 6 7 wide and
8 12 deep. Designing and fabricating in modules suitable for the available galvanizing
facilities can allow for most components to be galvanized. However, it is wise at an early
stage to verify kettle constraints with the local galvanizer. A list of galvanizing kettle
locations throughout North America, and their sizes, can be found on the American
Galvanizers Association website (

When an item is too large for total immersion in the kettle of molten zinc but more than
half of the item will fit into the kettle the piece may be progressively dipped. During this
process, each end or portion of the article is dipped sequentially in order to coat the entire
item. Always consult the galvanizer before planning to progressive dip.

Designers should also consider the material-handling techniques used in galvanizing plants
(hoists, cranes, pulleys, racks, wire, etc.). Large assemblies are usually supported by chain
slings or by lifting fixtures. All articles are immersed into the galvanizing kettles from
overhead, so chains, wires, or other holding devices are used to support the material unless
special lifting fixtures are provided. The weight of fabrications should also factor into the
design of products. The crane/hoist capacity required to move items from step to step in
the galvanizing facility will sometimes vary from plant to plant. Contact your galvanizer to
determine weight-handling capacity if it appears weight will be a factor in the design

For effective galvanizing, cleaning solutions and molten zinc must flow into, over, through,
and out of the fabricated article with undue resistance. Failure to provide for a free,
unimpeded flow is frequently the cause of problems for the galvanizer and the customer.
Improper drainage design results in poor appearance of the galvanized surface, bare spots,
and excess build-ups of zinc, which are unnecessary and costly.

Where gusset plates are used, generously cropped corners provide for free drainage. When
cropping gusset plates is not possible, holes at least inch in diameter must be placed in
the plates as close to the corners as possible.

Because of safety issues, tubular fabrications and hollow structural steel must be properly
vented. Any solutions or rinse waters that might be trapped in a blind or closed joining
connection will be converted to superheated steam and can develop a pressure of up to
3800 psi when immersed in molten zinc at 850 F. This presents a serious hazard to
galvanizing personnel and equipment, as the steam may directly burn or cause zinc to be
violently emitted from the kettle. Ample passageways allowing unimpeded flow in and out
must be designed into assemblies. Keep in mind items to be galvanized are immersed and
withdrawn at an angle, so vent holes should be located at the highest point and drain holes
at the lowest point in each piece.

Base plates and end plates must also be designed to facilitate venting and draining. Fully
cutting the plate provides minimum obstruction to provide a full, free zinc flow into and out
of the pipe. The most desirable fabrication is one that is completely open at both ends.
Since this is not always possible, the use of vent holes in the plate often provides the
solution. These are examples of equal substitutes if opening the full diameter is not

Tanks and enclosed vessels should be designed to allow acid cleaning solutions, fluxes, and
molten zinc to enter at the bottom and trapped air to flow upwards through the enclosed
space and out through an opening at the highest point. This prevents air from being
trapped as the article is immersed. The trapped air would, of course, prevent zinc from
reaching the entire inside surface of the tank. The design must also provide for complete
drainage of both interior and exterior details during withdrawal.

Some fabricated assemblies may distort at the galvanizing temperature as a result of
stresses induced during manufacturing of the steel and in subsequent fabrication
operations. Guidelines for minimizing distortion and warpage are provided in ASTM A 384
Safeguarding Against Warpage and Distortion During Hot-Dip Galvanizing of Steel
Assemblies. To minimize distortion, design engineers should observe the following
Where possible, use symmetrical, rolled sections in preference to angle or channel
frames. A non-uniform shape will tend to pull away from its axis
Use parts in an assembly of equal or near-equal thickness
Accurately pre-form members of an assembly so it is not necessary to force, spring,
or bend them into position during joining
Try to avoid designs that require progressive-dip galvanizing

