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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Galvanized steel welding question

I have some bad rust spots on both my hinge mount locations (below the windshield). I was wondering if I could use my 175 MIG to weld galvanized steel to the regular steel in that area. I would cut out the rust back to good metal. I have never welded galvanized and am looking for guidance. Can this be done? What type wire (flux core, gas), etc. I just want to head off repeat rust in what seems to be a rust prone area from my experience.

Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 11:41 AM
 
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You can weld galvanized metal, but the galvanized coating should be removed from where you weld it, thus rendering that area unprotected and vulnerable to rust. The zinc fumes given off if you overheat galvanizing are poisonous, so be carefull.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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I'm not a welder but I weld. Rather than spread misconceptions about welding galvanized steel I have gathered over the last half century I'll refer you to this publication. I think it will answer most of your questions better than I could.

http://www.sperkoengineering.com/htm...Galvanized.pdf
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 11:47 AM
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There's nothing to welding galvanized, so use any process you want. Just remove the galvanizing first, from both sides.

Galvanizing is a zinc cozting. When heated, it burns and vaporizes creating very toxic gasses. The long term effect is brain damage similar to lead poising. Short term effect is respiratory distress.

Also the zinc contaminates the weld puddle, causing a poor joint.

When I have to weld galvanized, I prefer to remove the coating with sulphuric (muriatic) acid, which is dangerous enough, and creates its own toxic fumes, but at least I can vacate the area while it's going on. My second choice is to use a grinder, which creates toxic grinding dust, so wear a good face mask. You can tell when you've done a sufficient job; the steel and zinc have slightly different colors.

In any case, remove the coating back farther than you expect the steel to get hotter than touchable.

If you absolutly MUST weld galvanized, do it outdoors in a breeze and make sure you stay upwind of the nasty, smoking stuff. I've inhaled the fumes a few times (that may explain some things) It leaves a gacky, sweet taste in the mouth. If that happens, get out of there immediately.

I think that the bodies are made from galvanized sheet that's stamped and then spot welded, but I don't know if there are any special precautions, techniques or preparations involved. You might try a net search for information on that.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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These are an example of a couple of misconceptions prevalent among many welders that have been passed down for generations. I've heard variations of them for decades. I might have even continued to believe some of them if I hadn't looked it up when I saw this post going unanswered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Lou View Post

Galvanizing is a zinc cozting. When heated, it burns and vaporizes creating very toxic gasses. The long term effect is brain damage similar to lead poising.
Here is an excerpt with references from the paper I provided a link to.http://www.sperkoengineering.com/htm...Galvanized.pdf
(if it's on the internet it must be true!)

Quote:
Zinc Fumes -- A Safety Hazard?
When zinc vapor mixes with the oxygen in the air, it reacts instantly to become zinc oxide. This is the same white powder
that you see on some noses at the beach and the slopes. Zinc oxide is non-toxic and non carcinogenic. Extensive research1
into the effects of zinc oxide fumes has been done, and although breathing those fumes will cause welders to think that they
have the flu in a bad way, there are no long-term health effects. Zinc oxide that is inhaled is simply absorbed and eliminated
by the body without complications or chronic effects. Current research2 on zinc oxide fumes is concentrated in establishing
the mechanism by which zinc oxide causes "metal fume fever," how its effects are self-limiting and why zinc oxide fume
effects ameliorate after the first day of exposure even though the welder may continue to be exposed to zinc during subsequent
days ("Monday-morning fever"). Other research3 is being done using zinc oxide fumes together with various drugs which
results in a synergetic effect for treatment of cancer and AIDS. Another area of research is use of zinc compounds as the active
ingredients in throat lozengers that are recognized as significantly effective in reducing the duration and intensity of the
common cold.
Typical “metal fume fever” begins about 4 hours after exposure, and full recovery occurs within 48 hours. The symptoms
include fever, chills, thirst, headache and nausea. All of these symptoms, pain and suffering, as well as lost work (and play)
time, can be avoided entirely by simply not inhaling the zinc oxide fumes. This can easily be done using any of the
methods described later.
Unlike other heavy metals, such as copper, lead and mercury, zinc is an essential micro nutrient. Zinc is essential to the
proper growth of plants and animals. Zinc forms part of the enzyme system that regulates biological processes throughout the
body. As shown on any multi-vitamin/mineral bottle, the recommended minimum adult intake is 15 mg/day........
1Walsh, Sandstead, Prasad, Newberne and Fraker, Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 102, Supplement 2,
June 1994, 5-46. Provides summary plus 471 references.
2 Kuschner,D'Alessandro, et. al., Pulmonary Responses to Purified Zinc Oxide Fumes, Journal of Investigative
Medicine, 1995:43:371-378.
3Robert Sabin, Zinc Activated Profile, COPE, March/April 1995: 16,17
If you bother to read the paper you'll see it goes on to say HOT DIPPED Galvanizing MAY contain enough lead to produce toxic fumes. This and the "metal fume fever" are good reasons to be careful. Not just because Zinc fumes are toxic, apparently they're not.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 01:04 PM
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You should always be careful with what you breath in during welding.

according to US dept of labor Zinc problems "occur from zinc-enriched paints and galvanized steel. Zinc exposure is the usual cause of metal fume fever." even if metal fume fever is all i get.....i dont want it

General Hazard: Respiratory Irritation and Systemic Poisoning

and

AFSCME - Welding

i dont think i would want to take my chances with anything on that list.....

