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Fundamentals & Guidelines






Hot Dip Galvanizing

Hunter Galvanizing

The prevention of corrosion is a costly issue faced by councils, government

departments, manufacturers and industrial facilities. It attacks steel items around
our homes, sporting venues, shopping centres, roadways, marinas and farms.

Hunter Galvanizing is proudly Australian owned and operates two galvanizing

plants in Tomago, NSW. Commissioned in 2002 to meet the needs of
fabrication, structural and mining industries in the Newcastle and the
surrounding region, our company has grown to incorporate handling facilities in
Sydney and a transport fleet, servicing clients throughout the eastern states.

The hot dip galvanized process has been instrumental in providing protection
for steel items since 1837. Time proven and well documented, this process offers
many benefits unable to be provided by other coating systems:
layered barrier protection system

high resistance to abrasion

industrial strength durability

predictable service life

ease of inspection

high performance in
most environments

low initial cost & upkeep

zinc to steel metallurgical bond
total surface coverage
cathodic coating properties

coating thickness relative to

steel thickness
coating life 35 times longer than
other zinc coatings


Governed by Standard AS/NZS 4680:2006 Hot Dip Galvanized (zinc) Coatings

on Fabricated Ferrous Articles minimum and average coating thickness
requirements are detailed and constantly achieved. As zinc coating thicknesses
correlate to the time to first maintenance; specifiers can designate hot dip
galvanized coatings with confidence assured of reliability and minimum service
life expectations.

Hunter Galvanizing is a member of the following industry groups:

Australian Steel Institute
Australasian Corrosion Association

Plant 2:

7m long x 3m deep x 1.8m wide

We provide durable, industrial strength zinc coatings for a wide range of

industries including:
heavy engineering and
material handling
mining equipment and infrastructure
water treatment and sewerage
structural buildings and projects

highway and road hardware

agricultural and irrigation equipment
domestic construction
rural and domestic fencing
transportation, sport and recreation

food refrigeration and production

Upon request Hunter Galvanizing offers*:
Quality Assurance Certificates
Coating Thickness Reports

American Galvanizing Association

Project Warranties

UK Galvanizers Association

We pride ourselves on our commitment to quality, customer service, our

employees and the environment.

International Zinc Association

Hunter Galvanizing Hot Dip Galvanizing Guidelines for Design & Fabrication 4th Edition, August 2014.
Information contained in this publication has been gathered from a range of industry sources, including the UK and American Galvanizers Association, and has been compiled by Judy Russell of
Hunter Galvanizing. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure information contained in this booklet is correct, the guidelines are intended to offer general advice to designers and fabricators.
For specific information relating to individual items or design, contact should be made with Hunter Galvanizing staff. Hunter Galvanizing acknowledges graphics & layout by THINK Graphic
Communication. Photographs supplied by Kyle Hesketh, Judy Russell and other industry bodies. Hunter Galvanizing stipulates that this publication may not be reproduced or any part there of
duplicated in any manner.

Hunter Galvanizing




Hunter Galvanizing plant facilities are operational 24 hours, 7 days a week

catering for a diverse range of fabricated steel items in processing baths of the
following sizes:
Plant 1: 10m long x 2.4m deep x 1.5m wide

*charges & conditions apply

Hunter Galvanizing

Differentiating Zinc Coatings
Relevant Standards for Zinc Coatings on Steel
Different Zinc Coatings
Zinc Metallizing, Zinc Rich Paint, Continuous In-Line,
Electroplating, Sheridizing, Mechanical Plating






Understanding Corrosion
How Zinc Protects
Cathodic Protection, Galvanic Series of Metals, Galvanic
Corrosion, Other Materials and Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings


Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings

How the Coating Forms
Coating Thickness


Suitable Steel for Hot Dip Galvanizing

Steel Type & Embrittlement
Strain Age Embrittlement, Hydrogen Embrittlement,
Liquid Embrittlement
Effects of Steel Chemistry
Silicon and Phosphorus, Delamination, Differing Cooling Rates


Suitable Surface Conditions

Large Items & Thick Steel
Rusted Items
Steel Coatings & Contaminants
Adhesive Residue, Cutting Oil, Marking Pens, Masking,
Penetrant Dye, Painted Sections, Pre-Existing Zinc Coatings,
Thermal Cut Edges


Identification of Items


Welding Items for Hot Dip Galvanizing
Weld Quality, Welding Media, Welding Slag & Spatter, Welding
Painted Sections
Welding Galvanized Steel


Hunter Galvanizing



Double (End) Dipping
Plate, Sheet and Coil sections
Channel Sections
Hollow Sections


Requirement for Holes

Holes for Hanging
Wire, Chain or Other Touch Marks
Holes to Prevent Entrapment
Air Locks, Zinc Pooling, Ash Formation
Holes for Venting Overlapping Surfaces
Holes for Venting and Draining Hollow Sections
External Holes, Internal Holes
Holes for Venting Tanks & Hollow Vessels


Inspection and Dressing Items

Bare Spots, Acid Leeching, Smoothness, Oxide Lines,
Touch Marks & Wire Marks, Colour & Lustre, Dross Pimples,
Spangle, Chromate Colouring


Passivation and Storage

Packaging & Storage
Light White Oxidisation, Wet Storage Stain


Environmental Performance
Coating Life
Warm Dry Atmosphere, Rural Areas, Industrial Areas,
Coastal Areas
Time to First Maintenance


Duplex Coatings
Preparation & Pre-Treatment of Galvanized Steel
Abrasive Blasting, Powder Coating, Wet Brush/Spray Coating


Moving & Threaded Parts






Hunter Galvanizing


Differentiating Zinc Coatings

Different Zinc Coatings

Relevant Standards for Zinc Coatings on Steel

Some steel products are zinc coated by means of various processes carried out
in-house by the manufacturer. Pre 2000, AS1650-1989 Hot dipped galvanized
coatings on ferrous articles covered all zinc coatings regardless of product type
or application method.


AS/NZS 4680 Hot Dip Galvanized (zinc) coatings on fabricated

ferrous articles
The scope of this standard covers structural steel, steel reinforcements, steel sheet
fabrications, assembled steel products, tubular fabrications, fabricated wire work,
steel forgings, steel stampings, ferrous castings, nails and other small components. The
standard applies to both centrifuged and non-centrifuged articles. The standard does not
apply to products such as wire and welded wire fabric, sheet, or open sections and tube
hot dip galvanized in continuous, semi-continuous or specialized plants. Definition of Hot
Dip Galvanizing a process comprising of pre-treatment, and molten zinc baths in which
steel products are dipped so as to form adherent zinc and zinc-iron alloy coatings.

Hot Dip Galvanizing


Continuous In-Line


Standards for other Zinc Coating Processes:

Steel sheet and strip Hot dipped zinc coated or
aluminium/zinc coated
AS/NZS 4534 Zinc and zinc/aluminium alloy coatings on steel wire
AS/NZS 4791 Hot dip galvanized (zinc) coatings on ferrous open sections,
applied by an in-line process
AS/NZS 4792 Hot dip galvanized (zinc) coatings on ferrous hollow sections,
applied by continuous or specialized process
Hunter Galvanizing | 1


Zinc-iron alloy coatings are formed when molten zinc reacts with elements of
the steels surface in the galvanizing bath at a nominal operating temperature
of 450C. Hunter Galvanizing provides hot dip galvanized coatings with zinciron alloy layers in most cases harder than the base metal upon which they are
applied. An average coating mass of 600g/m is achieved on fabricated items of
steel thickness 6mm (and greater) in accordance with AS/NZS 4680. Details of
this process form the basis of this manual.

As recognized by the Standards committee, it is advisable

that specifiers and fabricators have an understanding of the
advantages and limitations of the variety of zinc based coatings
available. Coatings defined as a barrier coating will protect the
base metal only as long as the coating remains intact. Coatings
with both barrier and cathodic properties will continue to
protect the metal even if damaged. As coating and service life
are determined by the zinc thickness, each coating type provides
a different level and period of corrosion protection. Furthermore,
some processes do not use heat to form a metallurgical bond
and subsequent zinc-iron alloy layers and as such, these do not
meet the defined criteria of a galvanized coating. A summary of
the different zinc coatings follows:


In 1999, Australia Standards and New Zealand Committee MT/9 recognized the
unique characteristics of hot dip galvanizing on fabricated items and how these
varied from those of other coating systems. A number of separate standards
were created to distinguish different coating processes and the attributes
of each:


Continuous Galvanizing / In-Line Galvanizing /

Zinc Metallizing / Zinc Metal Spraying /

Thermal Spraying
A barrier type coating where melted zinc powder is manually
or mechanically sprayed from a heated gun onto an abrasive
blasted surface. This process allows large items to be coated
which are unable to fit into galvanizing baths or cannot be
removed from site. Coatings of 250m (microns) can be
achieved, however the coating is not alloyed to the base steel
therefore not a galvanized coating. Zinc spraying has difficulty
in reaching recesses, cavities, and hollow spaces. Coatings may
be uneven and costly.

Zinc Rich Paint / Cold Galvanizing

Zinc dust in organic or inorganic binders is applied to an
abrasive blasted surface by brush or spray. Zinc rich coatings
are barrier coatings and do not form alloyed layers with the
base metal thus reference to galvanizing is incorrect. Suitable
zinc rich paint coatings provide a useful repair media for hot
dip galvanized coatings. As with zinc spraying it is difficult
to reach recesses, cavities, and hollow spaces however the
application provides an alternative if items are unable to be
removed from site or placed in a galvanizing bath due to
size limitations.

Galvanized Sheet / Galvanneal / Zincanneal

Sheet steel is cleaned, pickled and galvanized on a processing
line run at very high speeds. The automated process allows
accurate control of the coating process. Aluminium is included
in a shallow zinc bath to suppress the formation of the
zinc-iron alloys, resulting in a thin coating (25m microns)
that is mostly pure zinc. In-line products have thin coatings
and may require additional protection for outdoor exposure.
Galvanized strip is further processed into pipe and tube hollow
sections. If sheet or strip is to be painted, an additional process
is carried out called galvannealing / zincannealing. An in-line
heat treatment process is used to produce a fully alloyed
coating which will provide alloy layers on the steel surface to
help paint adhesion. Coating mass quoted on continuous/
in-line product refers to to the total of all surfaces. Galvanized
sheet with a coating mass of 300 grams/m has in effect 150
grams/m each side. In comparison coating mass quoted on a
hot dip galvanized item details the zinc thickness on each
side: eg 600 grams/m2.