Hot-dip galvanized fasteners are recommended for use with hot-dip galvanized sub-
assemblies and assemblies. Galvanized nuts, bolts, and screws in common sizes are readily
available from commercial suppliers. Bolted assemblies should be sent to the galvanizer
disassembled. When assemblies to be galvanized incorporate threaded components, the
tolerance normally allowed on internal threads must be increased to provide for the
thickness of the galvanized coating on external threads. Standard practice is to tap nuts
oversized after galvanizing. Uncoated internal threads are acceptable since the zinc coating
on the external thread provides full corrosion protection. For economic purposes, nuts are
sometimes galvanized as blanks and threads are tapped after galvanizing.
Recommendations for overtapping of threads may be found in the American Galvanizers
Association publication The Design of Products to be Hot-Dip Galvanized After Fabrication.

Identification markings on fabricated items should be carefully prepared before galvanizing
so they will be legible after galvanizing and will not jeopardize the integrity of the zinc
coating. Do not use paint, grease, or oil-based markers to apply addresses, shipping
instructions, or job numbers on items to be galvanized. Pickling acids do not remove oil-
based paints and crayon marks, thus resulting in extra work by the galvanizer to properly
prepare the steel for galvanizing. Detachable metal tags or water-soluble markers should
be specified for temporary identification.

Where permanent identification is needed, there are three suitable alternatives for marking
steel fabrications to be hot-dip galvanized. Each enables items to be rapidly identified after
galvanizing and at the job site:
Deep stencil a steel tag and firmly affix it to the fabrication with a minimum #9
gauge steel wire. The tag should be wired loosely to the work so that the area
beneath the wire can be galvanized and the wire will not freeze to the work when the
molten zinc solidifies.
Stamp the surface using die-cut deep stencils or a series of center punch marks.
They should be a minimum of inch high and 1/32 inch deep to ensure readability
after galvanizing. This method should not be used to mark fracture-critical
A series of weld beads may also be used to mark letters or numbers directly on the
fabrication. It is essential that all weld flux be removed in order to achieve a quality-
galvanized coating.

Galvanized products should be specified in accordance with the appropriate standards.
Standards have been developed to ensure optimum performance of galvanized products.
Industry professionals specifying hot-dip galvanizing should become familiar with the
following: ASTM A 123, A 143, A 153, A 384, A 385, A 767, A 780, and D 6386.

ASTM A 123 Standard Specification for Zinc (Hot-Dip Galvanized) Coatings on Iron and Steel
Covers the requirements for galvanizing by the hot-dip process on iron and steel
products made from rolled, pressed, and forged shapes, castings, plates, bars, and
Covers both unfabricated products and fabricated products. This includes, for
example, assembled steel products, structural steel fabrications, large tubes already
bent or welded before galvanizing, and wirework fabricated from uncoated steel wire.
This specification also covers steel forgings and iron castings incorporated into pieces
fabricated before galvanizing or those too large to be centrifuged (or otherwise
handled to remove excess galvanizing bath metal)
Does not apply to wire, pipe, tube, or sheet steel, which is galvanized on specialized
or continuous lines, or to steel less than 22-gauge thick. Indicates required minimum
mil thickness
Steps of the coating thickness inspection

ASTM A 153 Standard Specification for Zinc Coating (Hot-Dip) on Iron and Steel Hardware:
Covers zinc coatings applied by the hot-dip process on iron and steel hardware
(bolts, nuts, nails, screws, clamps, etc.)
Is intended to be applicable to hardware items centrifuged or otherwise handled to
remove excess zinc
Provides for a standard minimum coating thickness regardless of fastener

ASTM A 385 Standard Practice for Providing High-Quality Zinc Coatings (Hot-Dip):
Indicates procedures that should be followed to obtain high-quality hot-dip
galvanized coatings
Highlights many items that should be addressed when specifying hot-dip galvanizing,
such as assemblies of different materials and/or different surfaces, steel selection,
venting and drainage hole design issues, and marking parts for identification.

