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Timbear

07:38AM | 01/11/05
Member Since: 11/07/04
83 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
An earlier poster here was looking for an alternative to using galvanized nails on copper pipe clips to secure them. I am wondering if zinc screws do damage to copper?

Thanks,


LonnythePlumber

07:50AM | 01/11/05
Tim I don't really know whether the pot metal we refer to as zinc is even a metal, let alone whether it interacts with copper. I have read the explanation several times about the exchange between dissimiliar metals and their properties but I can't say I have grasp it.

I have put Mr. Kestenholz's name in the header thinking it will attract him because the super boiler guy most likely knows. He can let us both know if he chooses.

Timbear

06:13PM | 01/11/05
Member Since: 11/07/04
83 lifetime posts
Lonny,

Apparently the "zinc screws" we see advertised are really galvanized. As to the reactions between metals, I found a table at a corrosion web site: http://www.intercorr.com/howmetals.htm

It looks like the only choice for adhering copper hangers would be copper screws or nails. Anything else will corrode.

bravey

09:23AM | 01/12/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
162 lifetime posts
"Galvanized" and "zinc coated" are two terms for the same thing. Materials that are galvanized are, in fact, coated with molten zinc in a heated vat . The process of applying the zinc is called galvanizing and the resultant coating has picked up the same name. Whereas zinc can also be applied like paint, galvanizing only occurs in the molten vat process. Lastly, "electro-galvanizing" is also another method of appying zinc which involves electricity. Similarly, when two dissimilar metals generate a corrosive action between themselves, it is refered to as "galvanic corrosion".

If you look closely at the chart that Timbear referenced, you will see that no other metal is totally inert when placed next to copper. One solution to your problem is to use zinc (or galvanized) nails that have a neoprene or fiber washer pre-applied under the head. These are available from some hardware sources for use in nailing fiberglass roof panels and other applications requiring a watertight seal. In your case, the washer will provide an insulating barrier between the copper and the zinc. This technique is often done in construction where a copper surface is coated with asphaltic tar or mastic before when it will be touching aluminum or steel. The fiber washer will provide enough separation to prevent galvanic action.

Regards
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