Monday, September 10, 2012

Tubular Fabrications & Hollow Structurals Cleaning

Tubular Fabrications & Hollow Structurals Cleaning

Tubular assemblies (handrails, pipe columns, pipe girders, street light poles, transmission poles, pipe trusses, sign bridges) are commonly galvanized because corrosion protection is afforded to the interior and exterior of the product. To provide an optimal galvanized coating, hollow products require proper cleaning, venting, and draining.

As with all steel, pipe and other hollow materials must be thoroughly cleaned before the molten zinc will metallurgically bond with the steel. Pipe can present two special cleaning challenges. First, the mill coating (varnish, lacquer, and similar materials) applied by pipe manufacturers requires extra time and effort to remove at the galvanizing plant. Some galvanizers do not have the capability to remove this coating. Some organic mill coating formulations, both foreign and domestic, are

extremely difficult to remove with common cleaning solutions, so blasting may be required. Ordering uncoated pipe avoids costly attempts to remove these mill coatings. In some cases, it may be more cost effective to substitute tube for pipe.

Second, welding around mill coatings burns and carbonizes the varnish in the surrounding areas and cannot be removed
by the normal cleaning process at a galvanizer. This soot must be removed by blasting or other mechanical cleaning methods prior to delivering steel to the galvanizing facility. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Allowing for Proper Drainage

For effective galvanizing, cleaning solutions and molten zinc must flow without undue resistance into, over, through, and out of the fabricated article. Failure to provide for this free, unimpeded flow can result in complications for the galvanizer and the customer. Improper drainage design results in poor appearance, bare spots, and excessive build-up of zinc. All of these are unnecessary and costly, and another example of why communication throughout the project is key.
A few common fabrications where drainage is important are gusset plates, stiffeners, end-plates, and bracing. Following these best design practices will help ensure the highest quality coatings:
• Where gusset plates are used, generously cropped corners provide for free drainage. When cropping gusset plates is not possible, holes at least 112-inch (13 mm) in diameter must be placed in the plates as close to the corners as possible (Figure 1).

Figure 7: Cropped bracing

• To ensure unimpeded flow of solutions, all stiffeners, gussets, and bracing should be cropped a minimum of 3/4-inch (19 mm) (Figure 8). Provide holes at least 112-inch (13 mm) in diameter in end-plates on rolled steel shapes to allow molten zinc access during immersion in the galvanizing bath and drainage during withdrawal.
corners as possible (Figure 1).

Cropped Corners (preferred) ​​Holes close to corners (alternatively)

Figure 8: Cropped gusset plate corners

Alternatively, holes at least 112-inch (13 mm) in diameter can be placed in the web within 1I4-inch (6 mm) of the
end-plate. To facilitate drainage, end-plates should have holes placed as close to interior corners as
possible (Figure 9).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reactive Steels

Atypical coatings produced from reactive steels exhibit different coating characteristics than a typical galvanized coating such as:

Appearance: The atypical galvanized coating may have a matte gray appearance and/or rougher surface due to the absence of the free zinc layer. The free zinc layer present on typical coatings imparts a shinier finish to a galvanized coating.

Adherence: The zinc-iron alloy coating tends to be thicker than a typical galvanized coating. In the rare situation where the coating is excessively thick, there is the possibility of diminished adhesion under external stress (thermal gradients, sharp impact).

Reactive steels are still galvanized on a regular basis, and it is important to note differences in appearance have no effect on the corrosion protection afforded by the galvanized coating. The performance of the coating is based on the thickness of the zinc; therefore, often the duller (and thicker) coatings produced by reactive steels last longer. Furthermore, all galvanized coatings as they weather over time will develop a uniform matte gray appearance.

It is difficult to provide precise guidance in the area of steel selection without qualifying all steel grades commercially available. However these guidelines discussed will assist you in selecting steels that provide good galvanized coatings.

• Levels of carbon less than 0.25%, phosphorus less than 0.04%, or manganese less than 1.35% are beneficial

• Silicon levels less than 0.04% or between 0.15% - 0.22% are desirable

Silicon may be present in many steels commonly galvanized even though it is not a part of the steel's controlled composition, because silicon is used in the steel deoxidation process and is found in continuously cast steel. Both silicon and phosphorous act as catalysts during the galvanizing process, resulting in rapid growth of zinc-iron alloy layers.And even when both elements are individually held to desirable limits, the combined effect between them can still produce an atypical coating of all or mostly zinc-iron alloy layers. When possible, your galvanizer should be advised of the grade of steel selected in order to determine whether specialized galvanizing techniques are suggested.