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Thread: Welding on Galvanized metal

  1. #1

    Default Welding on Galvanized metal

    Many new welders and seasoned welders frequently come into contact with galvanized metals. Welding on galvanized materials can present some problems for the inexperienced welder. Zinc, the component of galvanized coatings is a protective metal coating that covers the base steel to prevent rust . It can be easily recognized by its shiny patchwork appearance or by a dull gray cast once it is weathered. Many inexperienced welders often confuse galvanized products with stainless or aluminum because of the lack of rust the metal exhibits. Don't be confused by it. A magnet will confirm the steel underneath. When welding galvanized, a brighter than usual arc can be seen, extra white smoke, yellow trace lines around the weld and a whitish powdery material (zinc oxide) can be seen around the weld. Weld porosity can be observed at times as well.

    If you are presented with the challenge of welding galvanized steel, you need to be aware that the fumes from welding galvanized can be problematic. Adequate ventilation and/or a respirator is required A headache, dizziness, a cough, tickle in the throat or even more serious syptoms may occur beginning an hour or two after welding. This is known as "Metal Fume Fever". Thankfully, it is thought that there is no long term damage associated with Zinc fumes since it is a required nutrient in the human body and the poisonous effects are generally self limiting. Lead is sometimes present in the galvized metals and can be a side issue. Any time Zinc poisoning is suspected, it is a good idea to get a medical checkout.

    If you suspect the presence of galvanization, thoroughly grind away the zinc down to the base metal the area to be welded. Make sure the fumes are drifting away from you and take frequent breaks for fresh air. Basic safety is more prevention than cure and is definitely true in the case of welding galvanized metals.


    The Everlast Support and Performance team.

  2. Default

    And also when grinding galvanized metal be sure to wear a certified mask and not just a dust mask so you dont breath in the particles.

  3. #3


    Good point about the grinding but I'd like to add you should wear a mask for all grinding. It's not just the metal you are grinding but the grinding wheel that you are inhaling. The bonding agents and abrasive media used to make the wheels are not good stuff for the lungs!
    Be safe.

  4. #4



    Yeah, I am not an expert. However, I do know a descent enough about metals. Zinc is nasty stuff. It doesnt take much to turn it into a gas. Thats the biggest threat to the welder. The temperatures of your welder is far beyond what it takes to turn it into a gas. Not much different for lead and many other materials. In fact, A lot of cheap metals we get today have some of these in them as it is. Speaking of which, Anybody recomend a good comfortable mask to wear?

    I have a 250 EX welder and several other machines and equipment to allow for small scale manufacturing and prototyping of inventions

    I am located in Oregon about 20 minutes west of Portland

  5. #5


    Good information, I see a lot of guys building things out of conduit from the home improvement stores. I'm guilty myself when I started out, was always glad to have my father around for these warnings.
    ˙˙˙ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ dɐǝɥɔ pǝuɯɐp
    PP205 owner

  6. #6



    I just wanted to add to what I posted earlier. Zinc is actually good for you to consume at extremily low levels. It however is very nasty stuff to breathe in as a vapor and particulate. Iron is the same way. We have Iron pumping all through out our body, yet its still very nasty to get in your lungs.

    I have a 250 EX welder and several other machines and equipment to allow for small scale manufacturing and prototyping of inventions

    I am located in Oregon about 20 minutes west of Portland

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