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Through a Finisher's Eyes -- a series of photo essays.

Paint ain't galvanizing

A previous essay mentioned my visit to the Lewes, Delaware ferry terminal, a salt-air environment on the Delaware Bay.

This fence at that site caught my eye. In installing the illustrated fencing, apparently it was not possible to find a factory made section with two verticals on the seven to eight inch centers shown, so it was necessary to field fabricate this piece by welding a horizontal pipe between the verticals. The installer painted the welded joint, but I thought this photo illustrated pretty dramatically the protective value of galvanizing, and the fact that applying some zinc-based or aluminum-based paint is no substitute for the galvanizing that was destroyed by the welding. -- Ted Mooney


Interesting for sure. (why am I even responding to this?), anyway, when you say lead or zinc based paint, you mean someone spray canned the weld with "cold galvanizing"?

true its just cover up, but for the cost of a prefab section, how many of these field fabricated joints could be made/repaired over the life span of the whole fence? I think if the "paint" was applied properly with a primer/top coat as a system, the joint would last long enough to meet with general acceptance. I agree its not a substitute for galvanizing, and I wouldn't want anything else on a structural piece, but on a fence, what else could reasonably be done in this circumstance?

keith robinson, Ct. DOT


I don't know what paint they used for the field touch up, and I wasn't trying to say that the repair was done improperly, Keith. I was just trying to show an actual picture demonstrating that the corrosion resistance of galvanizing is far superior to paint. Thanks for the opportunity to let me clarify.

Ted Mooney,

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