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"Pimples on hot dip galvanizing"

Current question:

June 30, 2021

Q. When galvanizing I-beam we found a lot of pimple on the surface. While same we dip [at an] angle we don' find any pimples. I don't understand what is the main reason for this. Kindly. anyone who knows, suggest about this issue.
flux gravity: 1.17 while pH: 6
bath temp :454
nickel : 0.3%
lead : 1.28%
aluminium: 0.02%

nimesh gupta
galvanizing manager - mumbai, India

July 1, 2021

A. Your operating conditions (makes it easier when people give a full picture like this), suggests that your zinc is close to saturation. There's quite low limits of solubility for the various elements we add to zinc, but adding excess means that one or more of these can precipitate out of solution. Your %Ni at 0.3% is very high. For the purpose of controlling sandelin steels alloy thickness, a level of 0.06% is adequate. Your Al at 0.02% is also high, and you'd find for most purposes, 0.001% is adequate. Your Pb at 1.28% is also high, and something under 1% is adequate. At your level, there's likely to be excess Pb on the kettle floor, as not much more can be dissolved in Zn than your 1.28%. So with all these alloying elements over the required levels, something will precipitate out, often Al does this as pimples. Suggest you add less of the Ni, Pb, Al until the levels are lower, and the pimples will likely disappear, and you'll save some money by not adding too much too!

Geoff Crowley
Crithwood Ltd.
supporting advertiser
Bathgate, Scotland, UK
crithwood logo

Closely related historical postings, oldest first:


Q. I have had many inquires regarding the last few pimples that are on the steel after galvanizing. These pimples are at the underside of the product that comes out of the zinc first (at about a 45 deg. angle). There are never pimples on product coming out vertically. I am interested in the cause but far more importantly in the cure. When cut and tested these pimples are high in aluminum. I do not think they are dross pimples because they occur in very deep well-drossed kettles.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Dr. Thomas H. Cook
Galvanizing Consultant - Hot Springs, South Dakota, USA


A. I have noticed that this problem of pimples usually goes away with the addition of some lead.

I too have noticed that they do not occur on vertically oriented pieces, and have assumed this to be due to drainage of the surplus zinc, containing those pimples back into the melt. The pieces that have a horizontal component of their orientation however do not drain so well.

The reduction in the problem when lead is added seems to imply that they could be an impurity that requires some lead to increase the density and cause sinking.
Aluminium must have some part to play, as the problem is much less prevalent in low Al baths, but the shininess of low Al melt is not as attractive to those customers who think that bright shiny must be better.

Geoff Crowley
Crithwood Ltd.
supporting advertiser
Westfield, Scotland, UK
crithwood logo

July 21, 2015

affil. link
"Handbook of Hot Dip Galvanization"
by Maass & Peissker
from Abe Books

affil. link
"Faults in Hot-Dip Galvanizing"
by Dietrich Horstmann
from Abe Books
info on Amazon

Q. Pimples are seen on pipes while galvanized at 455 °C. Why is it occurring?

rajkishore sharma
salasar techno eng - ghaziabad utterpradesh india

December 10, 2015

Q. We are a fairly new Galvanizing company located in Ontario, Canada. We are having an issue with finished product having a substantial amount of pimples (sandpaper coat). We just had the kettle samples come back from the lab and everything is perfect. Although this is not cause for rejection it is getting irritating and is only a matter of time before customers start complaining about quality issues. It is most, but not all, steel hanging vertically and horizontally. Any suggestion on the cure?

Timothy Melingas
- Brampton, Ontario, Canada

February 4, 2016

Q. What is the reason pimples come on hot dip galvanizing material?

virendra yadav
- gorakhpur india

February 2016

thumbs up signHi cousin Virendra. Dr. Cook has implied that dross pimples are one type of pimple, but that he currently had interest in another type which is always on the bottom, never on vertical surfaces, and which pimples test high for aluminum. Mr. Crowley offers some theories about lead and aluminum content for that specific case.

Please start by telling us whether the pimples you refer to are only on the bottom, never on vertical surfaces, and whether you have tested them for aluminum and lead. Or else, please tell us in good detail how they differ -- please get back to us with details. Thanks.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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