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Deslgnation: A 143/A 14gM - 0g

Standard Practice for

safeguarding Against Embrittlement of Hot-Dip Galvanized
structural steel Products and Procedure for D'etecting
This standard is issued under the fi.xed designation A 143/A l43M: the number immediately following the rlesignation indicares
the year
of original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last rcvision. A numbcr in parentheses indi"ates thi year of last reapproval.
A superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.
This starulard has been approved



use by agencies of the Departmenr of Defense.


Washers, and Rivets2


This practice covers procedures that can be followed to

safeguard against the possible embrittlement of steel hot-dip

3. Terninolory
3.1 Definition:
3.1.1 embrinlement, n-the loss or partial loss of ductility in
a steel where an embrittled product characteristically fails by
fracture without appreciable deformation; types of embrittlement usually encountered in galvanizsd steel are related to
aging phenomena, cold workjng, and absorption ofhydrogen.

galvanized after fabncation, and outlines test procedures for

detecting embrittlement. Conditions of fabrication may induce
a susceptibility to embrittlement in certain steels that can be
accelerated by galvanizing. Embrittlement is not a comrnon
occurrence, however, and this discussion does not imply that


galvaniziqg increases embrittlement where good fabricating

and galvanizing procedures are employed. Where history has
shown that for specific steels, processes and galvanizing
procedures have been satisfactory this history will serve as an
indication that no embrittlement problem is to be expected for
those steels, processes, and galvanizing procedures.
1.2 This practice is applicable in either inch-pounds or SI
units. Inch-pounds and SI units are not necessarily exact
equivalents. Within the text of this practice and where apprG.
priate, SI units are shown in brackets.
1.3 This standard does not purport to oddress all of the
safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the
responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropiate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

4. Factors in Embrittlement
4.1 Embrittlement or loss of ductility in steel is often

associated with strain-aging. Strain-aging refers to the delayed

increase in hardness and strength, and loss of ductility and
impact resistance which occur in susceptible steels as a result
of the strains induced by cold worting. The aging changes
proceed slowly at room temperaturc, but proceed at an accelerated rate as the aging temperature is raised and may occur
rapidly at the galvanizing temperature of approximately g50.F

4.2 Hydrogen embrittlement may also occur due



possibility of atomic hydrogen being absorbed by the steel. The

susceptibility to hydrogen emb,rittlement is infusased by the

type of steel, its previous heat treafment, and degree of

previous cold work. In the case of galvanizrd steel, the acid
pickling reaction prior to galvanizing presents a potential

2. Refercnced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards:
F 606 Test Methods for Determining the Mechanical properties of Externally and Intemally Tbreaded Fasteners,

source of hydrogen. However, the heat of the galvanizing bath

partially expels hydrogen that may have been absorbed. In

practice hydrogen embrittlement of galvanized steel is usually

if the steel exceeds approximarcly 150 ksi

ultimate 0ensile stnength, or if it has been
severely cold worked pnor to pickling.
4.3 Loss of ductility of cold-worked steels is dependent on
many factors including the type of steel (strength level, aging
of concern only

[100 MPa] in

this prrticc is undcr tbe jurisdiction of ASTM Comniucc 695 6a frfgtrnic
coatcd lron rnd stcel Prodrrcrs and is rhc dircct responsibility of Subcommitec
A05.13 ou Stucnrrd Shapcs and llardwarc Spocifications.
oririnally Prepared by subcommittee 405.10 on Embrittlcmcnt Lnvcstigation of
Qemmin6 aQJ es Corrosion of hon ad Stocl and ba$d on an invcstigatiin madc
by Battcllc Mcmorial Instiotc utr&r Amcdcal society ftr Tcsting and Matcrirls'
sponsorship. Set, Pruceedings,Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol 31. part I, 1931, p.
also papcr by Samucl Epstcin, 'Embrittlcmcm of tlot-Dip Galvanizcd Strucnrral
Stcl," scc Pmceedings, Am. Soc. Testing Mats., Vol 32, part II, L932, p.293pub|ished May 2003. b.iginafy
Cunrnt cdition appoved April
10, 2003.
approvcd h 1932. Last previous cdition apptovcd in 2001 as A 143 _ Ol.

Copyright o ASTM Intemational, 1@ Bar Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, west

Conshohockn, pA

characteristics), thickness

of steel, and degree of cold work,

of stess concentration such as

and is accentuated by areas

caused by notches, holes, fillets of small radii, sharp bends, etc.

Amual Book of ASTM Sundads, Vol

94a&29s9, unild states.



r l/ts/A t4sM - og
7. Preparation for Galvanizing

4.4 Low temperatures increase the risk of brittle failure of

all plain carbon steels including steel that has been galvanized.
The rate at which this temperature loss of ductility occurs
varies for di-fferent steels. The expected service temperature
should thus be taken into account when selecting the steel.