ASTM A767 Standard Specification for Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) Steel Bars for Concrete
This specification covers concrete reinforcing bars with protective zinc coatings
applied by dipping the properly prepared reinforcing bars into a molten bath of zinc
If reinforcing bars are bent cold prior to galvanizing, they must be fabricated to a
bend diameter equal to or greater than those specified in Table 2 in ASTM A767. The
bend diameters range depending on the bar number is typically from six to ten
times the bars diameter
When bending reinforcing bars after galvanizing, there may be slight cracking and
flaking of the free layer of zinc in the bend area, but this should not be cause for
rejection because the integrity of the corrosion protection is still provided

ASTM A 780 Standard Practice for Repair of Damaged and Uncoated Areas of Hot-Dip
Galvanized Coatings:

This standard describes methods used to repair damaged hot-dip galvanized coatings. The
damage may be the result of welding, in which case the coating will be damaged
predominantly by burning, or by severe abrasion caused by excessively rough handling
during shipping or erection.

There are three types of touch-up and repair methods, according to ASTM A 780:
Zinc-based solder alloys
Zinc dust paints

Please refer to ASTM A 780 for specifics on when these techniques are appropriate and how
to apply them.

ASTM D 6386 Standard Practice for Preparation of Zinc (Hot Dip Galvanized) Coated Iron
and Steel Product and Hardware Surfaces for Painting:

This standard describes surface preparation methods for painting new and weathered hot-
dip galvanized steel that has not been painted previously, specifically so that an applied
coating system can develop the adhesion necessary for a satisfactory service life.

As a final step in the galvanizing process, the hot-dip galvanized coating is inspected for
compliance with specifications. Interpretation of inspection results should be made with a
clear understanding of the causes of the various conditions that may be encountered, and
their effects on the ultimate objective of providing corrosion protection.

Galvanizings service life is directly related to the thickness of the protective zinc coating.
Corrosion prevention is greatest when the coating is thickest. The coating thickness is the
single most important inspection check to determine a galvanized coatings quality. Coating
thickness, however, is only one inspection aspect. The coatings uniformity, adherence, and
appearance should also be checked.

Inspection of the galvanized product, as the final step in the process, can be most
effectively and efficiently conducted at the galvanizers plant where questions can be asked
and answered quickly.

There are a number of simple magnetic gauges used to give a convenient and reliable
measurement of the zinc coating thickness, provided the instruments are properly

Bare spots are small, localized flaws that are usually self-healing due to the sacrificial action
of the zinc and have little effect on the life of the coating. Where considered necessary,
such spots may be patched using one of the repair methods discussed in ASTM A 780.

When failing to thoroughly clean the steels surface, such as by not blast-cleaning paint off
the steels surface, zinc will not metallurgically bond to the steel. Also, if sand remains
embedded in castings, zinc will also not bond to the steel.

Rough, heavy coatings refer to galvanized components showing
markedly rough surfaces. This can include coatings that have
just a rough surface and can, in some cases, involve some
groove type surface configurations. High phosphorus and/or high silicon content in the steel
can lead to this condition. The coating pictured will provide quality corrosion prevention and
is not grounds for rejection.

A matte gray coating can appear as a dark gray circular pattern, a localized dull patch, or
may extend over the entire surface of the product. This finish indicates an extended zinc-
iron alloy phase caused by steels that are unusually reactive with molten zinc. Although not
as shiny as a galvanized coating with free zinc on the outer surface, a matte gray coating
provides similar corrosion prevention.

As per ASTM A 123, Note 2, the presence of some elements such as silicon, carbon, and
phosphorus in certain percentages in steels and weld metal tend to accelerate the
growth of the zinc-iron alloy layers so the coating may have a matte finish with little or no
outer zinc layer. The galvanizer has only limited control over this condition.

