Failure of a Carbon Steel Galvanizing Vat
A steel galvanizing vat measuring 3 x 1.2 x 1.2 m (10 x 4 x 4 ft) and made of 19 mm thick carbon steel plate (ASTM A285, grade B)) at a shipbuilding and ship-repair facility failed after only three months of service. To verify suspected failure cause, two T joints were made in 12.5 mm thick ASTM A285, grade B, steel plate. One joint was welded using the semiautomatic submerged arc process with one pass on each side. A second joint was welded manually by the shielded metal arc process using E6010 welding rod and four passes on each side. The silicon content of the shielded metal arc weld was 0.54%, whereas that of the submerged arc weld was 0.86%. After being weighed, the specimens were submerged in molten zinc for 850 h. Analysis (visual inspection, chemical analysis, 100x 2% nital-etched micrographs) supported the conclusions that the vat failed due to molten-zinc corrosion along elongated ferrite bands, possibly because silicon was dissolved in the ferrite and thus made it more susceptible to attack by the molten zinc. Recommendations included rewelding the vat using the manual shielded metal arc process with at least four passes on each side.