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Galvanising - managing performance and endurance expectation

Jimmy Green Marine have been supplying galvanised anchor chain, shackles and anchors from multiple manufacturers for over four decades. Over that time, we have encountered and sorted out all sorts of galvanising issues on behalf of our customers.

The Galvanising process hasn’t changed very much over the last five decades and the frequency of any quality issues are normally linked to the complexity of the product. Modern anchors combining different grades of steel with angular edges and the weight of calibrated chain, together with the added complication of multiple links are examples of products that pose extra problems in a galvanisation plant.

Steel component manufacturers do not generally have an in-house galvanisation plant. Galvanising is normally subcontracted to an external provider who is usually local to the manufacturing base to keep transportation costs to a minimum.

All galvanising is visually inspected on arrival and if a visual check reveals any issue, the items are rejected and the supplier is informed.

There is more information in our article Quality Control for Chain.

There is more detailed information in our article Galvanising and the Treatment Process.

Please be aware that galvanising will be affected by contact with different metals. This is fully explained in our article: Can Galvanised Steel be used with Stainless Steel?

Galvanising will be affected by damp or wet conditions, especially the salt and toxins in seawater. Staining can also occur due to contact with any contaminating substance on the seabed or in the chain locker.

Summary of expected Galvanising Performance

Staining may occur shortly after you introduce any galvanised components into a marine environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the galvanising is defective.

Staining may herald the first sign of rust which is the most common weathering issue with galvanised chain. The deterioration eventually develops into rust and this can happen to even the best galvanising.

Rust developing in a relatively short space of time may possibly mean that the galvanising is not to the required standard, but this is not conclusive.

Patches that appear to be bare will still have galvanising protection because of the chemical fusion aspect of the treatment.

Anchors are subject to all manner of damaging bumps and abrasive action on the seabed or during deployment/retrieval. This may lead to scars or blemishes on the surface of the galvanising e.g. any excess galvanising could be knocked off leaving a bare patch. This may look unsightly, but isn't necessarily a fault in the galvanising treatment.  

Fused chain links may be problematic for the same reason when they free off.

Any offending parts will require monitoring for precipitate signs of rust.

Galvanising normally has a reasonably smooth finish. Some batches may be a bit rougher than others, but this is not necessarily detrimental to lasting protection. However, excessive or sharp irregularities may render it unfit to handle. The Jimmy Green team do look out for this during their visual checks.

The question that is most difficult to answer is - How long should galvanising last before rusting?

The answer is not definitive because it will not simply be dependent on the depth and % coverage of the galvanising, but also on how polluted the sea water is in your cruising waters.

If you are unhappy with your purchase, you need to bring it to our attention.

We follow a process of reporting the problem to the distributor or direct to the manufacturer, who may pass it on to their galvaniser if appropriate.

That is why we only purchase chain from respected brands.

The Jimmy Green Team will act diligently on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome.

Depending on the extent of the problem, or the timescale of the issue appearing, a claim may occasionally be refused or ignored by the manufacturer.

Please be assured that we will always do our utmost to find a satisfactory solution for our customers, and if we believe that your complaint is arguable, we will try to help at our expense.