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What do I need to start a small galvanizing plant

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December 20, 2010

I would like to start a small plant to do galvanizing up to a 2 m workpiece

Stephanus Petrus Janse van Rensburg
small businessman - South Africa

First of two simultaneous responses -- December 23, 2010

Approach with caution. In the USA, more than one new and good galvanizer was put out of business because an established shop can lower its price enough to make it impossible for a new shop to compete. His equipment is paid for.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- December 27, 2010


A "small" galvanizing plant has many problems. The laws of physics must be taken into consideration. A small pot of molten zinc has a low heat capacity and thus production will be correspondingly low. You need to consider what you want for an hourly throughput and determine what the temperature drop will be for each "lift" (load) and how many "lifts" you need per hour. If the temperature drop is more than a few degrees C then zinc drainage from the workpieces will suffer. Additionally you need enough length in the kettle to have an "ash box" which allows partial recovery of dry ash. Further the kettle needs to be 1.5 to 2 times deeper than wide to provide enough heat input to make-up for radiated heat losses at the zinc/air interface and for production. Dross removal in a small kettle is another problem. A "clam" does not do a good job of drossing, whereas a "scoop" works well but cannot fit into a short kettle. With reasonable good production, dross accumulation in a short (small) kettle will require frequent drossing because it has rapid vertical accumulation. About the smallest viable kettle I have worked with was about 12 ft x 4 ft (wide) x 6 ft deep and used for spin work. A kettle smaller than this is difficult to make money from.


Dr. Thomas H. Cook
Galvanizing Consultant - Hot Springs, South Dakota

December 29, 2010

The question is not specific enough. Its like asking "What car is best for me?" without specifying the operating conditions.
What market? Tonnage? sizes? prices? captive or jobbing? experience or not?

Geoff Crowley
Geoff Crowley
galvanizing & powder coating shop
Glasgow, Scotland

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