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Cleaning up Galvanize metals?

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What is the best way to do this? Or is there a way to do it without taking the protection off?

 

Andrew C.

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There's cold galvanize spray cans . Had to use this on cell towers after we ground down a spot to solder on a ground strap . The stuff we used was dull looking , but I found this from Rust-Oleum . Hope this helps :)

 

IMG_1690.JPG.0510e4276c8d6713c136d33c8037c566.JPG

 

 

Edited by ACman
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Here is what my father taught me over 50 years ago. He used to work with galvanized steel in the boiler trades.

Galvanization is the process of coating metal with zinc, either hot dip or cold dip. If galvanized steel is just dirty, clean it as you would anything else. However, if it is has red oxide (rust) the zinc coating has been breached and it must be treated as any rusted steel by removing the rust, priming and painting. If it only has small white deposits, that is zinc oxide and it can be cleaned with acetic acid. If a significant portion of the item is covered with white deposits, it may not be possible to thoroughly clean it. After cleaning with acetic acid, thoroughly rinse with clean water and dry. If you are going to paint it, an etching primer must be used on the zinc before applying your regular primer and paint.

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1 hour ago, 953 nut said:

Never heat or weld a galvanized piece without a supplied air respirator

That's right on 953nut....it produces phosgene gas ( such as was used in WW 1)...you don't want to breathe that stuff...:twocents-02cents:

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If you do any cutting or welding on galvanized metal and start to feel ill drink plenty of white milk it seems to offset the effects.

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12 hours ago, benji756 said:

If you do any cutting or welding on galvanized metal and start to feel ill drink plenty of white milk it seems to offset the effects.

Years ago, we were paid for a gallon of milk daily when working with galvanized steel. Does milk work?

 

The extra pay was used by most of us for hoagies and lime rickies. :ROTF:

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16 hours ago, ACman said:

 

There's cold galvanize spray cans . Had to use this on cell towers after we ground down a spot to solder on a ground strap

 

That commercial stuff with the no frills label they used to get was some really good stuff. It had to hold up for years out on those towers. 

I miss doing tower work, Loved being up that high but not so much the climb to get up there. The highest job we worked on was around 550 ft. Too bad I got old.

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If you want a sick day just torch cut or weld some galvanized while breathing deeply.  Don't plan on dying just wanting to...  Took me a couple times but you might catch on earlier. 

Don't expect anything to stick to galvanized without metal prepping it.  Phosphoric today but as mentioned  acetic acid (vinegar) in the past, or an etching primer.  

But to address the question, I suppose I'd just metal prep it to clean off the oxide but the oxide is the whole point, for the Zinc to oxidize rather than the steel to rust. 

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in the early 80's i was building gravel pit equipment and we made a lot of conveyor tunnels out of large galvanized tubes, I always kept a quart of milk on hand when welding on them, it seem to help me.

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On February 17, 2017 at 4:49 PM, rmaynard said:

 

Here is what my father taught me over 50 years ago. He used to work with galvanized steel in the boiler trades.

Galvanization is the process of coating metal with zinc, either hot dip or cold dip. If galvanized steel is just dirty, clean it as you would anything else. However, if it is has red oxide (rust) the zinc coating has been breached and it must be treated as any rusted steel by removing the rust, priming and painting. If it only has small white deposits, that is zinc oxide and it can be cleaned with acetic acid. If a significant portion of the item is covered with white deposits, it may not be possible to thoroughly clean it. After cleaning with acetic acid, thoroughly rinse with clean water and dry. If you are going to paint it, an etching primer must be used on the zinc before applying your regular primer and paint.

 

On February 17, 2017 at 5:02 PM, 953 nut said:

One other thing, if you do any sanding or grinding be sure to wear a respirator, not a dust mask. Never heat or weld a galvanized piece without a supplied air respirator.

 

On February 17, 2017 at 6:12 PM, Jerry77 said:

That's right on 953nut....it produces phosgene gas ( such as was used in WW 1)...you don't want to breathe that stuff...:twocents-02cents:

 

:text-yeahthat:

And I would only do it outside with a fan directly on it dissipating the fumes immediately...

:twocents-02cents:

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Last time I got sick working with Zinc on a BIG gravel screen I had both a huge roll around fan AND a powerful commercial stand fan.  Several pictures were taken and I think videos where I later saw the fumes were rolling up and under my welding hood.  Don't place the fan to your back but rather across, right to left or left to right. I spent the next day in bed! 

 

Oh! And there is NO Zinc in phosgene. 

