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How to tell if a metal has been galvanized or just zinc plated?


Is there a way to test if a bolt/nut is galvanized? I have a set of wedge anchors for an outdoor fence I picked up at a salvage yard, but if these are plain old zinc coated bolts, they will rust.

Rick Miller
homeowner - Seattle, Washington, USA


Old galvanized bolts will exhibit a grayish color. Zinc plated bolts will appear clear bright, yellow or bluish. Be aware that cadmium plated bolts can look similar to zinc plated bolts.

gene packman
- great neck, New York


One way to tell is to try to thread the galvanized bolt into a nut which is known to be plated. I believe that it won't fit because the threads of fasteners that will be galvanized are cut deeper to allow for the thickness of the galvanizing.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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