Wet storage stain is the voluminous white or gray deposits formed by accelerated corrosion
of the zinc coating when closely-packed, newly-galvanized articles are stored or shipped
under damp and poorly ventilated conditions. Wet storage stain primarily consists of zinc
oxide and zinc hydroxide. Due to improper ventilation and no circulating carbon dioxide,
the final stage of the protective zinc patina the zinc carbonate cannot form. Weathered
zinc surfaces that have already formed their normal protective layer of corrosion products
are seldom attacked.

The bulky white or gray corrosion product associated with wet storage stain should not be
confused with the protective layer of zinc corrosion products that form under normal
atmospheric exposure. Even though the corrosion products on fully exposed galvanized
surfaces may be white or light gray, they are not the product of wet storage stain. Their
color is solely a function of the environment and the zinc-iron alloy content of the
galvanized coating. When wet storage staining is found on galvanized materials, it is not
usually in sufficient quantity to be detrimental to coating protection. It normally disappears
with weathering, however, with ill-advised transportation, handling, and storage methods, it
can build up to the point where it should be removed before the steel is put into service. A
light brushing with a nylon bristle brush will remove most wet storage stains, but if the
buildup is excessive for the application, a 10:1 water and alkaline solution followed by
rinsing may be warranted.

This picture indicates what is assumed to be the typical hot-dip
galvanized surface. The surface is silver-gray and has spangles
(zinc crystals) with a range of sizes. Different surface appearances
may be noticed on different galvanized products. Cooling rate and
additives to the galvanizing bath have a direct effect on the
surface brightness and spangle size. Faster cooling usually results
in a brighter coating with a smaller spangle size. Additive such as
lead and antimony change the surface tension of the zinc and
cause spangle as well.

Section 8: Duplex Systems
For years, protecting steel from corrosion typically involved either the use of hot-dip
galvanizing or some type of paint system. However, more and more corrosion specialists
are utilizing both methods of corrosion protection in what is commonly referred to as a
duplex system. A duplex system is simply painting or powder-coating steel that has been
hot-dip galvanized after fabrication. When paint and galvanized steel are used together, the
corrosion protection is superior to either protection system used alone. Painting galvanized
steel requires careful preparation and a good understanding of both painting and
galvanizing. The ASTM specification for preparing galvanized steel surfaces to be painted is
D 6386.

The galvanized coating protects the base steel, supplying cathodic and barrier protection.
Paint, in turn, grants barrier protection to the galvanized coating. The paint slows down the
rate at which the zinc is consumed, greatly extending the life of the galvanized steel. In
return, once the paint has been weathered or damaged, the zinc is available to provide
cathodic and barrier protection so rust will not develop on the substrate steel.

There are many reasons for using a duplex system, ranging from financial to safety. Each
individual project raises unique reasons why a duplex system could be utilized.

Extended corrosion resistance
The most obvious and important reason for using a duplex system is the added
corrosion prevention. No single corrosion prevention system can match the
corrosion resistance afforded for most applications by painting over hot-dip
galvanized steel.

Economic benefits
Because duplex systems greatly extend the life of a product, maintenance costs are
significantly decreased. Additionally, a product lasts longer before it must be
replaced, thus decreasing the life-cycle cost. The cost of a product protected by
galvanizing and painting is lower over the entire life of the product than most single
system methods of corrosion prevention.

Life-cycle costs are only one form of economic benefits. Take, for example, a
petrochemical plant. Here, a duplex system is used to combat not only the harsh
atmospheric conditions, but also the extremely high shutdown costs required to
replace and/or repair corroded parts.

Synergistic effect
It is typical for a duplex system to provide corrosion protection 1.5 to 2.5 times
longer than zinc or paint individually. For example, if a galvanized coating is
expected to last 40 years, and a paint system is expected to last 10 years,
galvanizing and paint together should last 75 years with minimal maintenance, or a
minimum of 1.5 times the sum of both systems.