Quote:
Welding "smoke" is a mixture of very fine particles (fumes) and gases. Many of the substances in welding smoke, such as chromium, nickel, arsenic, asbestos, manganese, silica, beryllium, cadmium, nitrogen oxides, phosgene, acrolein, fluorine compounds, carbon monoxide, cobalt, copper, lead, ozone, selenium, and zinc can be extremely toxic.

Generally, welding fumes and gases come from:



* the base material being welded or the filler material that is used;
* coatings and paints on the metal being welded, or coatings covering the electrode;
* shielding gases supplied from cylinders;
* chemical reactions which result by the action of ultraviolet light from the arc, and heat;
* process and consumables used;
* contaminants in the air, for example vapors from cleaners and degreasers.


The health effects of welding exposures are difficult to list, because the fumes may contain so many different substances that are known to be harmful (depending on the factors listed above). The individual components of welding smoke can affect just about any part of the body, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, and central nervous system.

Welders who smoke may be at greater risk of health impairment than welders who do not smoke, although all welders are at risk.

Exposure to welding smoke may have short-term and long-term health effects. These effects are described below:

Short-term (acute) health effects

Exposure to metal fumes (such as zinc, magnesium, copper, and copper oxide) can cause metal fume fever. Symptoms of metal fume fever may occur 4 to 12 hours after exposure, and include chills, thirst, fever, muscle ache, chest soreness, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, nausea, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

Welding smoke can also irritate the eyes, nose, chest, and respiratory tract, and cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, bronchitis, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs). Gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, cramps, and slow digestion, have also been associated with welding.

Some components of welding fume, for example cadmium, can be fatal in a short time. Gases given off by the welding process can also be extremely dangerous. For example, ultraviolet radiation given off by welding reacts with oxygen and nitrogen in the air to form ozone and nitrogen oxides. These gases are deadly at high doses, and can also cause irritation of the nose and throat and serious lung disease.

Ultraviolet rays given off by welding can react with chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, such as trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methylene chloride, and perchloroethylene, to form phosgene gas. Even a very small amount of phosgene may be deadly, although early symptoms of exposure -- dizziness, chills, and cough -- usually take 5 or 6 hours to appear. Arc welding should never be performed within 200 feet of degreasing equipment or solvents.

Long-term (chronic) health effects

Studies of welders, flame cutters, and burners have shown that welders have an increased risk of lung cancer, and possibly cancer of the larynx (voice box) and urinary tract.

These findings are not surprising in view of the large quantity of toxic substances in welding smoke, including cancer-causing agents such as cadmium, nickel, beryllium, chromium, and arsenic.

Welders may also experience a variety of chronic respiratory (lung) problems, including bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, pneumoconiosis (refers to dust-related diseases), decreased lung capacity, silicosis (caused by silica exposure), and siderosis (a dust-related disease caused by iron oxide dust in the lungs).

Other health problems that appear to be related to welding include: heart disease, skin diseases, hearing loss, and chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), gastroduodenitis (inflammation of the stomach and small intestine), and ulcers of the stomach and small intestine. Welders exposed to heavy metals such as chromium and nickel have also experienced kidney damage.

Welding also poses reproductive risks to welders. A recent study found that welders, and especially welders who worked with stainless steel, had poorer sperm quality than men in other types of work. Several studies have shown an increase in either miscarriages or delayed conception among welders or their spouses. Possible causes include exposure to: (1) metals, such as aluminum, chromium, nickel, cadmium, iron, manganese, and copper, (2) gases, such as nitrous gases and ozone, (3) heat, and (4) ionizing radiation (used to check the welding seams).

Welders who perform welding or cutting on surfaces covered with asbestos insulation are at risk of asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases. Employees should be trained and provided with the proper equipment before welding near asbestos-containing material.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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So I'm supposed to believe that something that causes metal fume fever, and I quote from the source you cited:

“metal fume fever” begins about 4 hours after exposure, and full recovery occurs within 48 hours. The symptoms
include fever, chills, thirst, headache and nausea.

Is not a sign of toxicity? Be smart, treat it as toxic. We are not as smart as we think we are and just as the article states, the best practice is to avoid inhalation of all welding fumes, work in well ventillated areas and use respirator if at all possible.

With all due respect, I think its irresponsible to dwell on someone's statement thta its not toxic, when the followup text tells you to avoid breathing it. You may suck on it in a zinc lozange or rub a paste of it on your nose, but that doesn't mean its safe to inhale in uncontrolled quantities. Trace minerals such as iron for example are highly toxic. You need it in your body, but beyond a certain limit it is toxic.

Last edited by TiminMb; 05-27-2007 at 01:09 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 01:11 PM
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holy jamoly!

read the last few lines of the Zinc section on the US dept or Labor/OSHA site...

Welding Health Hazards


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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I think that article is goofy and unscientific. The fact that zinc fumes are being experimented upon for the treatment of cancer and aids doesn't bolster its safety. They use radiation and and highly toxic drugs to fight diseases that are going to kill the patient. That doesn't speak to the safety of the treatment, only the potential morbitity of the disease. And you'll notice that zinc supplement and lozanges contain only trace amounts of zinc, and a warning to not exceed the recommended dosage.

I'm not breathing it, and I'd recommend others avoid it if they care about their health.

Last edited by TiminMb; 05-27-2007 at 01:32 PM.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2007, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnGreg View Post
holy jamoly!

read the last few lines of the Zinc section on the US dept or Labor/OSHA site...

Welding Health Hazards
Kinda sounds like the brown bottle flu!!

David

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