Since its foundation in 1873, W. Pilling have progressively developed into a world-renowned market leader in development, design and manufacture of galvanizing kettles for general, wire and sheet galvanizing operations.
For more than almost a century, W. Pilling have been producing galvanizing kettles. In the very beginning, before adequate welding techniques for galvanizing kettles were available, the joints of those kettles were riveted. The joining techniques have greatly evolved since then, leading to much more reliable kettles.
At W. Pilling today, galvanizing kettles are electro-slag welded in a single pass welding technique for thick steel plates. Electro-slag welding is a very material-friendly technique that results in a uniform heat input and thus low mechanical stress to the kettle material.
The entire production at W. Pilling’s factory is designed to give highest priority to low mechanical stress-formation during fabrication. This makes post-production heat treatment obsolete. For this reason, all bending is done on pre-heated steel.
As kettle changes have become an important expense factor, there has been a notable trend towards kettles thicker than 50 mm in order to achieve a longer kettle service life. W. Pilling are able to build kettles up to 80 mm thickness. It is, however, recommended not to change the thickness of the kettle without consulting the manufacturer of the furnace.
In addition to the classic batch galvanizing kettles, W. Pilling produce kettles for continuous galvanizing, many of them for aluminium-containing zinc alloys. Those kettles are weld-clad with a special coating. This coating is automatically welded onto the mild steel kettle body to allow the kettle to withstand the very aggressive aluminium.
Today, W. Pilling produce more than 300 galvanizing kettles each year in their highly efficient plant in the North of Germany exclusively using special steel plates made in Europe.
Besides the manufacturing of kettles, W. Pilling have established various services to galvanizers, most notably the well-known and much-valued pump-out and liquid zinc holding services. Within the scope of this service, zinc storage containers are brought to the galvanizer’s facility and then filled with liquid zinc for holding during the kettle change. W. Pilling is currently the only service provider that is able to hold the entire quantity of liquid zinc of even the biggest galvanizing kettles throughout Europe.
In-situ kettle wall thickness tests (USI) are the other pillar of W. Pilling’s service division. These ultrasonic tests enable the galvanizer to learn about the thickness of his kettle while filled with molten zinc. The interruption of his production is minimal due to the short duration of only a few hours, even at weekends or during night shifts.
In 2012, the acquisition of the reputable special pump manufacturer W. Dietermann completed W. Pilling’s product range. During pump-outs, a high throughput of the pump is crucial to ensure that the zinc is pumped out before becoming solid, once the bath level is below the burners. Galvanizing kettles have grown significantly in volume over the last decades. The requirements on the pumps have therefore increased. Many liquid metal pumps have not kept pace with those requirements. The most performant Dietermann pumps, however, can pump up to 8 tonnes of liquid zinc per minute (17600 lbs per minute). Even kettles of 1000 tonnes or more can be securely emptied with these pumps, without risk of the zinc freezing.
W. Piling are proud to be part of the World’s Galvanizing Industry as one of its key suppliers.
Every action W. Pilling take is focused on maintaining our leadership position in the world but respecting at the same time our responsibility towards their customers and employees.
The International Galvanizing Conference
Intergalva 2022 is organised by European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA) and hosted by Associazione Italiana Zincatura (AIZ).