One example is provided in the photo below where
powder coating adds extra durability and corrosion
protection to these hot-dip galvanized utility poles in
Europe. These poles were powder-coated immediately
after galvanizing and then packaged for shipping.

Ease of repainting
As paint weathers, the zinc in the galvanized
coating is present to provide both cathodic and
barrier protection until the structure is repainted.
The exposed zinc surface then can be repainted with minimal surface preparation.
The galvanized guardrails in this photo are being prepared for repainting.

Safety marking
The use of a duplex system allows galvanized steel to be painted
in order to conform to safety color regulations. The best example
of this is the Federal Aviation Administration regulation requiring
structures over 200 feet high to be painted in the alternating
pattern of white and international orange.

Section 9: Rebar
Corrosion and repair of corrosion damage are multi-billion dollar problems. Observations on
numerous structures show that corrosion of reinforcing steel is either a prime - or at least
an important factor contributing to the staining, cracking, and eventual spalling of
concrete structures. These effects of corrosion often require costly repairs and continued
maintenance during the life of the structure.

This figure depicts what would be visible if a core sample of concrete and rebar was cut so
one can take a look inside. As the unprotected rebar begins to corrode, iron oxides (steel
corrosion by-products) form. The increased volume of the iron oxides causes pressure on
the surrounding concrete. To relieve this increased stress or pressure, the concrete will
crack. At first the cracks will be small, only noticeable by the staining color of the rust
rising to the surface of the concrete covering. But as the corrosion continues, a snowball
effect is created. More cracks allow more electrolyte solution to reach the reinforcing steel,
thus causing more corrosion and build-up of iron oxides.

While rust-colored staining is the first visible sign of corrosion, its more than just an
aesthetic problem. Once staining and cracking occur, there is an easy path for more
moisture to reach the steel, creating more iron oxides and accelerating the corrosion
process. Depending on the thickness, porosity, and initial cracking of the concrete cover,
this type of staining may be evident in a year or less, with spalling to follow in the next
couple of years. Red rust staining occurs parallel to the rebar and provides an indication of
where the corroding bar or bars are located. Spalling also occurs parallel to the rebar. The
first signs of spalling indicate the structural integrity of the concrete is rapidly deteriorating.

Epoxy-coated rebar can experience the same type of corrosion at places in the concrete
where the epoxy coating is defective, or at exposed cut ends of the rebar.

When the rebar is exposed to the environment, the structure has totally failed and
rebuilding is necessary, as was the case with this bridge support along I-15 in Utah. The
Utah DOT recently undertook the $1.6 billion dollar overhaul of a 17-mile stretch of I-15
that looks like this.

This picture was taken about 20 years after installation; the steel was never coated for
corrosion prevention. In a climate like Utahs with strong freeze-thaw cycles, and where
chlorides build-up from high use of de-icing salts galvanizing the rebar would have
significantly increased the protection from corrosion.

Here is a picture of spalling concrete where unprotected rebar has been used. As has been
discussed, the spalling is caused by the increased pressure build-up from the dense iron
oxides resulting from the corroding bare steel.

When hot-dip galvanized rebar is used, the zinc corrodes in the same process as bare steel,
but at a much slower rate. Unlike the very dense corrosion by-products of bare steel, zinc
corrosion by-products are significantly less dense than iron oxides. The zinc corrosion by-
products are powdery, non-adherent, and capable of migration from the surface of the
galvanized coating into the matrix of the concrete, highly reducing the likelihood of zinc
corrosion-induced spalling.