7.1 Hydrogen can be absorbed during pickling and in some

instances, as noted tn 4.2, may contribute to embrittlement of
the galvanized product. The likelihood sf this, or of surface
cracHng occurring, is increased by excessive pickling temperature, prolonged pickling time, and poor inhibition of the
pickling acid. Heating to 300"F [150'C] after pickling and


before galvanizing

5.1 Open-hearth, basic-oxygen, and electric-furnace steels

shall be used for galvanizing. Other materials that can be
galvanized include continuous cast slabs, steel or iron castings,
and wrought iron.

6. Cold Working and Thermal Treatment

6.1 For intermediate and heavy shapes, plates, and hardware, cold bend radii should not be less than that which is
proven satisfactory by practice or by the recommendations of
*re steel manufacturer. These criteria generally depend on the
direction of grain, strength, and type of steel. A cold bending
radius of rhrec Limes (3X) thc scctioo thickness, or aD recom3
mended ny'./tSC Manwt of Steet Construction will ordinarily
ensure satisfactory properties in the final product. Although
sharper bending sa thin sections can usually be tolerate4
embrittlement may occur if cold bending is especially severc.
If the design requires sharper bending than discussed herein,
the bending should be done hot, or if done cold the marerial
should be subsequently annealed or stress relieved as noted in

expulsion of

9. Ibsting for Embrittlement of Steel Shapes' Stcel

Castings, Threaded Articles' and Ilardware ltems
9.1 Subject to base material and dimensional limitations, the
tests given in 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, or 9.5, or a combination thereof,
shall apply. [f one test specimen should be found embrittled by
these tests, two additional specimens should be tested. Failure

of either the second or the third specimen shall be cause for

rejection of the lot (see Note 1) that the samples rePresent.


lot is a unit of production from which a sample may be

taken for testing. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the manufacturer and
the purchaser, or established within this practice, the lot shall be as
follows: For tst u a manufacturer's facility, a lot is one or more articles
of the same type and size comprising a single order or a single delivery
loaA whichever is the smaller, c a smaller number of articles identi6ed as
a lot by the menufachrer, when these have been galvanized within a single
production shift. For test by purchaser after delivery, the lot consists of the
single order or the single delivery loa4 whichever is the smaller, unless
the lot identity, established in accordance with the above, is naintaircd
aad clearly indicated in the shipment by the manufacurer.

6.1 and 6.2 will normally obviate the need for thermal
treament. However, if rcquired, ProPer thermal tneatuent shall
precede galvanizing of the steel. For heavy cold deformation
exemplified by cotd rolling, sheared edges, punched holes, or
cold_formed rods and bolts, subcrilisal annsaling at tempera_
tures from 1200 to 1300'F [650 to 705'C] should be employed.
For less severe cold deformation typified by cold bending, roll
forming, etc., it is advisable to limit the thermal treament to
stress rglieving at a maximum of 1100'F [595'C] to avoid
excessive grain growth or alternatively to fully normalize the

9.2 A convenient bend test for embrittlement of galvanized

steel hardware such as bolts,

lnle and tower

steps, braces, rods,


bending the article and

which is obtained on
a similar ungalvanized article. The article, before and after
galvanizing, may be clamped in a vise and using a lever if
necessary, bent uniil crasking ofthe base steel occurs, or to 90"
whichever is less. In the case ofpreviously bent articles such as
reinforcing bars, the test shall be accomplished by revenie
bending the previously bent section. The galvanized article
reinforcing bats, etc., consists

steel at temperatures from 160O to 1700'F [870 to 925'Cl. The

I Wlln. [24
min/cml of section thickness.
6.4 Flame cut copes on structural beams shall have a
time at tmprature should be approximately

in. [2.5 cm]. After cuning, the cut surface

shall be ground to remove notches, Srooves, and irregular

surface features to leave the surface smooth.

Ava le fbm Amatan lnsdmtc Of Steel Collsmcdon AISC),One F

Wacker Dttve,Sdte 3100,Chicago, 6


galvanizing operations without embrittlement is the responsibility of the designer and fabricator. The galvanizer shall
employ proper pickling and galvanizing procedures.

6.2 Smaller shapes, including thickness ap to V+ in. [6.4

mml may be cold worked by punching without subsequent
annealing or sEess-relieving. Shapes %o to LVrc in. [8 to 18
mml in thickness are not seriously affected as to serviceability
by cold punching or if the punching is done under good shop
practice. The heavier shapes, % n. ll9 mml and over, shall be
reamed with at least %c in. t1.6 mml of metal removed from
the periphery ofthe hole after punching, or shall be drilled or
thermally treated prior to galvanizing as noted in 6.3.
6.3 Fabrication in accordance with the principles outlined in

most cases results

E. Responsibility for Avoiding Embrittlement

8.1 Design of the product and selection of the proper steel
for its suitability to be fabricated and to withstand normal


minimum radius of


hydrogen absorbed during pickling.

