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Elimination of Acid and Lead on Wire Strand Annealing and Galvanizing, Riverdale Mills Corp. 2000.

TURI Technical Report No. 48. Requiring the addition of a new multi-wire strand galvanizing line to meet growing market demand, Riverdale Mills made the goals of toxics use reduction a large part of the operational requirements of the new line. The company sought to reduce or eliminate the chemicals conventionally used in the process, the byproducts generated and the energy required. These goals required the innovative re-thinking of a mature industrial process. Riverdale Mills chose an induction heating chamber for the annealing process, eliminating the use of lead in the conventional liquid lead annealing process. Following annealing, commercial hot-dip wire galvanizing operations typically use hydrochloric acid in a pickling process, and zinc ammonium chloride as a flux prior to immersion into the zinc bath. Modifying the annealing process and annealing within an inert atmosphere replaced both the pickling and the flux processes; these were replaced by an alkaline soap pre-wash and hot water rinse. Re-engineering the process to eliminate the need to re-heat the wire during processing achieved significant energy savings.

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