GALVAN INVESTS MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES
Throughout its more than 60 year history, Galvan Industries, Inc. has shown a willingness to take leadership positions within the hot-dip galvanizing industry. Today, Galvan is one of the largest capacity contract galvanizers in the Southeast, and is among the world’s “greenest”, as well.
Galvan has recently invested more than $1 million in its galvanizing operations to increase capacity and reduce environmental impact. The company’s galvanizing facility now employs a fully “closed loop” system that completely eliminates hazardous wastes while improving the company’s ability to meet growing demand.
The hot-dip galvanizing process for protecting steel from corrosion is intrinsically “green.” The metals involved are among the most recycled materials on earth – steel and zinc. The minimum recycled content for most steel used in the U.S. is about 25%. More than one-third of the zinc consumed in North America is recycled.
Both metals are natural, environmentally friendly elements. In fact, iron and zinc are nutrients present in the foods we eat and essential to good health. And both are still completely recyclable after the galvanizing process. That’s just the beginning of the story.
“Green” Hot-Dip Galvanizing
Galvan has made major environmental investments in its hot-dip galvanizing processes. Here are some examples.
Cleaning the unfinished steel before dipping is an important part of the galvanizing process. Nationwide, most galvanizing plants dispose of their cleaning solutions by trucking them offsite to be treated as hazardous wastes, some by deep well injection. Instead, Galvan has installed state of the art equipment that continuously removes potentially harmful metals and converts them to a co-product that can be sold and used as fertilizer and animal feed supplements. Galvan’s cleaning solutions are continuously processed and returned to the operation, seldom if ever requiring disposal.
Another example is Galvan’s Metal Zinc Recovery system, which recovers up to 25,000 pounds of zinc per month from galvanizing process residue. A co-product from this process is zinc oxide, an ingredient in products as diverse as paints, concrete, skin creams, batteries and automobile tires.
While already in compliance with North Carolina air emissions standards, Galvan recently installed a fume collection system that reduces plant air emissions even further below State standards. Galvan is the only galvanizing facility in North Carolina to install such a system and one of the few in the Southeast to do so without being required to in order to meet emissions standards.
Study: Galvanizing “Greener” Than Paint
Galvanizing is already more environmentally friendly than the other most often used method of corrosion prevention, painting. A recent study in Europe compared the corrosion resistance characteristics of paint to hot-dip galvanizing by analyzing the environmental impact and life cycle results.
The study found that the long service life and freedom from maintenance for which galvanizing is known are environmental benefits of the process. During hot-dip galvanizing, structural steel is immersed in a molten zinc bath resulting in a coating with a durability exceeding 60 years. To achieve the same 60-year durability with paint coating requires the use of a thick, three-coat paint system plus on-site maintenance, including cleaning, some partial repainting every 15 years and at least one complete repainting. These additional efforts and materials add to the negative environmental impact of paint.
In addition, the study compared hot-dip galvanized steel surfaces to painted steel surfaces in five sustainability categories: consumption of resources, greenhouse effect, photo-oxidant formation, acidification and eutrophication (promotion of algae growth that depletes oxygen in water).
In every category, galvanizing proved more environmentally sound than painting. Painting not only requires twice the resources of hot-dip galvanizing, it produces a greenhouse effect that was more than double that of galvanizing.
The use of hot-dip galvanizing is an environmentally and economically advantageous way to extend the life of steel, and the use of steel that has been galvanized in an eco-friendly plant makes that decision especially “green.”
Galvan Industries, Inc. has been a major supplier of hot dip galvanizing services to businesses and industries throughout the Southeast for more than 55 years. Its molten zinc process protects steel from rust better than any other coating or treatment. Galvan’s commitment to making zinc galvanizing more environmentally sound is the basis for the innovation it brings to the process.
For more information on Galvan’s hot-dip galvanizing services or to place an order, email us at email@example.com, visit www.galvan-ize.com or call Galvan Industries at 800-277-5678.