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 Can you weld Galvanized Metal (Steel)?

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Age : 47
Join date : 2012-07-03
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Location : Fort Stewart Georgia

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PostSubject: Can you weld Galvanized Metal (Steel)?   Can you weld Galvanized Metal (Steel)? Icon_minitimeJanuary 2nd 2013, 4:17 am

Yes. Both Arc and Mig
~Galvanization (or galvanisation) is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, in order to prevent rusting.

To weld galvanized you may want to grind off the coating in the area to be welded. This will reduce the amount of vaporized zinc inhalation when welding galvanized steel.

What is the risk of inhaling galvanized steel? Studies have been made by different agencies to determine long term and short term effects.

1. Short term: many different symptoms similar to fthe flu. this is called Zinc poisioning. This can be avoided by not inhaling the vapor (smoke) from welding/grinding zinc coated materials. Using breathing masks are suggested, as well as welding in well ventilated areas (outside)

2. Long term: as no clear studies have been determined as fact, continuous inhalation of smoke laden with chemicals and elements cant be that great for you..(try to limit exposure)

Some people weld galvanized steel frequently with little to no side effects and some have side effects with limited exposure. The best way most welders suggest is avoidance all together, and some will just recommend well ventalated areas and limit exposure time (dont weld continuously, take breaks in fresh air, wear some filtered masks, etc)

Some websites, claim drinking large quantities of milk before and after exposure keeps them from getting Zinc poisoning. None of this is backed by medical studies. (proceed at own risk)

I, Junkstar, weld on galvanized conduit found in local hardware stores often, I personally weld it in my garage, with the door open, a small dust mask, holding my breath during the weld, and only weld in small quantities ( not more than 3-5 welds in a given hour) Then I take breaks in fresh air in between welds. This is way I have been doing it, and I have never had any side effects...

I cannot, by any means tell you it is safe to weld galvanized steel without taking some kind of self protection and this forum suggest proceed at your own level skill and weld with saftey always first!
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Age : 28
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Location : Winchester, ON, Canada

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PostSubject: Re: Can you weld Galvanized Metal (Steel)?   Can you weld Galvanized Metal (Steel)? Icon_minitimeJanuary 2nd 2013, 12:56 pm

Where I work when we weld galvanized we use fume extractors(Pricey for someone with a small garage and takes up alot of room) and wear filtered masks, and if it's warm out we normally will leave the doors open (that's even if we aren't welding galvanized). Just thought it would be useful.
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