Aside from the unique properties of the galvanized coating, there are numerous other
reasons why galvanized rebar is a preferred method of corrosion protection. The galvanized
coating is very tough and durable. It can be walked on, driven over, and exposed to the
everyday hazards of the construction site without compromising the integrity of the coating.
Even when there is a small scratch, about 1/16 of an inch, the sacrificial action of the zinc
will protect the steel. The galvanized coating requires no special handling; no soft gloves or
nylon strapping are needed when handling galvanized rebar. It is easy to ship, haul, move
around the job site, and install galvanized rebar. It can even be stored outside on the job
site because the coating will not be damaged by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun (which
does damage epoxy coatings). Galvanized rebar can be handled in the same manner as
black rebar. In contrast, there is a 10-plus-page brochure published by the Concrete
Reinforcing Steel Institute for handling epoxy-coated rebar. The brochure, entitled
Reference Guide for Field Handling Techniques For Epoxy-Coated Rebar, covers
numerous requirements which must be adhered to at the job site in order to maintain an
adequate coating. All these requirements add significant cost to a project.

Galvanized rebar can be fabricated before or after galvanizing. Or, when following bend
radius recommendations as specified in ASTM A 767, the rebar can be fabricated on the job
site without worrying about touch-up or coating failure. The rebar can also be welded
before or after galvanizing using the same ventilation precautions as when welding black
rebar, and using touch-up and repair procedures/methods as recommended in ASTM A 780.

Galvanized steel, including rebar, is easy to inspect. The metallurgical bond will not occur
during the galvanizing process unless the bar is thoroughly cleaned. Any bare spots would
be visible immediately after galvanizing. Due to the fact the rebar is totally immersed in the
molten zinc, there is 100 percent coverage on formed and bent bars. In addition, compared
to epoxy systems that are generally very thin on edges and ends, all edges and ends of the
galvanized coating will have the same, if not greater, thickness of zinc.

Should there be cutting or torching on the job site, after cleaning the parts, a zinc solder or
a zinc-rich paint will adequately protect exposed black steel. Follow the procedures in ASTM
A 780 for touch-up and repair of galvanized coatings. Unlike epoxy systems, no inspection
for inconsistencies or bare spots needs to be performed. Long periods of storage on the job
site and exposure to harsh elements will have little or no effect on the galvanized rebar

Galvanized rebar has superior bond strength essential for reliable performance of reinforced
concrete structures. These studies performed by the University of California - Berkeley
show galvanized rebar to have greater bond strength, measured by stress in pounds-per-
square-inch, than deformed black steel. The majority of the pullout strength comes from
the ribs on the bar, but these studies show extra pullout strength can be realized with
galvanized rebar.

The Boca Chica Bridge in Florida is a great example of hot-dip galvanized reinforcing steel at
work. For over 30 years, galvanized rebar has provided this bridge near Key West with
maintenance-free corrosion protection. Despite heavy traffic and humid salt-water
conditions, core samples taken in 1991 showed the galvanized rebar to have an average
thickness of four mils. No signs of corrosion are detectable.

This unique structure - known as The Egg is a wonder of modern construction. The shell
is shaped by a heavily reinforced concrete girdle, which helps keep the Eggs shape and
directs the weight of the structure to the supporting pedestal and stem. Adding even more
durability to this structure are miles of galvanized rebar weaving in and out of the shell and
stem. The Egg was constructed in 1966 and took 12 years to build. Today it remains a
beautiful piece of rust-free architecture.

This parking garage at Princeton University was built in 1991 using galvanized rebar. The
multi-level structure used a variety of rebar sizes to provide long-lasting corrosion
prevention to the parking garage, which is exposed to a host of environmental conditions.
In winter climates, a parking garage is a harsh environment due to road salts deposited on
the decking by vehicles.

Section 10 - Hot-Dip Galvanized Steel in Our World
With the economic solution and unrivaled barrier and cathodic protection from corrosion
hot-dip galvanized steel provides, it's no wonder it is used in thousands of applications
throughout the world. Almost any steel exposed to the elements in some fashion (directly
or indirectly), is a prime candidate for hot-dip galvanizing.