 

From Wikipedia:

Phosgene is the chemical compound with the formula COCl₂. This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I where it was responsible for about 85% of the 100,000 deaths caused by chemical weapons. Wikipedia
Formula: COCl2
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WOW Guys... You never cease to amaze me with the knowledge you all have. Great band of Wheel Horse enthusiasts you all are. I will take all under advisement.

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1 hour ago, DennisThornton said:

Don't place the fan to your back but rather across, right to left or left to right

Doesn't all that wind make welding difficult since the shielding gasses are blown away? Stick or MIG. I have to weld outside since there's a wood floor in the shed and many other hazards. The welds go quickly to crap when the wind blows. (More crap is a better description with my welding) Sucks when it happens right in the middle of a bead. It's worse with the MIG compared to the sticks but still noticeable.

Grinding it off the weld area with a fan blowing the dust away is my preferred method.

Edited by wallfish

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MIG Flux Core is what you want to use in outside applications as it avoids the use of shielding gas blowing away and the flux core yields good results.

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Forgot about that since I don't use it. Never had as good of results with flux core wire but that was using a 110v welder. Hobart 140

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On 2/19/2017 at 10:20 AM, wallfish said:

Forgot about that since I don't use it. Never had as good of results with flux core wire but that was using a 110v welder. Hobart 140

Flux core or stick works good for me even in the wind. I was welding 1/4 and up with big rods and lots of heat that day.  Hot that day so I needed the fans to stay cool as well. 

Edited by DennisThornton
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Things change over time , welding requirements for working on any zinc coating and avoiding fumes is worth your time and expense . Only way to truly avoid the fumes is to use a PAPR hood or just don't weld anything that is coated . Grinding the zinc is almost as dangerous , so keep that in mind . If it's a hot dip coating , don't think that simple grinding will remove all of it - the stuff soaks down deep into the metal and getting it out requires a lot of deep grinding and time . I wear a half-mask respirator when welding unknown coated or galvanized metals and just try to avoid altogether . Getting sick now is one thing , dying from slow poisoning is much worse .

 

Sarge

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WOW, who would have thought that this thread would have brought out so many thoughts. Thanks for warnings from all.

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Wow...I guess I should be dead by now I used to braze the stuff with oxy acetylene...

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2 hours ago, Dale520H said:

Wow...I guess I should be dead by now I used to braze the stuff with oxy acetylene...

 LOL- Well, glad you're not...

 

This is what I picked up this evening.

 

20170222_192351_Burst01.jpg

 

 And these are the new spring access plugs to replace the old ones (top). They are nickel coated? Is that similar protection as galvanizing or should I spray these with galvanizing compound as well? And should I rough them up a bit prior to doing so?

 

20170222_192754_HDR.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Mastiffman

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Okay, so Zinc will protect a bit so I'm fine with... BUT, I don't know if I'm fine with the color of this Cold Galvanizing Compound...

 

It's basically grey... What do you guys think? I was wanting to clean up and galvanize the angle adjust handle, lock wire and angle adjust movement bar as well...

 

Check it out and let me know what you all think.

 

20170223_210000_HDR.jpg

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It looks fine albeit a bit dull looking from the spray can stuff . Good galvanizing is applied under fairly high heat in a dip/spray process so it's nearly impossible to reproduce at home . I've never had much luck with the cold bonding stuff - it still rusts over time and scratches off pretty easily . Look around on the net for Spray On S00738 - the stuff is not easy to find and you really have to pay attention to the instructions , especially that part about turning the can upside down and clearing valve immediately after using - it will very easily plug up the nozzle and pickup tube , rendering the can useless . That , and shake it constantly as it does have small particles of 316SS suspended in it and will leave a somewhat rough finish . Once cured , you almost can't grind the stuff off - toughest paint I've found yet and has been on my welding table now since '09 , conducts electricity quite well to the work piece and I have yet to burn any off , even at high amperage tig work on aluminum (rated to 400*F) .

http://www.shopjfi.com/16oz-sprayon-stainless-steel-steel-coating.html

 

On previously blasted zinc coatings parts I've done and used this coating it's held up very well . I'd check and see if the cold galvanzing finish will get along with the SS paint and use that as a top coat and allow the zinc coating to act as a primer to prevent rust . All the linkage parts and such I've done with it over time have sown a bit of rust through the finish but that was with zero primer underneath - so might want to try to use the zinc as a base...Sprayon also makes a pretty good zinc cold coating as well , it's just tough to find someone that carries it without having to buy case quantities .

 

Sarge

 

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