The Most Common Post-Galvanizing Issues, Defeat & Cause

Hot-dip galvanized coatings provide outstanding corrosion protection to the base steel surface. Still, since hot dipping is an industrial process, its finish may not always be smooth or uniform like paint can be. Newly galvanized steel on many items has a natural appearance that blends in with its used environments, making them perfect for settings such as nature walks, where there are varying degrees of weathering from fresh surfaces all along its surface.

Galvanized coating is specified for its corrosion resistance, not its appearance. The standard and abnormal types have nearly equal relative abilities to resist chemical attack; however, some issues do occur more frequently than others, such as mottling, which can be caused by dirt or other harsh elements rubbing against the surface over time while dulling its colour because of age-related weariness in addition brittle spots where metal has pulled away from its base.

Here are some more common issues that can be observed in galvanized steel:

Bare Spots

If you have bare spots on your steel surface, there is likely not enough preparation before applying the galvanized coating. This can happen for many reasons, including excess aluminium in the galvanizing kettle or lifting devices preventing proper adhesion of oil-based paint/galvanized metal byproducts when welding slag into place while trying to avoid these problems at the first location! To avoid bare spots, the galvanizer must ensure the surfaces are clean and without rust after pretreatment. Small bare areas can be repaired in the galvanizing shop. If the size of the bare spot or a total number of spots causes rejection, the parts may be stripped, re-galvanized, and then re-inspected for compliance with the specifications.


When a steel part cools, the zinc layer coating on its surface starts to form. If there is not enough free layer for this process and sudden changes in chemical composition occur- usually because of factors like high silicon or phosphorus content which make heavier sections weigh more than lighter ones – then you can end up with matte grey areas found mostly near galvanized pieces due their slower cooling rates.

Ash Staining

Galvanized coatings are designed to protect against corrosion, but it’s possible for zinc ash from the process of galvanizing itself onto your piece of metalwork. This dark brown residue may form when water gets trapped inside areas that can’t be reached during coating application or removal – like around impossible-to-reach spots indoors where there are no access panels outside; this means you’ll notice light stains according to how often they occur! The presence isn’t harmful, though and doesn’t affect the performance.

Dull and Shiny

The chemistry causes the different appearances of galvanized steel that it contains. The two most essential elements in this process, silicon and phosphorus, play their role as catalysts for coating growth, leading to various colourations on pieces depending on how thickly they’re coated with paint or other metals. The difference in appearance between highly reactive steels and typical bright coatings can be seen when heated. Due to the rapid zinc and iron intermetallic growth, highly reactive steel tends to have a matte grey or mottled look. Still, if you know what’s going on beforehand with these materials, it isn’t too hard for galvanizers – aware of their composition -to minimise this effect through galvanizing process control methods.

Black Spots

If you see black spots on your galvanized steel, it could be because of residual flux crystals that form when contaminated rinse water or poor rinsing afterward. The most common place for this fault is in baths using a “wet” process where there is still some zinc coating left over from before pouring into the mould to cover up any mistakes made during manufacturing- which can lead them being more likely than other types since they’re exposed more extended periods without protection against corrosion runner offs coming through onto surfaces below.

Flux Inclusions

The most common type of inclusion found in zinc layer parts is called flux. These tiny specks are created when the galvanized coatings don’t release during hot-dip galvanizing, preventing them from growing under this zinc layer and resulting in an area that must be repaired or touched up.

Lumps and Runs

If the withdrawal is too fast or a bath temperature isn’t enough to allow molten zinc inside to return to its container during hot hot-dip galvanizing, you might see lumps in your coating. The design of certain products can cause some cases where they’re withdrawn from baths with pockets that collect more than others do – this will result in an uneven appearance on their surface due to both compression shock waves caused by rapid cooling as well-defined regions stand out against each other rather than flowing smoothly.

Skimmings Inclusions

Zinc skimming deposits are usually caused when there’s no access to remove the zinc during the withdrawal of reactive steel from galvanizing kettle. The surface tension on molten Zinc causes it to behave like a liquid, with any remaining pieces trapped by its coating; however, these shouldn’t necessarily be grounds for rejection as long they meet necessary specifications – provided everything else goes smoothly!

Peeling/Delamination of the Galvanized Coating

Galvanized coating is used in several different applications because it’s highly durable. However, when the free zinc layer peels off due to delamination or other causes, your part can have an unpleasant coating that makes them look old and worn before its time! You need parts with suitable zinc coatings, so they don’t rust quickly and cost more money for maintenance expenses. Water gets inside through these voids between the top two layers, which causes corrosion from within rather than just being exteriorly exposed as regular paint does.

General Surface Irregularities

The varying reaction rates on molten zinc by steel surfaces due to stress or welded areas cause thicker than expected galvanized coatings during the galvanizing process. This occurs more often in tube and pipe products, but it does not impact how well the coating performs its function- which means you can still enjoy your beautiful new pipes!


Galvanizing is a popular process that creates heavy coatings during the galvanize stage. When this happens, flaking can occur due to high stresses placed on steel and its coating, which causes zinc to contact surfaces quickly, causing them not to stick together anymore.

Dross Inclusions

Dross inclusions are a common occurrence when zinc is combined with iron. These small particles can cause problems with the corrosion resistance of galvanized coating, so they must be removed before it forms on steel objects like pipes and tanks. If gross dross inclusion errors prevent full coverage by metal pieces, these areas would also need repairing.

General Roughness

If the surfaces of two pieces are not perfectly smooth, roughness can cause adhesion problems. This means that even though general wear may occur with excessive growth or uneven layers due to steel’s chemical composition – which will result in more pronounced relieving patterns on heavier coats- this does not always mean a detrimental effect on lifespan because there might be good bonding between specific pairs depending upon how much force is applied when they meet up again later down life cycle. The general roughness of a coating can be attributed to excessive growth or unevenness in the alloy layers.

Rust Staining

The steel underneath the coating is being quickened by corrosion, which will cause a light brown stain where contact has occurred. Wire brushing must be done to remove this dull surface appearance and restore your product’s beautiful shine!

Spangled Coatings

Galvanized coatings are often used for the hot-dip galvanizing process because they display spangling, which occurs when zinc iron crystals patterns on the surface create an unevenness that makes it look like dancing light. This performance remains untouched by these particular types of alloys; only specific smelting processes can produce them, and those who want good visibility should use a different material instead!

Final Thought

Galvanizing is a great way to protect metal against corrosion, but it’s not always enough. When used in place of or alongside other protective coatings such as paint, especially if you want your structure preserved for years-the, longevity will depend on factors like inadequate surface preparation level (how well were they galvanized) plus what kind/size steel was selected! In more exposed environments where there could be aggressive exposure -like bridges-these considerations become even more significant because anything less than perfection can lead to severe problems down the line