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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.

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

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