Electroplating / Zinc Plating / Electrogalvanizing

Surfaces are cleaned then submerged in a zinc salt solution.
Rods or balls of pure zinc are charged with an electrical current
and a very thin coating of between 5m15m (microns)
is applied to the steel surfaces producing a very even and
metallic sheen. Electroplated components should be finished
with a layer of paint or other organic coating prior to outdoor
exposure in order to increase their service life.

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Mechanical Plating / Peen Plating

Steel components are cleaned with acid and packed in a drum

with zinc powder and sand. The drum is rotated and heated.
With continued rotation, iron and zinc galvanize and iron/zinc
alloys are formed on the steel surface. Sherardizing produces
relatively thin coatings between 15m50m (microns) with
dark grey surfaces.

Items mechanically plated receive a flash coating of copper

followed by the zinc coating. Coating thickness range available
is between 5m110m (microns).
The mechanical bond between zinc and steel in this process
is weaker than the metallurgical bond found in hot dip
galvanizing. Edge, corner and thread coating thicknesses are
usually lower due to minimal peening action at these locations.

Understanding Corrosion

Comparison of Zinc Coating Thickness

Corrosion is a natural electrochemical reaction involving

the movement of electrolytic cells. To fully appreciate the
benefits of hot dip galvanizing, an understanding of the
cause and effect of corrosion is required.


Zinc Metal

Comparison of Zinc Coating Mass

Zinc coating mass is measured in grams per square metre. Hot dip galvanized coatings
have an average 600 grams of zinc per m2. This is more than twice the zinc coating mass
found on in-line galvanized products such as sheet, wire and hollow sections.

Hot Dip




Zinc Metal

Comparison of Zinc Coating Thickness
Typical thickness of zinc coatings range from
10 microns to 150 microns. Protective life
is proportional to the zinc thickness and as
such hot dip galvanizing provides coating
protection second only to thermal spraying.


Hot Dip


10 mic





Sheridizing Rich


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Electrolytic cells are made up of an anodic and a cathodic

element and are found on the surface of all steels. For
corrosion to occur, the following four specific components
are required to be in contact with each other:




an anode:
an electronegative active metal on which corrosion
occurs (the electrode where galvanic reactions
generate electrons)

When the steel is exposed to moisture, the electrochemical

reaction occurs. As negative electrons flow from anode
to cathode, they are charged and converted to positive
ions which in turn react negatively with hydrogen in the
moisture. The anodic area depletes and forms a pit and
new anodes and cathodes are exposed from underneath.
The cycle continues and corrosion occurs.
The greatest benefit of hot dip galvanizing is realised with
an understanding of how a zinc coating provides anodic
(sacrificial) protection to the entire steel item. This is
discussed in How Zinc Protects.

a cathode:
an electropositive noble metal protected from corrosion
(the electrode that receives electrons)
conductive material:
the metallic connection for the anode and cathode (under
lying metal which transfers the electrical current)
an electrolyte:
a conducting solution which carries the current (aqueous
solutions, water, moisture, dampness or other liquids)
If unprotected, the electrolytic cells of iron particles and
other impurities in the surface of steel react with moisture
and allow the formation of rust. Steel is a combination of
impurities, oxygen and metal elements both anodic (active)
and cathodic (less active). The metal elements on the
surface of a piece of steel form interlocking areas of anodes
and cathodes connected by the underlying steel which is
the conductive material.

Electrolytic Cell

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Anodic and Cathodic Properties

How Zinc Protects

(Water or Humidity)

When an item is hot dip galvanized, it forms a barrier

between the steel surface and moisture; without moisture
contacting the steel, corrosion cannot occur. This barrier
provides a metallurgical protective system. Bonded to
the base metal with impenetrable adhesion, it has high
abrasion qualities and shields the steel from the effects of
its environment.




Anodic and Cathodic Cells

Anodic and cathodic cells are present on the surface of
the steel. When the steel is exposed to water (electrolyte),
electrons flow through the water from the anode cells to
the cathode cells. The electrons are then transferred via the
underlying steel (conductive metal) back to the anode. The
anodes subsequently dissolve and rust forms.



(Water or Humidity)


Base Steel




Zinc Coating



Galvanic Protection




Hot Dip Galvanizing is a BARRIER coating

Hot dip galvanized coatings provide a barrier, preventing
moisture from attacking the steel surface.
ADDED BONUS Most steel is cathodic when
compared to zinc.
As zinc is one of the most ACTIVE (electronegative) metals,
all cells on the surface of the steel under the galvanized
coating become cathodic.



Unique to a hot dip galvanized coating is the combination

of barrier protection and cathodic protection properties.


Zinc Coating


Hunter Galvanizing | 5


(Water or Humidity)


Cathodic Protection
As discussed in Understanding Corrosion, the variance in
the electrical potential between zinc and steel in the alloy
layers of a galvanized coating will create an electrolytic
cell. When zinc is used to protect an item, it provides
anodic (sacrificial) properties for the base steel. In the
event a zinc coating is damaged and the base steel is
exposed to moisture, an electrochemical reaction will
occur causing the zinc anode to oxidize in preference
to the cathodic bare steel. For this reason, galvanized
coatings are referred to as sacrificial coatings or coatings
with sacrificial properties. Metals which provide sacrificial
properties to others are detailed in The Galvanic Series of
Metals on the following page.

Cathodic protection is evident in day to day fabrication and

building where:
continuous in-line galvanized purlins, roofing sheets and
fasteners have bare metal exposed at cut ends and where
holes are punched
in-line galvanized wire or mesh is cut to length
zinc plated nuts have uncoated internal threads.
In the above instances, the existing coating protects the
uncoated areas and will continue to do so whilst sufficient
zinc is present.
The cathodic reaction can also be experienced when a
hot dip galvanized item is in contact with an uncoated
piece of steel, steel filings or drill shavings. The zinc on the
galvanized item will commence to oxidize or sacrifice itself
where it is in contact with the uncoated steel.
Left in contact for an extended period, the benefits of
the zincs cathodic properties are unnecessarily depleted;
wasted on an object not associated with the galvanized
piece of steel.

Hot Dip Galvanizing also offers

Should the galvanized coating be damaged and an area of
bare metal is exposed, the anodes will detract the moisture
from attacking the cathodes. Cathodic protection occurs
as the anodes sacrifice themselves. As long as anodic
material exists (zinc) rust will be prevented from forming.

The cathodic properties of a hot dip galvanized coating will protect small areas of bare metal.

Hunter Galvanizing | 6

Galvanic Series of Metals

As discussed in Cathodic Protection, the galvanized zinc
coating provides sacrificial properties to the surface of
the steel. Metals which provide protection to cathodic
elements are detailed in The Galvanic Series of Metals.

At the top of the list are metals such as magnesium,

zinc and aluminium. Metals located here are the most
susceptible to corrosion and can be used as a sacrificial
element to protect other metals lower on the table. They
are referred to as being anodic or less noble. In turn
they will sacrifice their properties to protect lower listed
metals. Whilst magnesium, aluminium and cadmium are
also listed above steel, zinc is cost efficient and is widely
used for this purpose.


This table details metals in decreasing order of electrical

activity as found when submerged in seawater. It is
used as a guide to determine which metal will have a
greater tendency to lose electrons or experience galvanic
corrosion when electrically connected to another.

Galvanic Series of Metals

Metals listed at the lower end of the table are cathodic

metals. These are least susceptible to corrosive attack
and are referred to as being more noble and have less
electron activity.

Further examples of the anodic and cathodic effect are

found where other metallic objects are in contact with a
zinc coated item. This is discussed in Galvanic Corrosion.

Hunter Galvanizing | 7

Cast Iron


Stainless steel, type 410 (active)

Lead-tin solder, 50/50
Stainless steel, type 304 (active)
Stainless steel, type 316 (active)


Aluminium bronzes

Copper-nickel alloys


Stainless steel, type 304 (passive)

Stainless steel, type 316 (passive)

Any element listed above mild steel in the Galvanic Series
of Metals is anodic and will sacrifice itself to protect the
cathodic steel.

Hot dip galvanized items in contact with each other rarely

form issues. However, accelerated anodic reaction may
occur between two or more hot dip galvanized items in
areas which experience continual extreme high levels
of humidity.


Mild steel



The ability to provide cathodic benefits is one of the key

advantages of a hot dip galvanized coating. In contrast,
paint and other non-galvanized coating systems depend
on their ability to provide a seal over the steel surface.
Paint systems also require anti-corrosive inhibitors to
be added. Should the coating fail or become damaged,
barrier coatings offer little if any protection to the
exposed steel and corrosion will quickly commence and


Galvanic Corrosion
Galvanic corrosion occurs when an anodic element is in
contact with a cathodic metal whilst subject to moisture.
Zinc, (anodic) a more active metal than most, will rapidly
lose electrons and sacrifice its properties to corrode in
preference to the lesser (cathodic or more noble) metal.
Contact of zinc coated items with aluminium, cadmium
and stainless steel is generally fine in moderate
environments. However, in contact with metals such
as copper, the loss of properties of the zinc will be
extremely high.
An example of galvanic or electrolytic corrosion is where
dissolved particles of copper or brass in run off water from
pipes is in contact with a galvanized item. The cathodic
properties of the zinc will be activated; it will corrode in
preference to the copper; in turn wasting its energy and
depleting its ability to protect the actual steel item it is
coating. Other cathodic metals that have a detrimental
effect when in contact with zinc in a moist environment
or in liquid, include cast irons, chromium, bronze, nickel
and hard solders.
As discussed in Differentiating Zinc Coatings, other
coatings offer various levels of corrosion protection and
service life. When two or more different zinc coatings are
in contact, they will act independently. When moisture is
present on both, the thinnest zinc coating type will be the
first to oxidize and corrode. This is often evident where
zinc plated fasteners are attached to hot dip galvanized
structural steel and exposed to rain and moisture; the
electroplated items will corrode rapidly in comparison.


Sacrificial properties of zinc is demonstrated where bare metal is

exposed at cut edges.

Other Materials and Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings

Galvanized coatings perform well when exposed to
sewerage, soaps, detergents, diesel, fuel, glycerine,
mineral lubricants, refrigerants and dried timber products.
When moist, concrete and mortar may initially etch the
surface of a hot dip galvanized coating, however this
should not pose an issue to the corrosion protection
properties of the zinc.
The following materials are detrimental to zinc and hot dip
galvanized items should not be placed in contact with:
strong acid solutions

freshly treated timber

insecticides in solution

unseasoned timber

organic lubricants

Hunter Galvanizing | 8

Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings

Three alloying layers Gamma, Delta and Zeta form on the

surface of the steel. Harder than the base metal which
is typically 150 DPN (Diamond Pyramid Number), these
layers provide the durability and high resistance to abrasion
for which hot dip galvanizing is recognized. Iron content
through the layers ranges from 6%25% producing
hardness levels between 179 DPN244 DPN.

