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hot dipped galvanized....yuck

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  • hot dipped galvanized....yuck

    I have been welding structural for a decade now. I have always been told and readily believed other welders and inspectors saying you have to grind it off. Today I pretty much told my foreman he was a joke and texted the owner saying i was not the guy for the job of welding through galvanizing, he believed me, so I won and got to watch the foreman grind my parts, HAHA. Well I get home and start googling and come to find out I was really wrong.
    Zinc is NOT toxic, it will make you feel like crap for a couple of days until it leaves your system (I was also told many times that it accumulates, so every time you are exposed it takes less time to make you feel icky)
    You CAN weld through it without compromising weld integrity as long as bead appearance is not affected.
    I will man up tomorrow and admit I was wrong. But He is still a joke regardless.

    How do you guys handle galvanizing? I have read use a low silicon rod, any suggestions? I have always used 7018, which I know is low hydrogen.

  • #2
    I'm thinking people have died from it
    I'd wait before I caved in if I was you. Esp. after causing your foreman more work
    A bit more research on welding forums may bring up better info.


    • #3
      42 yrs. ago that's all I welded 40hrs. a week ( boat trailers ) I did for about 18 months.
      Yes, it will make you feel sick, but I'm still alive & kickin' !
      Nasty but not Deadly.



      • #4
        Go on and do a search on metal fume fever.
        Looks like a fairly common cause of death to me.


        • #5
          hot dipped galvanized....yuck

          All I have found out about Zinc is that it is no more deadly to you than the sticks that you are welding with,


          • #6
            Here is the short form from OSHA

            Welding Health Hazards

            Construction Safety and Health
            Outreach Program U.S. Department of Labor
            OSHA Office of Training and Education
            May 1996

            I. CHEMICAL AGENTS


            Zinc is used in large quantities in the manufacture of brass, galvanized metals, and various other alloys. Inhalation of zinc oxide fumes can occur when welding or cutting on zinc-coated metals. Exposure to these fumes is known to cause metal fume fever. Symptoms of metal fume fever are very similar to those of common influenza. They include fever (rarely exceeding 102o F), chills, nausea, dryness of the throat, cough, fatigue, and general weakness and aching of the head and body. The victim may sweat profusely for a few hours, after which the body temperature begins to return to normal. The symptoms of metal fume fever have rarely, if ever, lasted beyond 24 hours. The subject can then appear to be more susceptible to the onset of this condition on Mondays or on weekdays following a holiday than they are on other days.



            This is made with the assumption that you are dealing with pure ZINC... which is often not the case.. as it is not uncommon for there to be some CADMIUM or other toxic metals in the galvanizing alloy.... and that is a totally different matter....

            Here is a link to a FATAL case study...


            Kind of an extreme example... but life is full of those.. draw your own conclusions....
            Last edited by H80N; 08-21-2012, 06:50 AM.


            • #7
              Quoted above--"The symptoms of metal fume fever have rarely, if ever, lasted beyond 24 hours. The subject can then appear to be more susceptible to the onset of this condition on Mondays or on weekdays following a holiday than they are on other days."

              That's funny! Personally, I would grind it off as you don't want any of the soot, porosity, scale or anything else in your weld. If you have a bitter taste in your mouth while welding zinc then your already exposed. It's kinda like a lot of other things out there, some people smoke cigarettes for 50 yrs with no health issues, while others smoke for 10 yrs and get lung cancer. I've had fume fever several times and I know for a fact that I don't want it anymore. Most people will not use PPE or take the extra precautions themselves because don't want to invest money or time in getting the correct stuff and that's the same reason employers would rather not protect you, because that would cost money or time. OSHA is supposed to be about safety but nowadays, saving companies money seems to be the gaining priority.


              • #8
                Another one that most people don't know is when you use brakeleen or some other solvent/ chlorinated hydrocarbons to clean your parts, the combination of those cleaners and welding create phospgene that reacts with moisture in your lungs that turns into hydrogen chloride. Hydrogen Chloride destroys lung tissue. Bad stuff.


                • #9


                  • #10
                    i burn wire through it. if i have to use lo/hy i will weave it pretty hard and run hotter than usual


                    • #11

                      Ya, thats what my google search found. I was dumbfounded when I read it.


                      • #12
                        Ok, according to that, welding galvanized steel won't kill you. It will just make you so sick that you will think that you are dying. Well, that's how I felt when I got into it, and it lasted 3 days for me. The only way I will touch galvanize again is if I'm wearing the proper filtered mask and there is a slight breeze to take the smoke away from me. Even after grinding it off there always seems to be some left behind in/on the steel to smoke and pop at you.



                        • #13
                          if you have to weld it drink coffee or tea to wash it out. my dad taught me that one and it works for me


                          • #14
                            In the late seventies they just told us to drink alot of milk before you welded it.It is supose to keep you from getting sick.


                            • #15
                              I can tell u this for sure.. anytime u burn through galvanized it definetly affects the welds integrity. It may not matter a whole lot on sheet metal when your welding the corners but when your welding structural steel with 7018 and you dont get all the galv off the weld area and an inch past it your weld will fail xray and possibly a bend test too


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