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Welding galvanized structural steel

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So, a construction site on campus is letting me salvage some scrap structural steel, a lot of which is your basic rusty mild. There are also some big pieces that might be great for welding into the base of a treadle hammer or something, but they're galvanized.

Question: would grinding the galvy an inch or so back from any edges to be welded (i.e., beyond the HAZ) significantly reduce the risk of zinc poisoning, and -- if it does -- is it worth the bother? Or should I just salvage it to haul to the scrap dealer?

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Yes. Grinding it back is plenty of precaution depending on how heavy the beads are. 

That is however my dented head memory of book learning for my pipe and structural certification some 40+ years ago. Best check with the experts the AWS. This link should cover it but the AWS site is searchable.


Frosty The Lucky.

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If you grind away the galvanized (zinc) coating you will be putting zinc dust into the air. This can settle and cover everything in the area, waiting to become airborne again when disturbed. IF you choose to grind, use a BIG FAN outside and blow the air shoulder to shoulder. This puts the zinc into the neighbors yard.

A dip into vinegar will remove the zinc without spreading it around.

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