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Galvanizing: the original green solution

Galvanizing a steel element provides a 70 year protection against rust and corrosion.

Construction is reported to be responsible for around 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and with governments, businesses and customers seeking more sustainable solutions that meet their own goals and aspirations, galvanizing has become the finish of choice for the industry.

Thanks to its winning combination of long-lasting protection, ease of application, and sustainability credentials, galvanizing offers a commercially viable and appropriate solution that’s also kinder to the environment.

One organisation at the forefront, supporting those across a wealth of sectors to become more environmentally-friendly, is Wedge Group Galvanizing: the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK.

The Group’s Technical Services Director, David Nobes, explains why galvanizing is the original green solution, and explores their own journey to net zero. “Hot dip galvanizing dates back to the mid-1700s, and thanks to its lack of produced waste, its recyclability, and longevity, it’s the perfect partner for those looking to reduce their impact on our planet.

Wedge Group Technical Services Director David Nobes, says galvanizing offers numerous sustainability benefits.

“A simple, one-off immersion in molten zinc will cover the steel component inside and out (even the hard-to-reach areas), providing a metallurgically-bonded finish that protects against rust and corrosion for more than 70 years. This allows for a highly resource-effective process, as it requires no maintenance, resulting in: minimal downtime, limited inconvenience, and low lifecycle costs (which is especially important in the current climate).

“Any unused zinc can remain in the bath ready for the next project, without changes to its physical or chemical properties. Plus, galvanized components can be recycled with scrap steel, or stripped, re-galvanized, and reused time and again – allowing for minimal waste.

“It’s clear to note the abundance of sustainability credentials that the galvanizing process itself boasts. To enhance this, many galvanizing companies globally are seeking solutions and changes to internal procedures. But at Wedge Group Galvanizing, we’re proud to take it one step further: dedicated to being advanced, novel and pioneering in our approach.

“As part of our wider commitment, we’re on a carbon reduction journey towards net zero, and through this have made some significant advancements and investments. We know this isn’t something that can be achieved overnight, nor is it a simple tick box exercise – however, it’s something that our entire team is passionate about. As a long-term goal, we’ve recently developed and implemented a sustainability commitment that the entire company lives and breathes.

“That said, this is not a new phenomenon for us. Instead, it’s something we’ve been working on for decades – for example, we introduced a bespoke rainwater harvesting system at multiple plants, and we became lead-free over 10 years ago.

“Plus, more recent developments include the introduction of high-velocity Smart-Firing technology, which has resulted in an impressive 35% carbon emissions reduction. Smart-fire furnaces analyse and monitor temperatures, heat exchangers transfer waste heat back into the galvanizing process, lagged tanks retain heat, and low-temperature degreasers work just as productively with an innovative chemical which requires much lower temperatures.

“We’re also proudly one of the first lead and chrome-free galvanizing companies in the UK. Using alternatives which are much kinder to the environment complements our overall strategy around sustainability. We’re also rolling out electrical manual handling equipment, such as forklift trucks, across the group.

“While we’re making great advancements company-wide, we’re not naive to the fact that we have a long way to go. This is a long-term commitment to become equally as advanced and novel in our approach to sustainability as the process itself is. And we encourage others within this sector to follow suit – deemed to be the next industrial revolution, it’s vital that we all make conscious, considered, and careful decisions to work collaboratively for a greener tomorrow.”

Wedge Group Galvanizing has a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.

01902 601944

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