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New ultrasonic ZIP probe tests Zinc galvanizing kettles while bathed in 450°C molten metal

ZincZinco UK Limited and Sonemat Limited have signed an agreement to use ultrasonic probe technology developed from research which was first conducted at the University of Warwick. The new probe technology can conduct safety critical testing inside galvanizing kettles equipment while still holding molten zinc at 450°C.

Zinco UK was established in 2007 to provide advanced technical services to the hot dip galvanizing industry in UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. The galvanizing process involves the immersing chemically cleaned steel products into the zinc kettle to provide corrosion protection and long life. Galvanizing kettles need to be checked periodically to monitor rates of corrosion throughout the equipment in order to avoid a catastrophic molten zinc spillage. Those corrosion wear rates vary depending on volumes, dip sizes and the amount of production at each plant.

Previous monitoring techniques were either using external probes or galvanizers had to actually drain the zinc from the kettles to another device or the kettle was then left to cool to the point at which physical sampling of the kettle surface could be undertaken. The new technology will allow Zinco UK to expand its markets and areas of operation.

In 2014 Zinco UK established a new relationship with the Sonemat Limited - a spin-out company from the University of Warwick to explore how ultrasonic technology first developed at the University could be used be used to test the kettle’s integrity while still loaded with molten zinc. Sonemat was formed in 2005 by two University of Warwick scientists: Dr Mark Potter, and Professor Steve Dixon who are specialists in non-contact ultrasonic nondestructive testing.

Professor Steve Dixon of Sonemat and the University of Warwick said:

“Sonemat created a solution. We devised a new Zinc Immersion Probe (ZIP) which was then manufactured and successfully trialed to provide accurate thickness measurements of kettles even though the probe is immersed in 450°C molten metal

Zinco Managing Director David Watkins said:

“We have now used the new ZIP probe technology to measure galvanizing kettles in Africa, Malaysia, Middle East, Scandinavia and Europe. We are confident that this new resource will lead to us serving at least 30% of the world-wide market this safety critical testing. There are around 3,000 galvanizing kettles around the world that can potentially benefit from using this type of inspection probe that not only provides significant safety data as well as maximizing investment return of equipment.“

 

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Professor Steve Dixon , Director of the Centre for Industrial Ultrasonics, Department of Physics and School of Engineering University of Warwick – and Director of Sonemat Limited
Tel: +44 (0)2476 573 877 email: S.M.Dixon@warwick.ac.uk web: www.ciu.ac.uk

David Watkins Managing Director Zinco UK Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1432 376137 email  info@zincouk.com  web  www.zincouk.com

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick
Tel UK 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell
Email p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

PR901 PJD 19th June 2017

For further information please contact:

  • Professor Steve Dixon, Director of the Centre for Industrial Ultrasonics, Department of Physics and School of Engineering University of Warwick – and Director of Sonemat Limited

Tel: +44 (0)2476 573 877

El: S dot M dot Dixon at warwick dot ac dot uk

W: www.ciu.ac.uk

  • David Watkins, Managing Director Zinco UK Limited

Tel: +44 (0)1432 376137

E: info at zincouk dot com

W: www.zincouk.com

  • Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick

Tel: 024 76523708

M: 07767 655860

E: p dot j dot dunn at warwick dot ac dot uk