Some common steel products hot-dip galvanized include: pipe and tubing, fasteners,
structural steel, reinforcing bar, utility poles, grating, expanded metal, guardrails, trash
cans, fencing, and automobile underbody parts. Industries and markets utilizing hot-dip
galvanized steel include: electrical utilities (towers, poles), cellular and land-line utilities
(towers, poles), pulp and paper, water and wastewater, bridge and highway (bridge girders,
stringers, columns, deck steel, guardrail, light poles), transportation (rail, automotive),
agriculture, chemical & petrochemical (tanks, vessels, walkways, handrail) and recreation
(stadiums, arenas, playground equipment).

The following projects help to further demonstrate some specific examples of hot-dip
galvanized steel in action:

A towering metal structure featuring more than 500 tons of galvanized steel, the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is one of the largest sport facilities in the world. Since
IMS chose hot-dip galvanizing for corrosion protection of the Speedways Northwest Vista
Addition in 1992, all subsequent steel additions to the metal behemoth have been specified
to be hot-dip galvanized a testament to the cost effectiveness and staying power of the
zinc coating.

The MI/M-102 Bridge Reconstruction demonstrated how a project can be both
environmentally conscious and save taxpayers money. After attending a Galvanize It!
seminar, Sue Datta of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) learned how
many states have been taking old guardrail, stripping, regalvanizing, and returning it to
service - so MDOT decided to regalvanize the existing steel guardrail panels. Thanks to the
initially galvanized pieces used in the structure, this project was able to recycle 80% of the
original material saving enough money for the city to begin a new project originally slated
for next year.

This project, which had to be completed over the span of two summer seasons, utilized
galvanized steel because of the rapidity and flexibility the process allows during onsite
construction. Galvanizing was an excellent fit for this project, as it allowed the incomplete
structure to be left exposed throughout the arctic winter without damage.

Built in June 1900, this elevated station was incorporated into Chicago Transit Authoritys
(CTA) $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project. To secure this large investment,
CTA specified galvanizing for corrosion protection, just as it was selected originally in 1900.
With the ability to withstand exposure to the elements without developing unsightly and
dangerous rust, galvanized steel will allow the stations renovations to last another hundred

Located adjacent to the Nashville metro buildings downtown and highly visible from the
street, the dragon guarding the Nashville Childrens Theatre will be viewed by approximately
300,000 people each year. With such high visibility, the artist wanted to ensure the
sculpture would remain aesthetically pleasing, so galvanizing was chosen to prevent
unsightly rust from marring the look of the sculpture. All components of this elaborate
sculpture were galvanized, from the anchor apparatus for the dragon support, to the curling
tips of the dragons wings totaling more than 3,000 pounds of galvanized steel.

Pole-Max is a system used to add antennas onto existing cell phone towers. Special
purpose, high-strength galvanized channel is used for this add-on product, capitalizing on
the quick turnaround of the galvanizing process. Because galvanizing is not a weather-
dependent process, it can be completed year round without common delays. With quick
delivery and fast installation, Pole-Max takes advantage of this benefit.

National Gypsums Mount Holly plant is a $125 million high-speed wallboard manufacturing
facility that recycles waste material rather than sending it to landfills. In keeping with the
green spirit of recycling waste material, galvanized steel prevents the waste and expense
of corrosion maintenance and repair, and is also recyclable; thus making it an
environmentally friendly choice for this massive project. As is often the case, the initial cost
and life-cycle cost of galvanizing the 3,461 tons of steel offered superior economics when
compared to painted steel. The entire structure (with the exception of the outer skin of the
building) is hot-dip galvanized for corrosion protection - a necessary requirement to
withstand the damaging effects of an industrial environment.

Any exterior environment is prime for the use of hot-dip galvanized steel. Common
applications include theme park rides, stadiums, utility towers, bridge girders and decks,
ornamental fences, docks, boat trailers, anchoring rods, bolts and nuts, handrail, grating
walkways, and stairs.

In addition to the long-term corrosion protection it offers, hot-dip galvanizing is chosen
because it provides maintenance-free performance for decades.

Toll-free phone: 1-800-468-7732