Welding zinc sheet metal ????'s
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  1. #1
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    Default Welding zinc sheet metal ????'s

    Customer wants thin zinc sheet welded, countertop corners.

    Thin stuff .034 I think.

    Limited info on the web, some companies say they weld zinc countertops and grind smooth, in shop only, but I can't find any info on zinc rod.

    I know the fumes are poisionous and will take appropriate measures.

    I have a Dynasty 200dx and know how to use it.

    Where can I get the rod? Anything else I need to know about welding Zinc?

    I think it welds on AC, but I'm not sure of that either.

    Thanks,

    James

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    if its for a counter top make sure they know before hand that any vinegar spilled on it will stain and can only be fixed by tearing the whole thing out and re dip it. unless it will painted, in which case that changes many things. easiest way to do it will be to build it then hot dip it. otherwise its a matter of of grinding off old zinc, welding, then spraying with cold galvanizing, this isn't an decorative way to do a countertop.

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    Rusty- he is talking about SOLID zinc, not galvanized sheet.
    No redipping needed.
    Solid zinc countertops are all the rage in $100,000 country kitchens these days.
    I believe it can be tig welded with a zinc filler rod, but yes, zinc fumes are nasty.
    I have also heard it can be oxy-acetylene welded.
    You may have to cut strips off to use for filler rod, though, if you cant find a filler.

    here is a tech link- it talks about welding. These guys- Jarden Zinc- seem to be the ones to call to find out where to buy filler rod.

    http://www.allzinc.com/techdata/Tech...ining_Zinc.pdf

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    You might try the 'Aluminum Braze' rod that is sold for joining Aluminum and die cast alloys. It has been discussed in these forums but I can't recall the name offhand. Heat is applied with a gas torch.

    I suspect the alloy is near the Aluminum-Zinc eutectic, ( Zn - 6Al melts at 381*C or ~717*F.), and if so, it will melt at a lower temperature than the pure Zinc that you are intending to join. Pure Zn M.P. is 419*C. Less than 90% Zn melts above pure Zn.

    If you are inclined to experiment for feasibility, the infamous HF has some for about $12 per pound. The brand name stuff is likely to be higher purity but is much higher price. There are also other suppliers.

    This stuff:
    http://www.aluminumrepair.com/aluminum_repair.asp
    or 'HTS-2000 Brazing Rod'
    ...Judging by the melting range of 717-737*F given in the MSDS, it looks like it is only a couple % one side or the other of eutectic composition.

    Never mind the 'proprietary composition' BS in the MSDS, the Al-Zn binary phase diagram shows the necessary data. I suspect that it would work fine for your application.

    If you decide to experiment, let us know the results.

    BTW, if you don't exceed the melting temperature of Zn, fumes won't be much of a problem.

    Regards,
    Dennis

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    The problem I see with the aluminum brazing rod is color match.
    I have done a lot of work in high end construction, and nobody who specs solid zinc wants to see a seam. They want perfection, impeccable craftsmanship, they want it to look good in an architecture magazine.

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Most of the sites devoted to zinc countertop info stress that it's not stainless, it will discolor and/or develop a patina, will scratch and mark easily...it's part of the charm even. Then they go on to say the patina can be removed if wanted, and a sealer applied to keep the 'unoxidized' color.

    Most also mention that the seams will be visible.

    One place welds their seams and says they're blended.

    A DIY site sells zinc sheet and also solder for the joints.

    Of course, it's one of those 'customers' who asks a question and then disappears, but I was interested anyway.

    -James

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    This might not help the original poster but maybe someone.
    I just welded pure zinc sheet for the same use (kitchen counter corners) and it welded fine! AC HF (same as aluminum) and of course turn your amperage WAY down and try a 1/16 tungsten. Filler was slivers sheared from base metal. Just for fun I also tried it on my old Miller 330 with the same good result.

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    Problem is the electric arc is easily hot enough to vaporize the zinc, far easier with oxy acetalyene flame temperature is lower, small flame a bit of stand off and it welds easily, sure you can smell it, but its nothing like the smoke cloud of vaporized metal electric arcs give you on zinc. Sheared strips as filler kinda works, but my experiance, they still give a different color - look at the polished joints do to the different grain structure. Very noticeable at certain stages in the surface taking on a patina too as the grain really shows through into the oxide layers.

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    What else would you use as a filler metal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanso View Post
    This might not help the original poster but maybe someone.
    I just welded pure zinc sheet for the same use (kitchen counter corners) and it welded fine! AC HF (same as aluminum) and of course turn your amperage WAY down and try a 1/16 tungsten. Filler was slivers sheared from base metal. Just for fun I also tried it on my old Miller 330 with the same good result.
    How thick is the material you used for the countertop?
    How close did the color match on the welds?

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    Thickness: .048
    Color match is perfect, I made a counter top for the wet side of my kitchen 3 years ago and it now has the natural gray patina with no evidence of welded corners.

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    Zinc soft solders nicely. 50/50 solder (lead free solder - if there is concern about lead - should work as well, though I did not try it) )and hydrochloric acid as flux. For thick sections I am using a big, 300W or 550W soldering iron (American Beauty).


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