28. Effect of Galvanizing on Steel Strength

Over the past 10 years, steel makers worldwide have developed new structural grades of steel with higher yield and tensile strengths. These developments have enabled manufacturers to design their steel products using lighter-section steel that in turn reduces the production, transport and erection costs of the finished product. Prior to these developments, the steel fabrications that were most commonly galvanized were manufactured from Grade 250MPa hot rolled structural steels.

Since the early 1970ā€™s, the results from research and testing centres around the world have shown that the hot dip galvanizing process does not affect the tensile and proof (yield) strengths of the Grade 250 MPa structural steels. But does the hot dip galvanizing process affect the yield and tensile strengths of the newer high-tensile grades of structural steels?

Industrial Galvanizers has been asked these questions on a number of occasions. To ensure that factual information is available, Industrial Galvanizers undertook a testing program involving galvanizing these steels to establish the effect of hot dip galvanizing on their structural performance.

Objective

The aim of this test program was to establish whether the process of dipping steel in molten zinc adversely affected the strength properties of a typical high tensile steel using standard hot dip galvanizing practices. These practices include duplicating the immersion time of the steel in the molten zinc (this is typically 5 - 10 minutes under normal conditions) at a temperature of 455oC.

Test 1

Product: HA70T-P Hot rolled, with black finish manufactured by BlueScope Steel. HA70T-P hot rolled steel has guaranteed minimum yield strength of 450 Mpa, and minimum hardness of 70 HRB. The typical yield strength is between 520 to 610 MPa. The typical tensile strength is between 530 to 620 MPa. This steel is normally used in shelving, automotive parts and more recently for purlins and other roll-formed light structural sections.

Procedure

The test procedure involved cutting eleven pieces from a of 3.0mm thick black HA70T-P steel coil. Six of the pieces were hot dip galvanized in accordance with AS/NZS 4680:2006. The remaining pieces were left in black (as rolled) finish. All sections were then delivered to BlueScope Technical Services Laboratory at Port Kembla for testing.

  Finish Thickness Nominal mm Thickness Actual mm Hardness (Brinnel) Yield Strength MPa Tensile Strength MPa
1. Black 3.000 2.982 82 471 482
2. Black 3.000 2.996 83 450 465
3. Black 3.000 2.986 83 451 466
4. Black 3.000 2.984 83 453 466
5. Black 3.000 2.982 83 448 466
6. HDG 3.000 2.966 83 445 482
7. HDG 3.000 2.969 84 465 499
8. HDG 3.000 2.977 84 473 501
9. HDG 3.000 2.972 84 443 480
10. HDG 3.000 2.966 83 443 481
11. HDG 3.000 2.968 84 442 482

Test 2

Product: GALVASPAN G450 Zinc coated, structural grade manufactured by BlueScope Steel.

GALVSPAN G450 has guaranteed minimum yield strength of 450 Mpa, and is an in-line hot dip zinc coated structural grade steel. The typical yield strength is between 470 to 550 MPa. The typical tensile strength is between 510 to 600 MPa. This steel is normally roll formed into products such as purlins, girts and light structural profiles.

Procedure

The test procedure involved cutting six pieces from a single length of a roll-formed Z25024 purlin, which had been roll formed by BHP Building Products. The steel thickness is 2.4mm. Three of the pieces were acid pickled (to completely remove the Z350 mill applied zinc coating) and hot dip galvanized in accordance with the Australian Standard. The remaining pieces were left in the mill applied Z350 Zinc coating (as rolled) finish. All sections were then delivered to the BlueScope Steel Technical Services at Port Kembla for testing.

  Finish Thickness Nominal Thickness Actual Hardness (Brinnel) Yield Strength MPa Tensile Strength Mpa
1. Zinc coated 2.400 2.400 91 537 573
2. Zinc coated 2.400 2.374 91 531 564
3. Zinc coated 2.400 2.372 92 535 569
4. HDG 2.400 2.372 91 532 566
5. HDG 2.400 2.383 91 529 563
6. HDG 2.400 2.383 92 536 569

Results

Tables 1 and 2 show the results of the testing. If the results of the yield strengths of the black sections and the results for the galvanized sections of the HA70T-P are averaged, the difference is 0.4%. As this variation is less than 1% it is considered to be within the accuracy tolerance of the testing procedure.

If the results of the yield strengths of the black sections and the results for the galvanized sections of the Galvaspan G450 are averaged, the difference is 0.6%. As this variation is less than 1% it is considered to be within the accuracy tolerance of the testing procedure.

Both of these tests have verified that hot dip galvanizing of either un-coated high strength steel or the hot dip galvanizing of pre-galvanized high strength steel after acid stripping of the original coating has no effect on the structural strength of the steels involved.

Note

A subsequent comprehensive test program was undertaken by Industrial Galvanizers in partnership with OneSteel to evaluate the effect of hot dip galvanizing on 500N Grade reinforcing bar in 2007. The results of these tests support the findings of the testing detailed above, in that hot dip galvanizing does not affect the mechanical properties of standard grades of steel.

Blow-out from over lapping area on this fabrication has caused a galvanized coating defect
Surface to be repaired is cleaned by wire brushing.
Approved epoxy-based zinc-rich paint is applied to the uncoated area to at least equivalent thickness to the galvanized coating.