RJ Herbert Opts for Metal Spraying with Metallisation

Reason for use:

Corrosion protection of handrails and structures

RJ Herbert Engineering has opted for metal spraying, using Metallisation equipment, as an alternative to hot dip galvanising, to improve customer service, reduce costs and save time.

RJ Herbert Engineering

The decision to opt for metal spraying was made following a request from a Belgian customer, a potato processing and packaging line export company, to protect the walkways and handrails of the potato processor equipment. Herbert is a British manufacturer of handling equipment for the vegetable industry and environmental waste and recycling industries. Its client base includes European fresh produce pack houses, major international processors as well as many well-established growers and industrial companies.

With constant use of the walkways and handrails running alongside the process and packaging equipment, as well as cleaning and pressure washing, a sturdy surface protection is crucial to the longevity of the equipment. The customer specified a zinc coating should be applied prior to a powder coating finish using either hot dip galvanising or metal spraying. Herbert had extensive experience of galvanising, but was unhappy with the downsides of this process, in this instance, and decided to explore metal spraying options.

Corrosion Protection

The reasons behind Herbert looking at metal spraying, as an alternative to hot dip galvanising, were based on the logistical cost and lead times associated with the off site process. Herbert needed to find an in-house alternative that had equal, or better, corrosion preventative properties. Having looked at all the processes available it was decided that not only did metal spraying meet this criteria, but also meant that there was no post spraying operations such as re-drilling holes or cleaning of metal drips. The pre-spraying process was also simplified, as no special preparation, such as designed for heat distortion and holes for hot air expansion, was required. The main factors for the acquisition of the metal spray equipment, were that the process is now done on site, no transport costs, no sub-contractor lead time, less product build time and no post spray operations are required.

Ken North, Operations Director at RJ Herbert Engineering, says: “Our decision to opt for metal spraying, as an alternative to hot dip galvanising, was made much easier once we made contact with Metallisation. We knew that metal spraying could be an ideal alternative for us, but Metallisation’s understanding of what we were trying to do was ideal. We are so pleased with the metal spray equipment we have purchased from Metallisation. The outstanding results of the potato processing plant has encouraged us to offer the enhanced corrosion protection as an option to other customers across our full product range. So we are very happy all round.”

Paint and Powder Coatings

In addition, Herbert use wet paint as well as powder coatings and hope to use the new metal spray process for these applications too. It’s hoping to reap the benefits of improved adhesion of paint to metal spray without the need to etch primers, as they currently do when painting on to galvanised steel. The thickness of the metal sprayed coatings will vary depending on the environment in which the sprayed item is located and on the customers’ specific requirements.

The operator has found it easy to use and is happy to work with the system. Herbert also purchased a 20m supplies package, which allows its operators to locate the spray unit outside the spray room and provides flexible access around the items they are spraying without having to stop to move equipment. Metallisation provided an onsite training course to maximise the efficiency of the equipment and ensure operators are totally familiar with the system. Herbert also opted for the Metallisation, Metserve preventative maintenance contract, which provides two visits per annum by a Metallisation service engineer to keep the system in excellent working order.

Spray Zinc

Herbert spray zinc at this time but is currently considering spraying with aluminium for certain applications. Future considerations include offering a robust, non-slip metal sprayed coating on walkways, stairs and inspection areas, to its clients.

Established in the UK in 1922, Metallisation is synonymous with metal spraying to a diverse range of industries around the world. Metal spraying is a technology which protects and greatly extends the life of a wide variety of structures, equipment and vessels, in the most hostile environments and in situations where protective surface coatings are vital for longevity. The variety of metallised coatings is vast, but can be broken down into two main categories. These include anti-corrosion and engineering coatings.

For more information on Metallisation, please call Stuart Milton, Sales and Marketing Manager, on 01384 252 464 or visit www.metallisation.com.