7.2 Abrasive blast cleaning followed by flash pickling may
also be employed when over-pickling is of concern or when
very high strength steel, ultimate tensile strenglh higher than
150 ksi [1100 MPal, must be galvanized. The abrasive blast
cleaning does not generate hydrogen while it is cleaning the
surface of the steel. The flash pickling after abrasive blast
cleaning is used to remove any final traces of blast media
before hot-dip galvanizing.

should withstand a degrce of bending substantially the same as

the ungalvanized article. plnking or spalling ofthe galvanized
coating is not to be construed as an embrittlement failure. For
thaded articles, the test shall be made on the unthreaded





ll1 1 I.1


11 :


a 1/A 14sM - 03

9.3 Small steel castings and steel hardware of such shape or

size that do not permit bending may be struck a strarp Llow
with a 2-lb [l-kg] hammer and the results for both gavanizea
and ungalvanized sarnples comparcd. If the article witnstanas

Up b 4 1021,ind

:n m





such a b-low in the ungalvanized condition, but after galvaniz_

ing cracks under the btow, it shall be considered embrittled.

OVo 4 to 6[102 to 1521,incl

OVer 6 to 8 1152 to 2031,ind

detailed as follows: After the test, the distance along the gage length
from each punch mark to the corre.pondiog eAgi of lre

9.4 A test for embrittlement of galvanized steel angles is

.9.4.1 Test Specimen-Atest specimen with a length deter_

mined by the table in9.4.2.1and by Fig. I shall be cuifrom
steel angle before galvanizing. A hole shall be made in the
specimen at its midlengtl, using the same procedure as will


in the fabricated For determining the percentage reduction of thick_

ness after fracture, the reduction shall be measured with a
ball-point micrometer at the tfuee locations indicated in Fie. 2:


represents, whether this be by punching, punching and ream_

ing, or drilling. The dirnensional values, diameter, and location
of hole shall be not less than those empioyed in the strucfurai

namely d. outer side of hole; b. inner side of hole: *i ..

middle of leg. The percentage reduction of rhickness shall be
calculated on the basis of the original thickness of the angle
and the average of the three values at a, b, and c. The test shall be made upon galvanized specimens

details. Care should be taken not to place the hole near stamped

galvanized. For determining the elongation after fracture,

2-iri. [5]-mm] gage length (Frg. i) shall be prick_punched in
the middle of the edge of the vertical leg of the galvanized
anqle algng a line parallel to its length and cenrercd directly
under the hole. For specimens under Vz in.
tl3 nnl ;
thickness, or those in which the distance from the edge
of the
to the edge of the angle is less than % in. tlO mmj, a l-in.
[25-mm] gage length shall be used.

9.4.2 Procedurc: The test shall be made in a universal testing ma_
chine, or by other means such as a press with the load afplied
slowly, until fracture of the galvanized test specimen o"curs.
The length of the rcst specimen and the distance between the
supports are shown in the following table:

30 r7621

fracure shall be measured to 0.01 in. t0.t5 mml with a flexible

scale and the percentage of elongation calculated from the sum
of these distances.

material which the specimen

or rolled-in identification marks. The specimen shall then

having a temperahre not below 60"F U6'Cl and not over 9O.F
[32C] when tested.

9.4.3 Requirements-T\e elongation measurcd



dance with shall be not less thans % with the following
e:.ception: when the specimen does not show 5 % elongationl
the reduction in thickness shall be measured in accordanci with J[s srrm of the percentage of elongation plus the

average percentage reduction of thickness shall not be less than

9.5 For hot-dip galvanized externally threaded fasteners, an

alternate test to section 9.2 for embrittlement is detailed in Test
Method F 606.
10. Keywords

l0.l coatings-zinc; galvanized coatings; steel products_

metallic coated; zinc coatings-steel products


Ncne l-2 in. = 5l mm.

Speclmen for Elonga{on afler Fracture


Asw lntemationa! takes rc.poeitlon rcspr,ling the valiclity of any

in this san&td' usB ol thls standan ara expresitv
aau"a"n t
of inftingement of stnh tighH, arc mdrcly their orri,


Measurerlent of Reduct:on of Thickno3S after Fracture

Ftent rbhg assefted in @nnrr'ion with any item mentton"d

ii i" iii,ty
--) or any such Ntant dghg, artr,t te dsk





suqd b any ame


the re'{r,nsibta tachnknl ammittee aN must be reviawed every rNe years

invited eitherf,r revision olthisstancf|' orfor aili60natstanclards
and should be addressd to AsrM lntematio*t
Your rxrlnmen9 witt rccdve canfut a:nsi&nfpn at a meeting of the
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ll that your @mmffiE haw td r&eivd a fair heatlng you shoutd
maka your views known to ne asru cfonmnip
sanii,a", at the add*ss shown berow.
it nottevlsed' eidDr rcapprcved or witMra*r.




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