There are many times you will need to weld on galvanized steel. Among many metals, stainless steel is a very common choice for welding as it has corrosion and rust resistance.
Now, if you want to get strong welds on your galvanized steel, you might be wondering if you can use stainless steel on that. Or anyone who wants to join stainless steel and galvanized steel together will want to know that.
The question is can you weld stainless steel to galvanized steel?
Well, yes, you can. Since galvanized steel is just regular steel with zinc coating, you can do it. And if you want to know more, stick to the end as we describe all about this matter in detail.
Before knowing whether you can weld stainless steel to galvanized steel, we must have
Understanding The Difference Between Galvanized And Stainless Steel
The purpose and function of both galvanized steel and stainless steel are the same. That is to get protection against rust and corrosion. There are many differences you get to see in their construction.
Let’s take a look at both of them one by one.
Galvanized steel is just like typical steel metal with an added layer of zinc coating. This zinc coating on the steel allows it to have resistance against rust and corrosion. No amount of moisture can affect the steel with that zinc barrier it has.
However, once the coating is off, it loses all those resistance qualities and becomes regular steel.
Unlike galvanized steel, stainless steel has a 10% chromium mixed within the construction. The chromium alloy addition gives it resistance to rust and corrosion. It’s not completely protected, but it provides great resistance to rust.
Also, stainless steel is much stronger and more durable than galvanized steel.
So, the difference you get on both of these is that galvanized steel is only resistant to rust as long as they have the zinc coating on them. In comparison, stainless steel will have rust and corrosion resistance built-in, which lasts longer.
Also, the price of them has a lot of differences. Galvanized steel is much cheaper than Stainless steel, making them a preferable choice for people on a budget.
Welding Galvanized Steel And Stainless Steel (Factors To Consider)
Now, when it comes to welding these two metals, you will need to consider a lot of factors. The first one is considering what’s the purpose of your weld. If you are thinking of joining these two metals because of their resistance to rust and corrosion, then you have mistaken. Here’s why-
- For stick welding on galvanized steel with, you have to grind off the zinc coating it has. The zinc coating is the only part that gives it corrosion and rust resistance. Grinding it off will make the galvanized steel just like regular steel. You might say, “But I am still using stainless steel.” Well, yes, you are, but it won’t be able to cover the weld site on the galvanized steel. So, eventually, the weld site will rust and corrode. This way, you don’t get the benefit of rust or corrosion resistance in your welds.
- Another time you shouldn’t weld stainless steel on galvanized steel is for heavy-duty professional projects. For professional welding, these metals are a big no. Especially when you have engineer-grade welding to do in high-stress, you have to avoid using these two materials together.
That brings up the question, then when can you weld stainless steel on galvanized steel? You can do that for joining these two materials when you must have to and don’t require that resistance aspect of it. It’s okay to do for small DIY (Do It Yourself) projects or fixing up stuff.
Now, let’s get on to how you can do the welding.
How To Weld Stainless Steel On Galvanized Steel
There are two ways you can do this. In one, you can use a regular steel filler metal, and in the other one, you can use a stainless-steel filler metal. The difference is that stainless steel filler metal will have a little bit better resistance on the weld than the regular ones.
For the welder, you can use a MIG welder. A combination of MIG welder and flux core mig wire also seems to work pretty well in some cases. Otherwise you may use multi purpose welding machines to weld these steels.
Here are the steps for welding on galvanized steel. We are assuming you know the basics of welding, so we don’t go into too many details here.
- First, you have to scrap off that zinc layer from the galvanized steel. For that, you can use a grinder or filer to remove that layer. Try to remove only the area you will be working on as it also minimizes the possible corrosion or rust area.
- After that, you can load up the welder with a regular filler rod or a stainless-steel filler rod that is compatible with your steel grade.
- Next, start welding from the edges of both sheets of steel. Go slow, don’t rush the whole process; it will ruin the beads you make.
- And the rest of the welding process is similar to any other welding.
While you are welding on galvanized steel, you can use an arc welder for that purpose. It yields the best results for welding on galvanized steel. And if you have access to the process of galvanizing steel, then you should do a coating to make sure it’s resistant to rust and corrosion.
Also, you have to be very careful about the toxic fumes from zinc coating. Make sure not to touch the zinc coating while you are welding on the galvanized steel. Always wear a proper respirator mask for welding on galvanized steel.
All in all, it’s a good idea to weld stainless steel on galvanized steel, only it’s a small project. You can use compatible stainless steel welder machine for such projects. But for professional welding purposes, you should never go through this.
Because in reality, these two metals aren’t entirely compatible with welding, making the welds a bit weak. You can make do with that for a DIY project, but that won’t cut out for a professional application.