Galvanizing 101

From the Desk of Bob Woods: Galvanizing 101

Hot-Dip Galvanizing is the process of alloying iron and molten zinc to create a corrosion-resistant alloy coating. This coating protects steel or iron from rust, both as a barrier and with an electrochemical reaction. To get this alloying reaction to happen, though, the steel or iron surface has to be prepared; mostly, this means cleaning off the surface. The things that can be found on the work can include everything from fingerprints to cosmoline-type grease, light rust to heavy “scale”, and sometimes other coatings such as stencil, chalk, spray paints, etc. All of this has to come off.

Most of the time, the grease and other “dirt” is removed with either a dip-tank full of a degreaser, often an acidic (such as Hydronet) or a caustic (such as sodium hydroxide boosted with SB Clean). The other common cleaning method is mechanical, such as a shot-blaster, grinder, or even a file.

The choice of the type of cleaning is difficult, since almost every type of steel and iron can be galvanized; in some fabrications, you might see multiple types of steel, lubricants, paint, etc. The Hydronet acidic degreaser can handle a wide range, as can the SB Clean-boosted caustic; both are easily maintained with simple testing.

Ultimately, the goal is to make it easier to go to the next step in the cleaning (removal of iron oxides, or “rust and scale”). More than ½ the time, a problem in the degreasing tank will lead to issues with the final coating--- bare spots, for example. Degreasing, then, is an important step to ease creation of the coating your customer is paying you for!


Bob Woods- Zaclon Galvanizing Bob WoodsTechnical Director at Zaclon

Since starting with Zaclon in 1990, I have enjoyed the technical challenges of helping our customers solve problems, both as a research chemist and as a technical service specialist. With the expanded responsibilities of Technical Director, I can now help our clients with economic, as well as technical tools for solving the challenges of business. 


 

Most Recent

Galvanizing 108

By Robert Woods
May 07, 2021 Category: Galvanizing

BLOG 8-Robert M. Woods RINSING after DEGREASING So, now the soils are removed for the surface of the work---but there may still be a layer of chemical sticking to it. IF this is coming out of a caustic bath, a direct movement into an acid pickling tank, the layer can actually neutralize some of the acid, wasting it. IF this is coming from an acidic cleaner such as Hydronet, there is no neutralization; but any Hydronet remaining on the surface is also wasted. To remedy these issues, most operations will have a rinse tank after the degreasing tank, either caustic or acid-type. For the acid-type, the rinse can be used to make up for any drag-out or evaporation of the degreasing tankany dragged out degreaser is put back into the degreasing tank. For the caustic-type, the same make up occurs; and the rinse will prevent much of the neutralization of the following acid tank. Control of a rinse tank then makes economic and process sensesaving the more expensive chemicals and keeping subsequent

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By Jim Krimmel
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Galvanizing 107

By Robert Woods
April 21, 2021 Category: Galvanizing

BLOG 7-Robert M. Woods Last blog was discussing a pure acid degreasing approach, using Phosphoric-acid based product such as Hydronet Base, Ricarica, and S. There is another approach that can be used in some cases, with additives directly into the pickling acid tanks. Hydronet D is the name of our product that can be added directly into Hydrochloric acid tanks at the typical concentrations and temperatures used by North American galvanizers. Acidic Degreasing in the pickle tank Without help, Hydrochloric and Sulfuric acids are not very effective at removing dirt. Hydrochloric acid in particular is poor at lifting greases, oils, chalk, and most other soils. Sulfuric is a little better, but more because it is heated AND attacks scale and rust by blowing off the top layers of rust IF it can penetrate the cracks in the scale. Generally, degreasing with an additive in the pickle tanks is not as effective as a stand-alone tank with SB Clean-Caustic or Hydronet Base or S; however, for

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