Zinc runoff from galvanised steel materials exposed in industrial/marine environment
Authors: Sullivan, J. H.; Worsley, D. A.
Source: British Corrosion Journal, Volume 37, Number 4, December 2002 , pp. 282-288(7)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:An investigation has been carried out to assess the zinc runoff from a variety of galvanised materials over 16 months at the industrial/marine Port Talbot weathering site. Over 16 months of exposure, bare zinc, and Electrozinc have the highest levels of zinc runoff (4·38 and 4·20 g m-2) followed by general galvanised steel substrates, i.e. hot dip galvanised (HDG) steel (0·15 wt-%Al) (2·87 g m-2) and iron zinc intermetallic galvanised steel (galvanneal, 2·36 g m-2). Galvanneal (IZ) has a higher initial runoff rate than HDG due to the presence of iron/zinc intermetallic in the coating that promotes anodic zinc dissolution. The HDG has a more constant runoff rate that exceeds IZ after 7-8 months due to build up of corrosion products on the IZ surface. Aluminium/zinc alloy coated steels have a much lower runoff rate than general galvanised materials as the aluminium present in the structure provides a strongly protective oxide barrier coating improving corrosion resistance (Galfan 5 wt-%Al, 2·04 g m-2, and Z alutite 55 wt-%Al, 0·67 g m-2). Organically coated steels show relatively little zinc runoff (< 0·25 g m-2) indicating their effectiveness in preventing surface corrosion. Runoff levels measured do not exceed permissible levels of zinc for drinking water and the measured zinc runoff levels pose little threat to organisms if leached into soil. Using an accelerated laboratory test in which distilled water is sprayed onto specimen panels in a recirculatory system for 100 h a good correlation can be obtained with external exposure for up to 6 months exposure. For 12 months exposure iron zinc intermetallic galvanising (galvanneal) begins to become covered in a protective oxide layer, which cannot form under the conditions of the accelerated test. Despite this, the fit for most specimen types is excellent. Where the predictive test fails is when the galvanising layer is breached revealing an efficient iron cathode site. This occurs first for electrocoated zinc after 16 months exposure. Similar predictive results can be obtained using a scanning vibrating electrode technique (SVET) in a semiquantitative manner and an immersion electrolyte of 0·1 wt-%NaCl. Again the predictions are initially very accurate but following 12 months exposure the fit for specimens of electrozinc is poor due to the breaching of the galvanising layer.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-12-01
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