How the Coating Forms

The process of hot dip galvanizing starts in the cleaning and preparation of the
steel. Items are suspended on hanging frames and placed in a series of pretreatment chemical baths to remove rust, contaminants and light pre-existing
coatings. Once clean, the items are moved into a bath of molten zinc with a
nominal operating temperature of 450C.

Eta, a fourth relatively soft, pure zinc layer forms on top.

Should this outer layer sustain impact or damage, the
harder inner layers continue to offer abrasion resistance
together with cathodic protection if bare metal is exposed.
In addition to the physical barrier provided by these four
layers, a fifth layer called the patina forms over a period of
time after the item is despatched.


The coating is achieved when zinc reacts with iron contained in the steels
surface. A unique, layered protective system is formed as the zinc galvanizes
with the base metal; covering corners, sealing edges and penetrating all internal
and external recesses. Unlike paint based systems, the coating metallurgically
bonds with the entire surface area of the item and does not shrink from the
edges of the steel sections.
The Hot Dip Galvanizing Process.









Micrograph of a Hot Dip Galvanized Coating


The patina is a series of films on the zinc surface initially

consisting of zinc oxide and zinc hydroxide. A final
transition occurs as the oxides react to carbon dioxide in
the air forming a dull grey zinc carbonate coating.
It is the formation of the zinc carbonate film which changes
the lustre of previous bright coatings to a matt weathered
appearance. Subject to the conditions of the immediate
environment the item is located, this transition may occur
quickly or over a period of months. The formation of the
patina (weathering) completes the protective armour of the
hot dip galvanized coating and is a critical key to long term
corrosion protection.

Alloying Layers of a Hot Dip Galvanized Coating

Eta Layer: Pure outer zinc coating, 70 DPN hardness

Zeta Layer: Zinc-iron alloy containing 94%zinc & 6%iron, 179 DPN hardness

Delta Layer: Zinc-iron alloy containing 90%zinc & 10%iron, 244 DPN hardness

Gamma Layer: Zinc-iron alloy containing 75%zinc & 25%iron, 250 DPN hardness

Base Steel: Typically 159 DPN hardness


Hunter Galvanizing | 9




Hot dip galvanized coatings are often thicker

around the edges of steel items.

A hot dip galvanizing coating consists of 3 zinc-iron layers, plus 1 layer of pure zinc. A protective
patina forms over time as the coating is exposed to the natural weather conditions.

Hunter Galvanizing | 10

Bright lustre on newly galvanized items will weather and gradually become dull over time as the protective zinc oxides form the patina.

Coating Thickness
The thickness of the coating is determined by the reactivity
of the steels metallurgy with the zinc and the thickness of
the steel it is covering.
It is for this reason that minimum coating thicknesses are
stipulated in the Galvanizing Standard AS/NZS 4680 and
are generally easy to achieve. Maximum thickness however
cannot be dictated. High reactivity between zinc and the
steels composition will generate thicker coatings as will
the effect of abrasive blasting prior to galvanizing. This is
advantageous as the coating thickness will determine the
longevity of the coating and subsequent service life of the
steel item.
Further information relating to the composition of steel can
be found in Effects of Steel Chemistry.
AS/NZS 4680:2006 is specific to the hot dip galvanizing
process. It states The galvanized coating shall be continuous,
adherent, as smooth and evenly distributed as possible, and
free from any defect that is detrimental to the stated end use
of the coated article. On silicon killed steels, the coating may
be dull grey, which is acceptable provided the coating is sound
and continuous. The integrity of the coating shall be determined
by visual inspection and coating thickness measurements. With
reference to adhesion the galvanized coating shall be sufficiently
adherent to withstand normal handling during transport

The appearance of hot dip galvanized coatings should, and

can not, be compared with that of the continuous in-line
galvanizing system which allows a high degree of control
over the zinc coating and provides comparatively low zinc
content (with subsequent reduced corrosion
protection properties).
Similarly, the smoothness of hot dip galvanized coatings
cannot be judged by the same standards as those with a
high degree of automation and control. Thicker coatings
offer longer protection to the base metal. Uneven coatings
are outside of our control and are acceptable under the



A different coating standard and coating thickness applies to mass produced in-line continuous galvanized products.

Hunter Galvanizing achieves the

minimum coating thicknesses
as specified in the governing
standards AS/NZS 4680:2006
Hot Dip Galvanized (zinc) Coatings
on Fabricated Ferrous Articles as
detailed in the following tables.



Small items may be spun at high

speeds in a centrifuge, which rotates
the items very quickly to remove
excess zinc.

AS4680:2006 Coating Thickness Requirements Items Not Centrifuged

Article Thickness

Average Coating Thickness (Min)

Local Minimum

Up to & including 1.5mm

45m (microns) or 320 grams per m

35m (microns)

Above 1.5mm-3mm

55m (microns) or 390 grams per m

45m (microns)

Above 3mm-6mm

70m (microns) or 500 grams per m

55m (microns)

Greater than 6mm

85m (microns) or 600 grams per m

70m (microns)

AS4680:2006 Coating Thickness Requirements Centrifuged Items

Some confusion exists regarding the industry term double

dipping. This term has no bearing on coating thickness.
Double dipping refers to the dipping of one end of an
item, then the other to permit items with dimensions larger
than those of the galvanizing baths to be coated. Further
information regarding double dipping can be found in the
chapter, Distortion.

Article Thickness

Average Coating Thickness (Min)

Local Minimum

Under 8mm

35m (microns) or 250 grams per m

25m (microns)

8mm and above

55m (microns) or 390 grams per m

40m (microns)

and erection.

Coating thickness will vary subject to steel thickness.

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Hunter Galvanizing | 12

Suitable Steels for Hot Dip Galvanizing

Steel Type & Embrittlement
Liquid Embrittlement
Embrittlement in this form may occur on high carbon
and stainless steel where zinc atoms are absorbed by the
susceptible metal. In critical applications, stainless steel
items should not be hot dip galvanized. When galvanizing
non-critical stainless steel items, additional pre-treatment
may be required to enable the zinc coating to form.

Hot dip galvanized coatings are able to be achieved on most ferrous materials
and general steel grades without difficulty. However, as hot dip galvanizing is a
form of heat treatment and items are soaked in acid, some susceptible grades of
steel maybe prone to embrittlement which is outside of our control.
Strain Age Embrittlement
Strain age embrittlement is caused in certain low quality steels when areas
stressed by cold working are exposed to elevated temperatures (including hole
punching and tight radius bending in thicker steel sections). Steels generally
have many impurities which gather in high stress areas and in certain steels
cracking may occur prior to galvanizing. It is recommended where possible that
items are worked after galvanizing; any flaking or cracking will be limited to the
zinc coating which can be repaired using zinc rich paint.
Hydrogen Embrittlement
Generally occurring in steels with a tensile strength equal to or higher than
1000 MPa and harder than 340 DPN, hydrogen embrittlement rarely affects
structural steels. This form of embrittlement is likely to be observed when an
item is in service and under load. Hydrogen is absorbed during the acid
pre-treatment process and then discharged quickly during galvanizing.
Specialised steels such as Bisalloy and other susceptible steels should be
abrasive blasted immediately prior to galvanizing to eliminate the requirement
for soaking in pre-treatment chemicals.





Other Issues
Other issues related to steel type are generally limited to
old iron work items or castings which are often porous.
Castings may have sand embedded which cannot be
removed by pre-treatment processing. Items should be
abrasive blasted prior to delivery.
Of additional note, soft solder and aluminium rivets
must not be used in any fabrication as they will not
withstand galvanizing temperatures. Brazed itemsshould
be discussed with Hunter Galvanizing staff to confirm

Effects of Steel Chemistry

Hunter Galvanizing provides industrial zinc coatings formed
by metallurgical reaction between steel and molten zinc.
The smoothness, thickness and colour of hot dip galvanized
coatings are not factors which can be controlled as the
steel thickness combined with the steel chemistry will
determine the aesthetics of the coating. Thicker steel will
attract thicker zinc coatings which by nature will be darker
in colour. Items also may display a bright sheen through to
a dull or matt grey finish. It is impossible for galvanizers to
conform to a specific shade of silver or grey or to control
the lustre of a coating.
The metallurgical structure of the steel may encourage a
variety of effects to appear in the coating. Localized areas
can display a lacework or snakeskin pattern, dull grey
patches or large bright spangles. These effects may appear
in one area or across the entire surface of a piece of steel.
Extreme levels of silicon and phosphorous have dramatic
effects relating to colour, lustre and smoothness of a hot
dip galvanized coating.

Stainless steel components may require additional processing to achieve successful coatings.

Hunter Galvanizing | 13

Sand trapped in castings will cause coating issues.

Variances in steel chemistry in different sections within one fabrication

are clearly visible after galvanizing.

Hunter Galvanizing | 14

Extreme reactivity between steel chemistry and zinc will result in coatings which may not be smooth.


Some manufacturing processes of steel processing can also alter the formation
of the free zinc layer creating a number of effects on hollow sections. Fish bone
effect can occur on large diameter pipes where the difference in the surface
chemistry will cause varying reaction rates between the steel and zinc.


Patches of dull grey can present in a striped or spiralled sequence along

lengths of pipe, RHS and SHS, where zinc has reacted to stresses in the surface
chemistry produced during manufacture of these sections.
As discussed in Welding, zinc is attracted to welding media high in silicon. Weld
material used in the production of pipe and tube sections is highly reactive with
zinc and welding seams will be highlighted by heavier coatings.
All of the above phenomenon have no effect on the corrosion protection
properties of the hot dip galvanized coating or on the integrity of the steel
section. Items displaying any of these effects are not cause for rejection.
Hunter Galvanizing accepts steel items for hot dip galvanizing based on their
design and fabrication. Galvanizers can not be aware of the potential for high
reactivity of the steel with molten zinc, unless specific material specifications
have been supplied and discussed prior to hot dip galvanizing.

Hunter Galvanizing | 15



Rough coating appearance

reflects the metallurgical
substrate of the pipe section.
This differs from the attached
piece of RHS.

Thicker coating along the seam is a result of

high reactivity between the zinc and silicon in
the weld material. Note the differing colours
and coating thickness of other items.

Reaction between zinc and surface stresses

have formed dull grey areas on the above
SHS sections.

Variances in steel chemistry within the same

fabrication or piece of steel is common.

Fish bone effect on large diameter pipe is a result of

manufacturing stresses and not an acceptable cause
for rejection.

