One of my customers has asked me to galvanize his product according to ISO 1461. Is this specification different from ASTM A123? And, if so, what are the differences?

International Standards Organization ISO 1461,  Hot Dip Galvanized Coatings on Fabricated Iron and Steel Articles – Specifications and Test Methods, is a general galvanizing specification. This specification is essentially equivalent to the American Society of Testing and Materials. (ASTM) A123 and A153. The ISO specification is 15 pages in length and includes 5 appendices. The appendices include information such as required information to be supplied by the purchaser to the galvanizer, safety and process requirements, coating properties, determination of coating thickness, and a bibliography of other referenced specifications.

In comparing the two standards, ISO 1461 and ASTM A123 and A153, there are no major differences. However, small differences do occur. The easiest way to sum up the differences between the two specifications is by comparing the coating thickness requirements in a table.  The differences in minimum average coating thickness for most steel articles are small. In the specification, the ISO minimum coating thickness requirements are summed up into one table,  which does not mention coating grades and does not require the user to reference two tables as with ASTM A123 . Also, the ISO1461 specification lists minimum local coating thickness to which any one measurement must meet. These are 0.4-0.6 mils thinner than the minimum average coating thickness. In the ASTM specifications, only ASTM A153 has such minimum local thickness coating listed for castings and fasteners. Rolled, pressed and forged articles referred to ASTM A153 also have minimum local coating thickness; these articles are not specifically mentioned in the ISO specification.

After comparing the two, I found that they are very similar, with the ASTM Specs typically requiring more coating thickness on most types and thickens of steel. Therefore, if you can meet ASTM coating requirements, you most likely will meet the ISO 1461 specification, as well.