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topic 49676

How to calculate/measure the thickness of zinc coating

A discussion started in 2008 but continuing through 2019

August 14, 2008

Q. I would like to know what will be the thickness of the electroplating in microns, on MS sheets of flats, when 610 gms/sqmt of zinc is used.

Vinod Kumar
Design engineer - India

August , 2008

A. Hi, Vinod. Usually electroplating is expressed in thickness but phosphatizing is expressed in weight because the meaning and usefulness of the term 'thickness' becomes compromised when you are speaking of a conversion coating which includes some dissolution of the original substrate, transition areas, and various different compounds.

But if this is zinc electroplating and the density of zinc metal is about 7.14 g/cm3, then you have 610/7.14 = 85.4 cm3 or .0000854 m3 of zinc spread across 1 m2.

So the thickness is .0000854 meters or 85.4 microns or 3.3 thousandths of an inch. That would be too thick for zinc electroplating and sounds more like galvanizing. Typically, and per spec, zinc electroplating would be 5, 8, 13, or 25 microns thick based on whether the service condition was mild, moderate, severe, or very severe.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 15, 2008

A. 610 g/m2 is the often used equivalent of 85 microns used for hot dip galvanizing.

Can't imagine electroplating that thick!

Geoff Crowley
Geoff Crowley
galvanizing & powder coating shop
Glasgow, Scotland

Calculating the cost of too-thick galvanizing

May 7, 2017

Q. I am galvanizing steel structures. The zinc micron thickness is higher than the standard coating. For example, I need 85 micron for steel whose weight is 10 ton and I am getting 100 microns for the same weight after checking by Elcometer. The difference of the microns is losing me money, so I need to calculate how much grams I am losing because of the difference of the microns.

john picol
- uae

May 2017

A. Hi John. If you multiply the thickness of the coating (100 microns) by the surface area you are coating, you will have the volume of zinc you are using. You can, if you wish, then multiply this by the density of zinc to convert the zinc usage to weight instead of volume.

Your unknown at this point, though, is how much surface area you are coating. Telling us the weight of steel you are coating doesn't help us because if we don't know the thickness of the steel we cannot convert its weight to its area.

As for how to reduce the thickness from 100 microns to 85 microns, we have many threads which address that issue, including:
letter 55032, "How can we minimize galvanize coating thickness",
letter 57597, "Reducing variance in galvanizing coating thickness"
and letter 45551, "Reducing coating thickness by adding nickel salts". Good luck.


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

September 12, 2017

Q. How to estimate cost for chemical consumption per kg production, labour charges per kg ?

Roshan C Ugale
Sham Enterprises - Nasik, Maharashtra, India

February 12, 2019

Q. I need a GSM of a material with 500 they showed me micron level of 30 on both side totaling 60.
My question is whether we need to take one side of micron level or both sides?

siva kumar
Indway prime energy - Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

February 2019

A. Hi Siva. I assume you are saying that you are supposed to offer a coating of 500 grams / meter2 but don't know whether this is per side or total? Most specs mean total weight of zinc on both sides put together (although it's always dangerous to ask a 3rd party to guess what your customer wanted).

It's okay to estimate for your own purposes the grams / meter2 from the thickness, or vice versa, per the examples worked out on this page -- such that, yes, 60 microns average total thickness should be about 430 grams / meter2 -- but I think you are expected to verify the coating weight by stripping and weighing, not by taking a thickness reading at a couple of points and assuming that the thickness will be the same everywhere. Good luck.


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

March 6, 2019

Q. Hi,
How much zinc coating is needed on 2.45 mm wire to get to 2.50 mm size.


March 10, 2019

A. That's an easy question. Even easier than 'What is the meaning of life?' If your wire is 2.45 mm in diameter and you want to build it up to 2.50 mm, then you need 0.025 mm of plating, since you plate all around the wire. That's 25 micrometers. And the meaning of life? That's 42. At least according to Douglas Adams.

Tom Rochester
Plating Systems & Technologies, Inc.  
Jackson, Michigan, USA
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Tom is the author of
"Surface Area Formulas & Tables
- A Resource for Surface Finishers"

sidebar2 March 2019

thumbs up sign  You'd think Adams would have learned something from Hitchhiking the whole damn Galaxy! The whole universe, no matter how vast & intricate has no significance at all without consciousness ... and whether it's even there or it isn't becomes a meaningless moot question. Consciousness is the universe's greatest achievement.

The meaning of life is to be conscious and grateful, to strive to be happy, and to help others be happy.

(That's only 21 words, not 42, so maybe it's half-baked).

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

June 11, 2019

Q. Sir can we use Elkometer for measurement of galvanize coating.

Sharad Srivastava
- rawatbhata rajasthan india

June 20, 2019

A. Elcometer is a brand name of an instrument maker. They make many different instruments.
Your question isn't specific enough.
Which meter do you wish to use?
What do you want to measure?

If you wish to measure the length of the coated item, then a tape measure might do.
If (as I suspect, but you didn't say), you wish to measure the galvanizing thickness, then an instrument is available for this purpose, and ISO 1461 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet], the International standard for galvanizing allows for such an instrument to be used. There are many manufacturers of such instruments, Elcometer is one of many reputable brands.
The standard dictates how many places you should measure, and how to decide where etc.

Geoff Crowley
Geoff Crowley
galvanizing & powder coating shop
Glasgow, Scotland

August 27, 2019

Q. An iron rod with 16 mm thickness without any galvanization, then what's the thickness of iron rod after the galvanization?

Rahul Parsodkar
- Wardha, Maharashtra, India

A. Sorry Rahul, that one is unanswerable.


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

October 13, 2019

Q. What is the thickness zinc for 25 mm dia and get 350gsm coating

- Pune Maharashtra India

October 2019

A. Hi Nilesh. Several people have said 610GSM is 85 microns, and 430GSM is 60 microns, so 350GSM would be 350/610 x 85 = 48 microns; or 350/430 x 60 = 48 microns average thickness. But again, the math does not guarantee even thickness.


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

November 21, 2019

Q. Hi there,
May I know how many micron is ZF100 Galvanneal coating and the hardness?
Thank you.

steel door manufacturer - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

December 2019

A. Hi Mun. ZF100 means the coating weight is 100 grams per square meter (and that usually includes both sides). I think you need to consult a manufacturer's data sheet for the hardness.


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

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