Hunter Galvanizing | 16

For general fabricators it is not possible to determine

steel chemistry accurately prior to processing. Steel
analysis certificates can detail only batch testing levels. As
silicon and phosphorus are not always distributed evenly
throughout the steelmaking process, samples of the total
heat may not be representative of each individual piece of
steel. Where aesthetics is critical, trial samples of product
can be galvanized; however, again they may not provide a
true indication of chemistry across a product batch. Items
displaying chemistry related issues are acceptable under the
galvanizing standard and are not means for rejection.
Two chemical components in steel have the ability to affect
coating thickness and appearance.
Very high or very low levels of silicon will generate high
reactivity with the zinc and in turn stimulate rapid growth
of the zinciron layers. Silicon in the ranges between
0.04%0.14% (low extreme) and silicon above 0.22%
(high extreme) will have varying degree of effects.
Zinc-iron layers will grow less in steels containing
between 0.15%0.22% silicon and in general will
display lighter coloured coatings (subject to steel
When phosphorous is present in steel in levels above
0.05%, reactivity is also increased and will result in thicker,
matt coatings. Recommended level of phosphorus
should be below 0.05%.
If steel has a combination of extreme levels of silicon
(either very high or very low) and high levels of
phosphorous, the coating produced will be excessively
thick and the outer layers may be brittle and easily
chipped during handling and transportation.
The following formula can be used as a guide when
determining the steels chemistry as to its suitability for
hot dip galvanizing:
Suitable Steel = %Silicon + (2.5 x %Phosphorous) < 0.09%

Hunter Galvanizing | 17

Extremely reactive steel can cause a void to form between
the top two layers of the galvanized coating causing the
outer layer to peel. This is referred to as delamination.
Sufficient zinc generally remains in the underlying (hard
alloy) layers which continue to be metallurgically bonded
to the base steel offering the protective qualities of a
sound hot dip galvanized coating. This effect is often
outside of our control and not a suitable means
of rejection.
Delamination occurring after galvanized items have been
abrasive blasted in readiness for painting, is not the
responsibility of the galvanizer. Procedures for the correct
blasting of hot dip galvanized coatings are detailed in
Duplex Coatings


As silicon and phosphorus are not always distributed evenly throughout

the steel, some areas within the same piece of steel can have higher/
lower silicon and/or phosphorus levels; creating coatings that grow
differently than the surrounding areas.

Differing Cooling Rates

Some cut edges of sections within a fabricated item may
cool much quicker than others and result in shiny effects
surrounding dull grey areas. This different rate of cooling
allows free zinc to form on top of the existing alloy layers
causing the zinc patterns, whilst other areas not affected
by the free zinc produce a dull grey colouring. This effect
is not deemed to be an issue, as the shiny areas will also
change to the dull grey colour as the coating weathers
and the coating patina forms.


Items with coating effects described are no less suitable in

service than those with a bright finish or a spangle effect
typically displayed on very thin steels. A dull grey coating
is likely to indicate a thicker coating of zinc; and as service
life is proportional to coating thickness, these coatings will
perform longer, extending the life of the underlying steel.
Further information relating to dull grey colouring and
weathering is detailed in Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings.
Control of colour, lustre and texture remains outside of
the control of Hunter Galvanizing.



Example of high reactivity steels: analysis displayed 0.19% silicon

(acceptable range), 0.021% phosphorus (extreme). In combination
0.19+(2.5*0.021) = 0.24% well above the recommended level for
hot dip galvanizing.

Differing cooling rates may produce dull grey areas around edges of
small plates and holes. This is in stark contrast to the remaining bright
shiny coating.

Delaminated coatings are caused by continued alloy growth in highly reactive steel and is outside the control of the galvanizer.

Hunter Galvanizing | 18

Suitable Surface Conditions

Large Items or Thick Steels

Steel Coatings

Very thick coatings may form on items which are large and consist of heavy
steel sections. Longer immersion and handling times required to process these
sections may result in the metallurgical properties of the steel having high
reactivity with the zinc whilst in the galvanizing bath. Further information
relating to zinc reactivity is available in Effects of Steel Chemistry.

The bond between the steel and zinc is unable to be achieved if any form of
substance remains on the steel surface after chemical treatment. Resistant
substances which can prevent the coating from forming include (however are
not limited to) pre-existing zinc coatings, paint, lacquer and adhesive residue
from identification labels and stickers.

Rusted Items

Adhesive Residue
Manufacturers steel identification stickers will deteriorate during pre-treatment
processing; however non visible adhesive residue may remain and prevent
successful formation of the zinc coating. Stickers should be removed and the
immediate area prepared by suitable means to remove the adhesive substance
prior to despatch.



Light mill scale and surface rust on items can be removed within our
pre-treatment process. Heavily rusted steel will require abrasive blasting prior to
delivery to remove the rust layers. If the steel surface is pitted after blasting, this
effect will be evident after the hot dip galvanized coating is applied.

Adhesive residue contaminates the steel surface.

Surface rust is easily removed in our process.

Pitted surfaces will be evident after galvanizing.

Hunter Galvanizing | 19



Hunter Galvanizing | 20

Cutting Oil
Some cutting lubricants can become baked onto the steel surface during
fabrication. Oil based fluids are not visible during pre-treatment processing and
may contaminate the surface preventing the coating from forming. Cutting oils
should be cleaned from the surface prior to delivery.

Penetrant Dye for Welds

Dyes utilised for weld checks can create issues if unable to be removed
by pre-treatment chemicals. Dyes should be removed from steel surfaces
with a suitable paint removing solution or by light sanding prior to despatch
for galvanizing.

Marking Pens
Paint pigmentation from marking pens may be resistant to chemical cleaning.
During pre-treatment processing paint layers are removed, however,
non-visible pigments may remain. The zinc coating will form around the residue
pigmentation and remnants of workshop markings may remain evident after
galvanizing. Oil based paint markings should be removed by suitable means
from steel surfaces prior to delivery for galvanizing.

Painted Sections
Most pipe and tube sections manufactured in Australia are painted with water
based coatings which generally can be removed within our process. Some local
manufacturers of pipe and tube products and most offshore producers coat
their product range with clear varnish or black bituminous paint. These coatings
are resistant to chemical removal within our galvanizing plant and are required
to be abrasive blasted prior to delivery. To avoid additional costs and extended
processing times, hollow sections should be stipulated that they be suitable for
hot dip galvanizing when ordering from your steel supplier.
All steel sections with powder coated, brush or spray paint coatings must be
abrasive blasted prior to despatch to Hunter Galvanizing.


Oil based paint markings should be ground from the steel surface prior to hot dip galvanizing.

In some applications, small mating or threaded areas may be required to be
uncoated. This can be achieved by applying a small amount of a suitable
adhesive or sealing product on the area creating a barrier to pre-treatment
acids and zinc. The following products will have varying success in preventing
zinc coatings from forming and some clean up of the surrounding surfaces will
be required by the fabricator after galvanizing.
Tapes high temperature tape / duct tape
Sealants silicone adhesive sealant / petroleum gel / household chalk
Paints Maskote / Stop Galv



Drilling lubricant can contaminate the steel

surface preventing successful coating.

Dyes utilised to check for weld penetration

can contaminate the steel surface and should
be removed prior to delivery.


Primer paint coatings can be removed from most domestically produced pipe and tube sections during our process.

Application of a high temperature tape or

sealants will prevent zinc from forming in
small areas.

Hunter Galvanizing | 21

Hunter Galvanizing | 22

Identification of Items

Pre Existing Zinc Coatings

Pre existing zinc coatings must be stripped from all items including in-line
produced lengths of hollow section, purlins, wire and mesh prior to hot dip
galvanizing. Additional charges are necessary for this procedure and lead times
may be increased. Some pipe and tube products have an external light coating
of zinc and a painted internal surface. These items will require internal abrasive
blasting prior to delivery to our facility in addition to acid stripping.

For permanent identification which will be visible after the hot dip galvanizing
process, item details can be stamped or welded onto the steel surface. Steel
identification tags can also be stamped or welded and wired to individual items.

Pre existing zinc coatings must be removed

prior to hot dip galvanizing.

Thermal Cut Edges

Flame, laser and plasma cutting will change the structure of the steel
composition in the immediate area of the heat source. These areas may present
thinner coating thicknesses and a lack of adhesion, reducing the ability of the
zinc alloy layers to bond with the base metal.
The high temperatures utilised to cut material depletes the alloying elements in
surface of the steel. As discussed in Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings the formation
of the coating structure relies on the alloying of iron and zinc in the galvanizing
bath. Should insufficient alloying elements be present, the minimum coating
thickness may not be able to be achieved; and cohesion of the galvanized
coating will also be limited. To eliminate such issues, grind the heat affected
surface and bevel the cut edge.
Hunter Galvanizing | 23


For non-permanent markings, chalk or non-permanent pens are suitable.

Water soluble paint markers can be used, however, if applied heavily paint
pigmentation can prove difficult to remove. Often not visible after acid cleaning,
residues can contaminate the surface and prevent zinc bonding to the steel
surface. All workshop markings should be kept to a minimum. Refer Marking




If using oil based paint markers, all paint must be removed from each item prior
to delivery, as the paint pigmentation may remain evident after galvanizing.
The immediate area should be ground to remove the paint residue which is not
visible after chemical treatment.
Hunter Galvanizing utilizes proprietary printed tags to assist with traceability.
Tags are produced and wired to individual items upon receipt. Withstanding
pre-treatment acids and galvanizing conditions, they remain on the item for
identification at the customers location.

Flame cut edges should be ground prior to

delivery for galvanizing.

Hunter Galvanizing produced tags

Stamped tags can be wired to items.

Welded identification.

Water based paint

markers for nonpermanent identification.

Hunter Galvanizing | 24

Welding Items for Hot Dip Galvanizing
Poor welding techniques affect the quality of a hot
dip galvanized coating. By understanding the hot dip
galvanizing process, most issues related to welding
can be avoided.

Welding Media
Zinc reacts differently when in contact with a number of elements; including
silicon deposits in welds. When items are galvanized with welding media
high in silicon, thick coatings form on the weld as the zinc growth is rapidly
accelerated. This is a metallurgical reaction between the silicon and zinc and
outside the control of the fabricator and the galvanizer. This has no detrimental
effect on the integrity of the weld.

Narrow gaps less than 2.5mm should be avoided between

plates, back to back angles or channels. Gaps of this
dimension will allow pre-treatment acids to escape and
molten zinc to penetrate the area.

Silicon in weld material will attract thick coatings of zinc.


