Closing or sealing vent holes in any steel that has been Hot Dip Galvanized can be time consuming and expensive. If the closure is done by welding the Vent Hole shut, the welding process will also do a lot of damage to the galvanized surface.
The Vent Hole Plug is designed to make this process easy, fast and inexpensive.
The plugs are made of Aluminum or Zinc. Sizes from 1/4" diameter to 1-1/16" diameter are in stock, and any size required can be made to order.
The tapered Aluminum or Zinc Plug is inserted by hand. Several sharp hammer strikes drive it in tightly. The malleable and ductile nature of both aluminum and zinc allow the plug to adjust to the contours of the Vent Hole.
Typically after driving in with a hammer, some portion of the Galvanized Vent Hole Plug will be left above the surface of the steel and need to be removed. This is done very easily with a flat file or any hand or powered abrasive. Again, the malleable nature of the Aluminum or Zinc works to the installer's advantage and the excess stock is removed quickly.
It is possible when filing the excess stock away some scraping becomes visible in the surrounding newly galvanized surface. This can be treated with a quick spray or brush of Aervoe Cold Galvanize Compound.
The choice between using an Aluminum Railing Plug and a Zinc Railing Plug is often made by the engineer or architect, but can also be up to the fabricator. Both plugs do the same job. Selection of the plug material is largely based on the environment where the finished steel will be located. In standard exterior installations the aluminum plug is the correct choice.
As an example, in New York City, all the railings in Yankee Stadium had the Tapered Aluminum Plug. (This amounted to thousands of plugs.)
For railings that will be constantly exposed to a salt air atmosphere, such as an ocean beach, zinc may be desired due to its additional ability to withstand corrosion. Another example of an exceptionally challenging atmosphere is in food processing plants. Steel fabricators who have done work in these processing plants know the highly corrosive nature of the acidic and alkaline gases released by some naturally grown products.