The surface of a hook did not possess the smooth and shiny zinc bloom surface normally observed on hot galvanized steel parts but was matte and rough. Large cracks were observed in the zinc layer. The hook was made of silicon-killed alloy steel 41Cr4. A silicon content of 0.27% was established analytically. Silicon accelerates the reaction between iron and zinc, which should have been taken into account in the present case by reducing the dip time or a small addition of aluminum (0.1 to 0.2%) to the galvanizing bath to retard the extremely rapid growth of the zinc layer and the strong alloy formation. Even in the case of steel parts with lower silicon contents the reaction between iron and zinc can continue until the pure zinc layer has been consumed entirely if the work piece is not cooled sufficiently after withdrawal.
Egon Kauczor, Brittle Zinc Layer on a Hot-Galvanised Hook, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Processing Errors and Defects, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.process.c9001215
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