Internal stresses developed during welding can result

in distortion during the galvanizing process. Items
should be designed so they can withstand weld stress
despite reduction and elasticity. Further information is
provided in Distortion.
General guidelines:
Face joints of lap welds downwards to avoid collection of
moisture and sediment
Where possible, use butt welds in preference to lap welds
Stagger welds to minimise heat related stresses.
Eliminate trapped processing liquids and air between
welds by allowing a 2.5mm gap between surfaces.
Where possible restrict the size of the welding seam and
apply in a symmetrical or even manner in a
fabricated item.
Weld Quality
During pre-treatment, chemicals can become trapped in
very small gaps or pin holes in the welds. The trapped
liquid may boil out of these areas and cause a miss in the
immediate area. Alternatively the chemicals can boil and
blow out onto further areas of the same item or onto
other items being processed. Any pre-treatment liquid at
this stage will contaminate the surface and prevent the
zinc from galvanizing in the affected areas.

Acid can leech from gaps and pin

holes in welds.

Acid trapped in pin holes in

welds will boil out and cause a
miss in the coating.


Pin holes can trap dried chemicals

which will leech when in contact
with moisture at a later date.



Blow out of acid trapped in welds.

Chemicals that do not escape may crystallize in the holes

or gaps. Later when exposed to moisture they can leech or
weep, creating a yellow brown stain on the surface of
the coating. Care should be taken to ensure pin holing does
not occur.

Welding Slag and Spatter

The residue from flux or slag is inert, unable to be removed by pre-treatment
chemicals. If present when galvanized, it will leave uncoated areas on the
welded joints. The use of uncoated electrodes or electrodes which create self
detaching slag is recommended when fabricating items for hot dip galvanizing.

Residue from welding electrodes will prevent

zinc bonding with the weld surface if not
removed prior to hot dip galvanizing. Affected
joints in service can be cleaned and coated with
a suitable zinc enriched paint.

To ensure maximum zinc coverage; flux, slag, residues from welding ferrels or
stud insulators should be ground, brushed, scraped or abrasive blasted from the
welded areas as they prevent the zinc from bonding to the weld surface.
Weld spatter should also be removed prior to delivery as it remains visible after
processing and may later become dislodged leaving uncoated areas.

Weld spatter can dislodge after galvanizing and

result in localized oxidisation

Weld spatter should be removed prior to delivery.

Hunter Galvanizing | 25

Hunter Galvanizing | 26

Welding Painted Sections

When items are welded to painted or lacquered hollow
sections, pigmentation can become baked onto the steels
surface. Residues will remain ingrained and prevent zinc
from bonding to the base steel. We recommend that the
area around the heat affected zone of the weld be ground
to remove all residues prior to delivery.
Welding Galvanized Steel

The percentage of items which are affected by distortion
issues is relatively low given the volume of items which are
hot dip galvanized. An items dimensional stability can be
compromised by a number of factors. By understanding the
causes of distortion and adopting simple design principles,
the effects can be minimised.

Paint pigmentation remains in the heat affected zone.

Satisfactory high quality welds can be made on hot dip

galvanized steel with tensile, bend and fatigue properties
identical to those of welds made on uncoated steel.
However, welding speeds will be slower and there will
be increased spatter.
General Guidelines:
All welding and oxy cutting processes can readily be used
on galvanized steel with minimal variations required.
Zinc coatings should be ground 25mm100mm either
side of the intended weld zone and on the surface
and underside.
All welds made in galvanized articles should be protected
against rust as soon as welding is finished.
Care should be taken to ensure adequate ventilation
is provided to minimise the possibility of adverse
fume reaction.
Extraction equipment should be utilised when welding
galvanized steel in confined areas.

Hunter Galvanizing | 27


Inherent internal stress is present in every steel section.

Stresses may be a result of the steel mill rolling, handling
and transport methods or incurred during subsequent
manufacturing processes; cutting, welding, hole punching
or other cold working.




At galvanizing temperatures (approx 450C) steel sections

can experience a reduction of up to 50% in their yield
strength. Whilst normal strength is returned upon cooling;
this effect combined with release of internal stresses can
result in distortion in some items.
Distortion can also be the result of different thermal
expansion and contraction rates occurring when thin items
such as sheet, plate and mesh are used in conjunction
with items of thicker sections. Thin sections or weaker
areas within a fabrication may lose their shape as heat is
transferred through the item. Thermal and contraction rates
also differ during the process of double dipping, increasing
the propensity of some sections to lose their shape or
distort. Refer to Double (End or Side) Dipping.
Non symmetrical sections or fabrications with cleats or
plates welded to one side may bow. This potential is
prevalent in channels and large welded beams.

General Guidelines:
Where possible items should be designed so they are able
to be immersed into our galvanizing baths in one
single dip.
Hunter Galvanizing bath sizes are:
Plant 1 10m long x 2.4m deep x 1.5m wide
Plant 2 7m long x 3m deep x 1.8m wide
To allow even heat transfer, avoid using combinations of
thick and thin materials in the same fabrication.
Bend curved members to the largest possible radii.
Venting and draining holes should be as large as possible
to allow timely immersion and withdrawal from the
galvanizing bath.
Heat induced stress can be minimised by staggering
welds. Welding should be as symmetrical as possible and
use opposing weld shrinkage forces to balance each other.
Symmetrical sections such as SHS, RHS and pipe should be
used where possible and avoid designs where plates and
cleats are welded to one side.
Fabricated items which are stronger in one area may
suffer distortion in the weaker plane. Brace items that are
weaker over large areas. Bracing material should be the
same thickness as the item.
Where angles or channels are used to rim or frame a tank,
apertures must be provided in the corners.
Items with large areas of unsupported plate or sheet
may suffer from liquid drag when being withdrawn from
below the surface of the molten zinc. Coupled with
reduced yield strength some loss of shape can occur.
Please note as distortion is generally a result of poor design
and outside of our control, Hunter Galvanizing cannot be
held responsible for items not meeting the
recommended criteria.

Hunter Galvanizing | 28

Plate, Sheet and Coil Sections

The potential for distortion is increased when utilising large
areas of unsupported plate. Items should be designed to
incorporate the smallest area of unsupported plate possible,
as small sections of plate will hold their shape better than
large sheets.

Design should allow for handrails to be bolted

to large fabrications after hot dip galvanizing.

Items should be designed in sections suitable

for Hunter Galvanizing bath sizes.

Double (End or Side) Dipping

Subject to the overall size and degree of difficulty; items
with dimensions greater than our baths may be double
dipped. The term double dipping has no bearing on
coating thickness; it relates to dipping a large item into the
galvanizing bath one end or one side at a time. To achieve
a hot dip galvanized coating over the entire surface one
end is pre-treated and dipped in the molten zinc; the item
is withdrawn, and turned end to end. The second end or
side is then cleaned in pre-treatment chemicals
and dipped.

Large open bins or tanks should be braced.

Bracing material should be the same thickness
of the walls of the tank.

Hunter Galvanizing | 29




Large items can be double dipped.

The potential for distortion is increased as sections of

the fabrication remain cool whilst others are heated. As
one end is heated to galvanizing temperatures (450c) it
will expand, whilst the opposite end remains at ambient
temperature. The section may bow when the second end
is immersed in the molten zinc.
Additional lifting points may be required to facilitate
double dip handling. Distortion potential of items in this
category should be discussed with Hunter Galvanizing
staff prior to delivery.

Double dipping refers to dipping a large or long item one end

or side at a time.

General Guidelines
Subject to overall dimensions and weld stresses, thicker
plate sections hold less risk of distortion. Large areas of
plate 12mm thick and under have a high probability of
distorting if unsupported.
Floors for platforms and panels of perforated sheet
should be galvanized separately then bolted to
supporting structures.
Floors in box trailers will not remain flat and will display
some degree of buckling.
Plate 6mm and under will ripple when hot dip galvanized.
Plate sections should be limited to our bath sizes to
eliminate the requirement for double dipping.
Plate able to be suspended diagonally and submerged in
one dip will allow heat to transfer evenly throughout
the section.
Folded, ribbed or corrugated sheet sections are less prone
to distortion and generally hold their shape.
Long lengths of thin plate will require a number of holes
to allow the plate to be supported along one edge.
Equalize stresses by cutting all edges in the same manner.
Cold cutting methods such as guillotine will induce less
stress than heated methods.
Welding will increase the stress in plate items. A stitch
or staggered weld will induce less stress than a full
continuous weld; however this may lead to blow outs as
discussed in Welding.



All items incorporating large areas of plate should be

discussed with Hunter Galvanizing staff prior to fabrication.

Items fabricated using thin sheet are

at high risk of distortion.

Flat panels should be braced,

ribbed or dished with openings
provided in the corners.

Staggered welding will minimise stresses.

Small areas of thin plate are less likely to distort.

Large areas of unsupported thin sheet distort easily.

Hunter Galvanizing | 30


Welded Beams

Hollow Sections

As channels (Parallel Flange Channels and Tapered

Flange Channels) have a non symmetrical profile, heat is
transferred unevenly and the risk of distortion is increased.

Large fabricated beams or columns, including certain sizes

of the pre-welded product range pose some issues when
hot dip galvanized.

General Guidelines:
Subject to their length, channels have the tendency to
camber or sweep when galvanized. Where possible these
sections should not be double dipped without discussion
with Hunter Galvanizing staff.
Welding cleats on one side of a channel will encourage
the channel to camber along its length at galvanizing
Lintels fabricated from channel and flat bar present dual
issues. A combination of the cross section, coupled with
welding stresses may increase the opportunity of camber
or sweep. Staggered welding to minimise the additional
stress is recommended, however pre-treatment chemicals
may become trapped and result in blow outs or staining
during galvanizing as discussed in Welding.
All channel sections including those fabricated as lintels
or with cleats, should have holes placed near each end to
enable them to be suspended and dipped with their toes
up. Longer lengths may require additional lifting points;
please confirm with Hunter Galvanizing staff.

General Guidelines:
Sections where the web thickness is less than half that of
the flange thickness are prone to distortion as the thinner
web expands at a faster rate than the thicker flanges.
Subject to the depth of the of the web, the top flange
may cool more rapidly as it is withdrawn from the bath
increasing the stress over the rest of the section.
Twisting may result in large welded beams and columns
due to the combination of longitudinal, transverse and
sheer stresses within the section coupled with the loss
Flange Thickness
of yield strength (up to 50%) at
galvanizing temperatures.
Designers incorporating these
sections should select sizes with
the thickest possible web to assist
in minimising the twisting action.

Pipe and tube hollow sections (Circular Hollow Sections, Square Hollow
Sections, Rectangular Hollow Sections) hold stresses induced in their rolling and
manufacture. At galvanizing temperatures the relieving of these stresses coupled
with the loss of yield strength may result in camber or sweep forming in
longer lengths.


