Methods of preventing hydrogen embrittlement in hot dip galvanized

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					                                                                                                                    Guest Writer




                                 Our guest writer for this edition is Spencer Erling, Education Director of the SAISC.


 Methods of preventing hydrogen embrittlement in
  hot dip galvanized high strength steel fasteners
Spencer Erling of SAISC, who together with                                                         mechanical process, the generation of
several other parties, including HDGASA,                                                           hydrogen ions is eliminated and so HE
discussed some recent Grade 10.9 fastener                                                          cannot then develop in the case of hot
failures and as the Guest Writer provides some                                                     dip galvanizing.
combined solutions to the failure issues!
                                                                                                   Warning! High strength fasteners that
Grade 10.9 S hot dip Galvanized bolts – how                                                        are zinc electroplated are susceptible
to achieve the desired quality                                                                     to HE while being zinc coated. To
Grade 10.9S HSFG hot dip galvanized                                                                remove the potential for HE in zinc
bolt failures have raised their ugly                                                               electroplating fasteners a ‘heat soak
heads again!                                                                                       process’ at 200°C is required drive off
                                                                                                   hydrogen ions / molecules from grain
Failures have occurred using high                                                                  boundaries.
strength friction grip (HSFG) bolts that
have been hot dip galvanized or                                                                    Other possible causes of embrittlement/ failure
alternatively zinc electroplated. Such             (HCl) or sulphuric acid (H2SO4.). This          of grade 10.9 fasteners.
brittle type failures have been traced             is commonly referred to as (acid)               To achieve the correct mechanical
back to either Hydrogen Embrittlement              pickling. Acid pickling results in the          properties required for grade 10.9S
(HE) or causes associated with the                 release of latent Hydrogen ions (H+1)           (HSFG) fasteners it is necessary for the
quality of the stock (raw) material                that can penetrate the grain                    stock material, which is used to
and/or the heat treatment                          boundaries of steel. H+1 ions, being            produce the fasteners to undergo a
requirements needed to achieve
                                                   unstable, combine to form stable                heat treatment process before hot dip
mechanical properties, during and
                                                   Hydrogen molecules (H2) on the grain            galvanizing. Note: Grade 8.8 (830MPa
following manufacture of grade 10.9
                                                   boundaries, (including microscopic              tensile strength) fastener material is not
fasteners.
                                                   surface cracking) leading to                    subjected to the same pre galvanizing heat
At a meeting of leading bolt                       weaknesses and failure when high                treatment and quality controls as fasteners
manufacturers, Hot Dip Galvanizers                 strength fasteners are subjected to             that have a tensile strength requirement in
Association, an end user and the                   tensile loads.                                  excess of 1 000MPa.
SAISC, proposals were discussed
                                                   In SANS 10094 specification (the use of         It has been found that poor quality
aimed at the modification and
                                                   high-strength friction grip bolts),             control, during this heat treatment
improvement of the specifications/
                                                   Annex B, a code of practice was                 process, has been a major source of
quality controls in order to eliminate
                                                   established for processes of hot dip            the problems experienced with friction
the potential for any form of fastener
                                                   galvanizing grade 10.9S fasteners               grip bolts and nuts.
embrittlement.
                                                   aimed at reducing the potential for HE.
What then are the causes Hydrogen                  In terms of paragraph B.1.1 a) “to              In order to achieve the correct
Embrittlement of fasteners when hot dip            restrict the pickling times to less than        hardness (and hence tensile strength
galvanizing or zinc electroplating? How is this    15 minutes” is detailed.                        and other mechanical properties
potential problem to be eliminated during                                                          required for grade 10.9 fasteners) As
manufacturing and subsequent corrosion             How can HE be eliminated?                       you can imagine if a bundle of bolts (or
protection processes?                              As a result of recent experience it is          nuts or both) are simply “chucked” into
                                                   proposed to totally eliminate acid              a heat treatment furnace there is the
What causes Hydrogen Embrittlement?                pickling of class grade 10.9 fasteners.         distinct possibility that the bolts on
Pre-treatment cleaning for both hot dip            Pre-treatment cleaning is to be                 the outside of the pile will be heated
galvanizing and zinc electroplating, is            achieved by means of mechanical                 differently from those in the middle of
normally achieved, by pickling                     cleaning, i.e. shot or sand blasting.           the pile.
fasteners in either hydrochloric acid              Changing pre-treatment cleaning to a                                continued on page 22...