The provision of symmetrical

stiffening ribs may assist in the
control of the expansion and
Flange Width
contraction of the section.
Large welded beams or
Double dipping of welded beams columns with a flange to
and columns should be avoided at web ratio greater than 2:1
may not be suitable for hot
all times.
dip galvanizing.

Channels have a nonsymmetrical cross section.

Hunter Galvanizing | 31

Fabricated lintels pose dual

distortion issues.

Staggered welding is
recommended for fabricated
lintels however this may allow acid
to weep from gaps in the weld.

General Guidelines
Lengths of tubular sections should remain proportional to their diameter or
cross section and lifting lugs or holes should be provided at quarter points.
Venting and draining holes should be as large as possible to allow timely
immersion in the bath and adequate drainage of zinc to prevent the
loss of shape.
Bracing at the end of long pipes may be required to prevent zinc drag or loss of
shape when items are lifted from the galvanizing bath.




Diameter and cross section of hollow sections should remain

proportional to length.

Holes near each end are required

to help support channel sections.

Hunter Galvanizing | 32

Requirement for Holes

Holes for Hanging

The shape and dimensions of an item will determine how it
is suspended during the hot dip galvanizing process. Where
possible holes located in cleats, flanges or base plates will
be utilised to suspend general fabricated items. Should
holes not be available, they will be required to be added
to enable the item to be hung in the correct plane, allow
processing liquids to drain and to minimize distortion.

In order for items to progress through the series of pre-treatment and

galvanizing baths at our facility, they must be suspended in a suitable manner
to ensure all liquids are able to clean and galvanize all surfaces. If items are
small enough, they can be out sourced and centrifuged in perforated baskets
(spinning). This process is ideal for large numbers of nuts, bolts etc. Touch marks
are often an issue with centrifuged items where they make contact whilst
being processed.
In house, some products are processed in specialized dipping frames or racks
and allow large quantities of straight lengths to be galvanized at the same time.
Minimal areas of the surface of each section will be in contact with parts of the
dipping racks resulting in small touch marks which, subject to quantity and end
use of the items, may or may not be touched up with repair paint.
Large assemblies are supported by chain slings or lifting fixtures. To enable
safe handling, lifting points should be incorporated into the fabrications
design distributing the weight equally over 4 points. Lifting lugs and heavy
duty washers can be welded at the required points and then removed after
galvanizing. These are preferable to chain or wire marks remaining after
galvanizing. The coating can be repaired with appropriate zinc enriched paint if
aesthetics is an issue after removing unwanted lifting points.


Most general fabrications are suspended by wire on apparatus referred to as

headframes and hung vertically or on an angle to maximise drainage of pretreatment chemicals and molten zinc. Additional holes or lifting lugs may be
required after fabrication to enable successful galvanizing of items.

In order to understand where to place a hole for galvanizing, the function of

each hole must be understood.

High End Air Exit


General Guidelines
Subject to weight; items less than 2m require a hole or
lifting lug placed at one end. Longer and heavy items will
require holes or lifting lugs at both ends. Holes should be
a minimum of 10mm diameter, large enough for jigging
wire to be passed through.
Larger fabrications will require numerous wire strands to
be used and hole sizes should be adjusted accordingly.
Further information should be sought from Hunter
Galvanizing staff regarding size and location of holes
specific to each item.



Low End Zinc Entry

Items are suspended to allow total coverage of processing liquids
and zincs.

Hunter Galvanizing prefers external lifting lugs to be fitted to long or

heavy items.

The various functions of holes can be categorized into four requirements:

hanging, prevention of pooling and entrapment, venting and draining and to
relieve pressure from overlapping surfaces.
Reference hereon is made to the high end (air exit point) and low end (zinc
entry point).
Holes in endplates, cleats and gussets are utilised to suspend items.

Hunter Galvanizing | 33

Hunter Galvanizing | 34

Wire, Chain or Other Touch Marks

All items are processed either in dipping frames, held by chains or suspended
by wire.
Items supported in dipping frames may have small touch marks evident where
they have been in contact with the frame structure.
Chains are utilised for heavy items and will leave touch marks in their
immediate area as will wire if required to be wrapped around an item or
through hanging holes. The wire sticks to the surface of the galvanized coating
as the item is withdrawn from the galvanizing bath.


Touch marks or chain marks are usually completely galvanized affecting only
the outer free zinc layer of the coating and therefore not a reason
for rejection.




Holes are required where end plates are not available to secure wire.

Hunter Galvanizing | 35

The large pipe above (top left) has holes in flanges coupled with
additional lifting lugs.

Hunter Galvanizing | 36

Holes to Prevent Entrapment

Zinc Pooling
Molten zinc is very dense and solidifies immediately upon withdrawal from the
galvanizing bath. Excess zinc will collect in corners of fabrications subject to the
items hanging position. Zinc pooling will increase the overall weight of an item
and may affect the cost and end use application.

When an item is suspended on a headframe, it remains in the same hanging

position throughout the hot dip galvanizing process. Holes are required to be in
the appropriate location to ensure pre-treatment acids, molten zinc and zinc ash
can flow freely from all item surfaces as it is submerged and withdrawn from
each processing bath.
General Guidelines:
A hole, gap or mitre in the corners of gussets or stiffeners will assist processing
products to drain.
Holes through end plates or web plates will also provide suitable access for zinc
and zinc ash to drain and means of air to escape.
By adopting a hole in every corner principle, the majority of issues relating
to draining can be eliminated and the best possible hot dip galvanized finish
can be achieved.
We recommend holes should not be less than 12mm in diameter, (larger if
the design permits) to enable zinc and zinc ash to escape freely as items are
withdrawn from the galvanizing bath.


The following aesthetic issues are generally deemed acceptable under the
governing standards for hot dip galvanizing. Simple allowances whilst fabricating
can minimise these effects.
Air Locks
Pre-treatment acids are critical in preparing the steel surface for galvanizing.
The acids remove contaminants including surface rust, soluble oils and water
based paint coatings. When an item is suspended on a headframe, air can
become trapped in corners at the high points. An air pocket prevents cleaning
solutions from preparing the steel surface and the zinc coating will
not form in these areas.


An airlock will form if pre-treatment chemicals

are unable to escape from corner areas.



Zinc collects in corners of items if holes are not correctly positioned.

Ash Formation
Zinc ash is a bi-product of the zinc iron alloying process. Ash forms on
the surface of the molten zinc and is skimmed away from items as they
are withdrawn through the zincs surface. Subject to the number of items
processed in the galvanizing bath at one time, some surfaces may not be
reached by operating staff and ash may adhere to the steel as it is withdrawn.
A light skin or film may form in isolated areas on the surface of an item. Heavier
deposits of ash may remain trapped within a fabricated item or hollow section.
Upon drying the ash appears as a yellow-brown powder or in clumps. As ash is
relatively pure zinc it does not represent any concern to the coating properties
other than aesthetics and can be easily brushed from the surface.

Light film of ash.

Hunter Galvanizing | 37

Ash can become trapped on surfaces within structural

steel sections.

Holes or cropped corners

are recommended.

Ash will be caught in long lengths of

hollow sections.

Hunter Galvanizing | 38


Recommended holes or mitres for general fabrications, universal beams and columns.






By placing a hole in every corner of general fabrications, most issues

relating to entrapment of air, zinc and zinc ash will be minimised.

Recommended location of holes, mitres or cropped corners

Hunter Galvanizing | 39

Hunter Galvanizing | 40

Holes for Venting Overlapping Surfaces

Holes for Venting & Draining Hollow Sections

General Guidelines:

When steel sections are welded together, air is trapped between the overlapping
surfaces. At galvanizing temperatures, the entrapped air converts to super
heated steam with pressure sufficient to force weak areas within a fabrication
(either in steel thickness or weld) to expand, distort or tear.

Molten zinc is extremely dense. Consideration of

venting and draining requirements is mandatory when
fabricating items for hot dip galvanizing to eliminate
potential hazards:

All capped hollow sections must have a minimum of one

hole or cropped corner diagonally placed at each end to
permit zinc entry at the low end and air escape at the high
end when suspended on a headframe.
Hollow sections open one end (low end) require a
minimum of one hole or cropped corner at the capped
end (high end).
Hollow sections welded within a fabrication must have
holes placed at both ends of each hollow section.
Holes or cropped areas should be as large as the design
or end use will allow for expanding air, processing liquids,
zinc and zinc ash to escape from within.
The total area of holes must be equal to or no less than
25% of the diameter of cross section of the hollow
piece. Numerous holes can be placed in order to meet
this venting requirement. Holes less than 10mm are not
functional as they can easily become blocked; Hunter
Galvanizing recommends 12mm diameter holes minimum.

items may float on top of the molten zinc

air may become trapped or is slow to escape

Galvanizing staff are at risk as this force may cause steel fragments or molten
zinc to be blown from the galvanizing bath causing injury and rendering
processing equipment inoperable. In order for items to be processed safely, holes
are required to enable air and moisture to escape and pressure to be relieved.
The following rules must apply regarding size and location of relief holes.
General Guidelines:
Overlapping areas 10cm or greater must have one hole every 100mm.
Thin, long overlapping areas require one hole every 300mm in length.
Where possible avoid designing items with back to back channels and angles
unless a gap of 2.5mm or greater is allowed.
Overlapping areas greater than 40cm should be avoided at all times.
Holes may be placed through one or both steel surfaces and must be greater
than 10mm in diameter.
Alternatively, staggered welding can provide sufficient means for air to escape.
In some instances, it may be suitable to leave one edge free of weld.
A s detailed in Welding pre-treatment chemicals become trapped between
overlapping surfaces and may result in aesthetic issues.

Overlapping areas will require suitable venting

holes in place.

Gaps should be provided between back to back

channels and plates.

Sealed hollow sections will float on the surface until such

time they are either pushed or dragged below the zincs
surface. As discussed in Holes for Venting Overlapping
Surfaces; at galvanizing temperatures trapped air or
moisture will very quickly convert to super heated steam.
The resultant pressure can expand, distort or tear weaker
areas within a fabrication (either in steel thickness or weld)
with explosive force. Galvanizing staff are at risk as this
force may cause steel fragments or molten zinc to be blown
from the galvanizing bath causing injury and rendering
processing equipment inoperable.



The overhanging edge remains free of weld to

allow air to escape.

Holes can be through one or both surfaces.



In order for items to be processed safely, vent holes are

required to enable the item to be submerged and allow air
and moisture to escape at the same rate as the zinc enters.
The following rules must apply regarding size and location
of holes for hollow sections to permit hot dip galvanizing in
a controlled and safe manner.

Holes must be located in diagonally opposite corners of SHS and RHS.

Holes or V notches must be present in all hollow sections within

a fabrication.
Entrapped acid causes issues in weld pin holes and overlapping surfaces.
Recommended location of holes, mitres or cropped corners

Hunter Galvanizing | 41

Hunter Galvanizing | 42



The overall dimensions of an item and hanging

method must be considered when fabricating items
which include hollow sections.

Hunter Galvanizing | 43



Small holes may result in floating or

drainage issues. Holes should be as
large as possible to facilitate ease
of galvanizing and to allow the best
possible coating to be achieved.

External Holes SHS, RHS, CHS & Pipe Sections

In open-ended SHS, RHS and pipe sections, a hanging hole each end is
required to allow hanging wire to pass through. If the hollow section is capped,
additional holes for venting are required. For SHS and RHS sections, holes
should be placed in the corners. In pipe sections holes are required to be as
close to the outside diameter as possible. Holes placed in the centre of end
caps will allow air pockets to form or zinc to pool.
The minimum acceptable number of venting holes is one each end placed
diagonally opposite. If there are no means of holding the item two holes each
end are required, with holes located diagonally opposite each other.
The size of the venting holes is critical for processing hollow sections. Sufficient
air must escape at the same rate zinc is entering the section. Holes should be
no less than 25% of the cross section of the hollow section.
*The minimum hole size acceptable on any item is 10mm, however as holes
this size can prove ineffective we recommend holes sizes of 12mm or greater.
Hunter Galvanizing | 44

A section of 100 x 100 SHS or 100 x 50 RHS must have holes at each end equivalent to
approximately 25mm either as:
Preferred Option
1 x 25mm hole each end OR 2 x 12mm holes each end OR 4 x 6mm holes each end

Internal Holes SHS, RHS, CHS & Pipe Sections

Internal holes are not recommended due to inherent safety concerns.
Where internal holes are utilised, sections should be interconnected using
mitred joints or interconnecting holes. Internal holes should be as close as
possible in size to the cross section of the hollow section to eliminate air
pockets and zinc pooling inside the fabrication. The ends of the hollow sections
must remain open.

No end

Hole Placement Options for RHS & SHS Sections

Hunter Galvanizing requires signed documentation to guarantee holes have

been correctly placed.



Preferred Option
No end

Hole Placement Options for CHS & Pipe Sections Holes for
Correct Holes

A section of 50mm diameter pipe must have holes at each end equivalent to approximately
12mm either as:
1 x 12mm hole each end OR 2 x 10mm* holes each end


Fabricated items, gates, handrails and fencing require thought regarding placement of holes.
Ideally holes should be placed externally to allow quick visual inspection by the galvanizer.
Preferred Option
Unwanted holes can later be filled with epoxy filler, lead or threaded plugs.
Holes for
Holes for CHS & Pipe Sectionshanging
Hole Placement


Air and zinc must flow freely within the hollow sections

No end

Preferred Option

No end

Hunter Galvanizing | 45

Holes for

1. External Holes
2. Internal Holes
3. Mandatory - Holes in Bends
4. Mandatory - Ends Remain Open
Hunter Galvanizing | 46

Holes for Venting

Tanks and Hollow Vessels
Specific attention to venting and draining is required
when preparing large hollow items such as tanks, pods
or vessels for galvanizing. The design of tanks and closed
vessels must allow for pre-treatment chemicals, air and
zinc to enter, fill and flow out of the enclosed space. A
large filling hole (minimum of 50mm diameter for each 0.5
cubic metres) is required at the low end when suspended
for galvanizing. A vent hole of equal dimensions will be
needed diagonally opposite the filling hole to allow air
to escape.
Internal baffles in tanks must have their corners cropped
prior to installation or with large drainage holes to permit
free flow of the air and zinc within. Access ports, bosses
and openings should be finished flush inside and should
be positioned so that all processing fluids can be drained
out during the galvanizing process.
Whilst processing tanks, a large volume of zinc will
pass through the vessel. As a safety precaution we
require heavy duty lifting lugs attached to each item.
We recommend discussing this requirement with Hunter
Galvanizing staff prior to fabrication.

Inspection and Dressing of Items

General Guidelines
Venting holes are required to be diametrically opposite.
Minimum acceptable hole size is 50mm in diameter.
Subject to tank size additional holes may be required.
Internal baffles should be cropped top and bottom.
Lifting lugs will be required to facilitate handling.
Design should incorporate an inspection hole to enable
internal surfaces to be viewed.

The primary function of a hot dip galvanized coating is to provide corrosion

protection. It is an industrial coating specified for its ability to protect steel with
a system of protective layers formed by the metallurgical reaction between the
base metal and molten zinc.
Coupled with cathodic properties, it offers extended longevity to steel items
in most environments. Hot dip galvanizing is often incorrectly marketed as an
aesthetic or architectural finish with a shiny and smooth coating. These features
are subject to many factors outside the control of the galvanizer and are not
attributes upon which a coating can be gauged.





Visual inspection and coating thickness testing is simple and the most critical
means of assessing the quality of a hot dip galvanized coating.
General Guidelines:
Patterns, colour and finish will be determined by the metallurgy and the rate of
reactivity between each piece of steel and the molten zinc which bonds to the
surface. The process forms an initial coating of four layers. Later, whilst the item
is in service, the fifth and most important layer forms; the dull grey patina of
zinc carbonate.
Hot dip galvanizing is not a colour; the coating can be dull grey to bright silver.
Colour can vary within the one fabrication and on the same piece of steel.
Coatings on all items will turn dull grey as they are exposed to natural
weathering and the patina forms on the outer surface.
Coating may have a spangled effect, others may display lacework or reptilian
like patterns as elements within the steel chemistry react differently to zinc.
Coatings cannot be ordered as an architectural finish. Smoothness and
roughness are not qualities a galvanizer can control as chemistry and stress
within the surface of the steel will dictate this.
Refer to How the Coating Forms for more information.

Internal baffles of tanks must be cropped

Hunter Galvanizing | 47

Hunter Galvanizing | 48

Bare Spots
Bare spots are generally a result of issues outside of our
control, such as rolling defects, or contamination from
paints and adhesives as outlined in Suitable Surface
Conditions. Subject to size they may be repaired with zinc
enriched paint. Cathodic protection will prevent corrosion
on small uncoated areas. The governing standard, AS/NZS
4680:2006 states: The size of the area able to be repaired
shall be relevant to the size of the object and the conditions of
service but shall normally be in accordance with the provisions of
AS/NZS 4680 - Repair after Galvanizing. For objects galvanized
after fabrication, the sum total of the damaged or uncoated
areas shall not exceed 0.5% of the total surface area or 250cm.
No individual damaged or uncoated area shall exceed 40cm.

Welding spatter can be easily dislodged in handling or

transport after hot dip galvanizing. Light oxidisation will
occur very quickly in these areas.

Acid Leeching
Brown or red stains may appear as pre-treatment
chemicals leak from unsealed joints after an item has
been hot dip galvanized. During galvanizing, chemicals
crystallize leaving anhydrous residues in the small holes in
welds or overlapping surfaces. Later the crystals absorb
water from the atmosphere and weep out onto the
immediate surface. Acid leeching is not the responsibility
of the galvanizer and is not cause for rejection.
Information on preventing entrapment of pre-treatment
chemicals can be found in Welding and Requirement
for Holes.

Hunter Galvanizing | 49

Drainage spikes form as the molten zinc solidifies as the
item is withdrawn from the galvanizing bath. They are
removed to facilitate safe handling. General zinc runs
are unavoidable in the hot dip galvanizing process and
will not be removed under normal dressing procedures.
If additional processes post galvanizing dictate a high
degree of smoothness, we recommend the fabricator
allows for additional dressing after despatch.
Smoothness of the galvanized coating may be affected
by abrasive blasting prior to galvanizing. Similarly, surface
steel chemistry and manufacturing processes of some
steel products may also result in roughness.
Refer to Suitable Steels for Hot Dip Galvanizing for
more information.


Oxide Lines
Oxide lines form as items are withdrawn from the
galvanizing bath. This effect will fade over time as the
entire zinc surface oxidizes and the dull grey patina
forms. An aesthetic issue only; they have no effect on the
corrosion performance of the coating and are not a cause
for rejection.




Colour and Lustre

When galvanizing occurs, the thickness of the steel
together with its composition, will determine certain
aspects of the coating appearance. Thicker steel will
attract thicker zinc coatings which by nature will be darker
in colour. Coatings may display a bright sheen through
to a dull or matt grey finish. As such, it is impossible for
galvanizers to conform to a specific shade of silver or grey.
The metallurgical structure of the steel may encourage
a variety of effects to appear in the coating. Localized
areas may display a lacework or snakeskin pattern, dull
grey patches or large bright spangles. These effects may
appear in one area or across the entire surface of a piece
of steel. Extreme levels of silicon and phosphorous have
dramatic effects relating to colour, lustre and texture of a
hot dip galvanized coating. This issue is discussed in detail;
refer to Suitable Steels for Hot Dip Galvanizing.

Touch Marks & Wire Marks

In order to hold items adequately during the hot dip
galvanizing process items are either held in processing
jigs or suspended by wire which in turn become coated
in zinc. A touch mark or wire mark will occur where items
have rested on a jig or where wire has been removed. If
required, areas may be coated with a zinc enriched paint.
These occurrences are unavoidable and are not suitable
means for rejection. Further information is detailed in
Requirement for Holes.

Hunter Galvanizing | 50

Dross Pimples
Dross is created when free iron particles in the galvanizing
bath react with the molten zinc. Generally not an issue,
dross inclusions do not affect the corrosion resistance of
the coating.

In reference to hot dip galvanizing, spangle is
characterized by a snowflake shape pattern visible in the
coating. Spangles may be small and of a uniform bright
silver finish, or large and an array of matt grey and bright
silver shades. The presence or absence of spangle has
no affect on the performance or quality of a hot dip
galvanized coating. Its occurrence may be subject to many
variables including (but not limited to) coating thickness,
zinc bath chemistry, steel chemistry or the rate and/or
method of cooling. It occurs during the crystallization or
freezing of the outer layers of the zinc.

Hunter Galvanizing | 51

Passivation and Storage

Chromate Colouring
As discussed in Passivation & Storage all items are
quenched in a passivation solution to assist in the
prevention of light white oxidisation. Quench colouring
will vary subject to thickness of the steel and will fade
as the hot dip galvanized coating forms its natural
patina whilst the item is in service. Very thick sections
may display deep yellow or green shades which are
unavoidable and not an acceptable cause of rejection.