                                                                                             Volume 6 Issue 2 2009 Hot Dip Galvanizing Today 21
Education

It has also been found that problems
are often found to occur when the




                                                       PO TH C W
                                                         IN PD
process has been a rushed late order                                                                 Galvanizers




                                                        W NO
resulting in a “special favour” to get the




                                                            TS
bolts to site urgently”. In such cases not                                                       Inspectors Course




                                                          I
enough attention has been paid to the
detail requirements to meet the                                            Hot dip galvanizing is one of the most widely used methods of protecting steel
specifications. For example, bolts are                                  from corrosion. As a final step in the process, the hot dip galvanized coating is
not carefully packed in a furnace to                                inspected for compliance with the appropriate specifications.
ensure even heating of all bolts.                            This Galvanizers Inspectors Course has been designed to provide delegates with sufficient knowledge to test,
Sometimes the work is done “on night                     inspect and interpret test results.
shift” where controls are not as carefully
                                                        Following the course and successful result in a three-part exam, the delegate will be issued with a certificate, and
managed as during day shift.
                                                        if required, registered as an approved HDGASA inspector. Registration will be confirmed on an annual basis.
Futhermore, poor quality heat treatment                 Successful inspectors will become Individual members of the Association for the year.
can result in bolts that are so soft                    The course is usually run from the Hot Dip Galvanizers Association in St Andrews, Bedfordview but from
(ductile) and yielding that when attempts               2009 it will be available in Cape Town. Bookings are limited to 10 people on a first-come-first-serve basis.
are made to tighten the bolts they                      COURSE CONTENT
“stretch into a coca- cola bottle profile” or
                                                        ◆ Introduction to corrosion                              ◆ Understanding zinc coatings
alternatively are so brittle that bolts and
                                                        ◆ Inspection before hot dip galvanizing                  ◆ Inspection after hot dip galvanizing
nuts sometimes fail long before “hand
tightening” has been achieved let alone                 ◆ Quality assurance in coating applications.
torquing or stretching of the bolts                     COURSE DURATION
commence. Clearly neither of these                      This is a 2-Day Course comprising lectures on the first day, a Plant Tour in the morning of the second day, and the
problematic scenario bolts are suitable to              qualifying examination in the afternoon.
do the job they have been designed for.
                                                        DATE AND TIME
The best advice we can offer is ensure                  Courses commence at 08h00 sharp and end at 16h30. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Comprehensive
that:                                                   course notes can be collected from our offices two weeks before the course.

1) Hot dip galvanized grade 10.9S bolts                 Johannesburg:
                                                        February 17 - 18; April 7 - 8; June 9 - 10; August 4 - 5; October 6 - 7 and Nov 24 - 25.
   should be supplied by reputable
   suppliers                                            Cape Town:
                                                        May 20 - 21; September 9 - 10
2) Material certificates are required for
   stock material used to form the                      COURSE COST AND PAYMENT TERMS
   fasteners.                                           R2 394.00 per person inclusive of VAT. Should you have 2 or more delegates from the same company, course costs
3) Certificates of conformance for heat                 will be R2 166.00 per person inclusive of VAT. Please note that payment is due on the first day of training. Cheques
   treatment that includes results of                   to be made payable to “Hot Dip Galvanizers Association SA”. Members qualify for a discount.
   testing for mechanical properties and
                                                        SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED, KINDLY CONTACT SASKIA SALVATORI AT
   in compliance with ISO 898-1 for
                                                        THE ASSOCIATION.
   bolts and ISO 898-2 for nuts.
4) It be required that 3 samples from                   NOTE: All professional Engineers, Technologists, Technicians and Certificated Engineers are required to
   each heat treated batch of fasteners                 achieve a certain number of points for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). By attending the
   are tested, by the manufacturer, to                  Association's two day Coating Inspection Course, you will obtain 2 points (accredited by ECSA).
   ensure pre-galvanizing compliance. A
   further 3 samples are to be tested, by
   the fastener manufacture, following
   the hot dip galvanizing operation.

Editorial Comment:

When hot dip galvanized fasteners fail, the local
industry is normally fingered with the blame. We
wish to place on record that some 10.9 hot dip
galvanized fasteners that failed after being used at
Green Point Stadium, were in fact imported! The
proposals suggested in Spencer's article (Guest
Writer) will hopefully comprehensively eliminate
failure by HE with all local hot dip galvanized
grade 10.9 fasteners in future!



22 Hot Dip Galvanizing Today Volume 6 Issue 2 2009