For a short period after galvanizing the outer layer of the hot dip galvanized
coating is susceptible to the formation of zinc oxides. To minimise effects of light
white oxidisation, items are passed through a bath of passivation solution. This
process can impart a yellowish film to the galvanized coating. On most items the
film will be barely visible; however, on items of heavier thickness it may appear
much darker. This does not detract from the quality or performance of the
coating and will generally remain visible for approximately 6 weeks upon which
time with natural weathering the patina will form. Further information relating
to the patina layer can be found in How the Coating Forms.




Hunter Galvanizing | 52

Light White Oxidisation

Light white oxidisation may occur as a thin film of chalky powder. It may occur
in times of high humidity or after a period of rain on freshly galvanized zinc
coatings. Provided the items are well ventilated and permit moisture to drain or
evaporate quickly. Light white oxidisation rarely progresses past this superficial
stage. If required, it can be easily removed by applying a low acidic product
such as vinegar or CLR Clear with a nylon brush. Otherwise it will generally
wash off in service and with normal weathering the patina layer will develop. In
this form, it is not detrimental to the hot dip galvanized coating and remedial
treatment is not required.

Wet Storage Stain

Wet storage stain is a more severe form of light white
oxidation caused by prolonged storage of items packed
closely together in a humid, damp or poorly
ventilated environment.
Product such as lintels, guardrail, and other items which
are tightly nested are at risk of incurring wet storage stain
if stored externally in their configured bundles. Air must
be permitted to circulate freely, around all zinc surfaces
when stored. Wet storage stain will not occur on items
where moisture is unhindered and can evaporate naturally.



If items are bundled in close configuration for an extended

period; fresh water or moisture such as rain, dew and
condensation can react with the pure zinc outer layer of
the hot dip galvanized coating. Unable to escape, this
moisture will form zinc oxide and zinc hydroxide.


Packed items should be broken apart as soon as possible after despatch.

Packaging & Storage

Unseasoned timber, mud and clay may discolour hot dip galvanized coatings if in
direct contact with their surface.
Uncoated steel, iron filings, scrap metal or uncoated fasteners should not be
permitted to be in contact with galvanized coatings. Cathodic reaction will
cause the zinc to sacrifice itself to protect the base metal and corrosion may be
accelerated by these uncoated items. Further information relating to this issue is
in How Zinc Protects.
Items should be packed in a suitable manner to facilitate safe handling and
transportation, whilst allowing drainage of any condensation which may occur
prior to despatch.

Hunter Galvanizing | 53


Whilst passivation of items after galvanizing will minimise

the occurrence of wet storage stain, the best precaution
is to avoid stacking products in poorly ventilated, damp
conditions. Wet storage stain is found most often on tightly
stacked and bundled items, such as galvanized sheets,
plates, angles, bars, hollow sections and pipe.
To ensure wet storage stain does not occur, we strongly
recommend packaging utilised to facilitate safe handling
and transportation of items be removed as soon as
possible after despatch to allow adequate air flow across all
surfaces. Break all bundles of items apart to allow moisture
to evaporate and prevent the occurrence of bulky white
deposits or wet storage stain.
Staining and wet storage deposits are outside of our
control and we are unable to accept any responsibility for
such occurrences.

In the majority of cases, this does not reduce the

expected life of the zinc coating. However, if moisture
remains trapped between zinc surfaces, medium to heavy
buildup can cause extreme damage to the coating and
may result in the items being required to be stripped
and re-galvanized.
Light wet storage stain will disappear once bundles are
opened, items separated, and allowed to dry. The wet
storage stain will convert to the dull grey zinc patina as
it reacts with carbon dioxide in the air. Items which have
formed their protective patina layer generally will not be
susceptible to wet storage stain.
Medium or heavy wet storage stain is very dark or black
in colour. At this stage, a significant amount of the
zinc coating has been consumed and the patina will be
prevented from forming.
The storage stain deposits should be brushed from the
area and the coating reinstated by applying an approved
zinc enriched epoxy paint to a thickness of approximately
100 microns.

Hunter Galvanizing | 54

Environmental Performance
Coating Life

Rural Areas
Coating life may be affected by the effects of aerial
spraying of fertilizers or insecticides. In dry form these
elements will pose little threat, however in solution,
fertilizer and insecticides will attack galvanized coatings.
Long term protection can be expected if not subjected
to hostile chemicals with a coating loss of approx 13
microns per year. Based on steel thickness above 6mm it is
plausible to expect coatings to remain effective
25 to 85 years.

The corrosion rate of any metal is determined by the immediate environment in

which it is located. Corrosion rates of hot dip galvanized coatings in different
environments have been extensively researched and documented worldwide and
have been found to corrode between one seventeenth (1/17) and one eightieth
(1/80) slower than uncoated steel.
Coating life is directly proportional to the coating thickness of the zinc, and as
corrosion rates in specific environments are known, the life expectancy of the
hot dip galvanized coating can be estimated.
The following information regarding general atmospheric conditions is supplied
as a guide only. Specific microclimates within a general area will influence the
rate of corrosion further and must also be taken into consideration. These issues
can be discussed further with Hunter Galvanizing staff.


Warm, Dry Atmosphere

The anticipated life of galvanized coatings in an arid dry environment is long
term. Protection may continue indefinitely as zinc stability is very high resulting
in minimal coating loss. Zinc coatings on steels of thicknesses of above 6mm
may remain stable for 100 years or longer.

Hunter Galvanizing | 55


Industrial Areas
In light industrial areas, hot dip galvanized coatings will
generally perform well with coating loss average of 35
microns per year. Based on steel thickness above 6mm
and subject to exposure to adverse contaminants 1530
years may be achieved by coatings. High levels of sulphuric
gases and chemicals located in some heavy industrial areas
will increase coating loss to approximately 58 microns
per year. In this environment, a duplex coating system of
hot dip galvanizing and paint may prove beneficial.



Time to First Maintenance

It is important to know the specific corrosion rate of
a given environment to effectively plan for long term
sustainable coating life. The most commonly used method
for estimating corrosion life of hot dip galvanized items
is the use of general values for the different types of
atmospheres. These values are referenced as Time to First
Maintenance and utilised across the world.
Information regarding Time to First Maintenance can
be found on the American Galvanizing Website www.
galvanizeit.org/inspection-course/galvanizing-process/timeto-first-maintenance or by contacting Hunter Galvanizing.

Coastal Areas
Corrosion rates are higher in the presence of salt air. Hot
dip galvanized coatings perform well in comparison to
other protective systems, however, duplex coating systems
of hot dip galvanizing and paint provide the optimal
protection. Coating loss will average between 515
microns per year subject to the proximity to the ocean and
levels of rainwater to wash marine salts from the coating
surface. Life span of coatings may range between 510
years based on steel thickness over 6mm.

Hunter Galvanizing | 56

Duplex Coatings
Hot dip galvanizing is a long lasting and cost effective means of protecting steel
from corrosion. When organic coatings such as paint or powder coatings are
applied over hot dip galvanized steel, the resulting combination is known as a
duplex coating.

Paint coatings should be applied as soon as possible after abrasive blasting.

Preparation & Pre-Treatment of Galvanized Steel

Should hot dip galvanized coatings be abrasive blasted in an incorrect manner

the coating will delaminate or peel. As this procedure is a form of mechanical
damage we do not accept responsibility should peeling or delamination occur.

It is important that this operation is performed carefully as the removal of

excessive zinc will compromise the quality of the hot dip galvanized coating

All galvanized items are dressed in accordance with the Australian Standard
for Hot Dip Galvanizing; sharp edges and dags are removed however runs and
general roughness of the zinc surface will remain.
The result of high gloss and smoothness when paint has been applied over
extruded metal, planed timber or pre galvanized sheet, wire and tubing will not
necessarily be achieved when applied to an item which has been
hot dip galvanized.
Additional dressing may be required by the fabricator prior to powder coating or
painting to achieve the smoothness required for a paint finish standard.
Please Note: if undertaking further dressing of items, care must be
taken not to damage the zinc coating by heavy or
excessive grinding.


In order to provide a sound substrate for a duplex coating, the galvanized

surface will require abrasive blasting or application of a suitable primer.

Abrasive Blasting
In order to create a suitable surface for paint coatings to adhere to newly hot
dip galvanized coatings an abrasive sweep or brush-blast may be used.


Wet Brush or Spray

The painting of hot dip galvanized steel requires different paint systems and
preparation than if painting uncoated steel. Not all paint types will adhere to a
hot dip galvanized coating and as paint formulas vary from one manufacturer
to another, a technical expert in the paint field should be consulted.



Powder Coating
Powder coatings are applied by the electrostatic spraying of dry powders
which are then heat fused at moderate temperatures to form a continuous,
homogeneous coating. To ensure surface treatment applications utilised at
Hunter Galvanizing do not interfere with the powder coating process purchase
orders supplied with items should clearly state that a powder coating will be
applied after galvanizing.
Please Note: Hunter Galvanizing cannot be held responsible for the
integrity of the galvanized coating on any item once a
subsequent process outside of our control has commenced.

- Blast material should have a particle size no larger than 0.5mm or between
200 to 500 microns. Aluminium/magnesium silicate, limonite and other suitable
mediums can be used .
-Blast pressure should not exceed 40 psi to ensure the minimum amount of zinc
oxide is removed.

Hunter Galvanizing | 57

Hunter Galvanizing | 58

Moving & Threaded Parts


Depending how an item is suspended for processing, a build up of zinc may

occur as it solidifies when withdrawn from the galvanizing bath. Whilst the hot
dip galvanized coating is relatively thin, 1mm2mm minimal radial clearance
on moving parts such as drop handles, shackles, hinges and shafts should be
allowed. Where possible items should be designed to permit moving parts to be
assembled after galvanizing and hinges should be of the loose-pin type.
If the galvanizing process freezes the moving parts, they can be gently reheated
and worked free. Reheating may cause discolouration of the galvanized coating;
however this should not be detrimental to the coatings ability to prevent
It is recommended to cut threads and tap nuts oversize to provide additional
clearance of between 0.5mm1mm.
As with moving parts, threads may be gently reheated and cleared of excess
zinc with a wire brush. Should you require the thread not be coated, a suitable
masking product can be applied prior to delivery for galvanizing to minimise zinc
adhesion. Further information relating to masking is in Steel Coatings.





Hunter Galvanizing | 59

Hunter Galvanizing

We look forward to being of assistance to you.

Please contact us regarding design, lead times, and pricing of our hot dip galvanizing & freight service.


P (02) 4964 9555

P 1300 617 778

F (02) 4964 9333

F (02) 9625 8356

E huntergal@huntergal.com.au

E sales@huntergal.com.au

A 13 Old Punt Rd, Tomago, NSW

A Warehouse A, 2 Glendenning Rd, Glendenning, NSW

(Cnr Glendenning Rd & Woodstock Ave, entry via Woodstock Ave)