InterGalva 2015 Recap
The 24th International Galvanizing Conference & Exhibition, held every three years, wrapped up in Liverpool, England on June 12. With record attendance, InterGalva brought galvanizers and suppliers to the galvanizing industry together for three full days of presentations, workshops, time dedicated to walking the spacious exhibit hall, and two days of plant tours in Northern England and Scotland.
The first two days of presentations dealt primarily with market development, market conditions around the globe, and usage of hot-dip galvanized (HDG) steel in sustainable energy, infrastructure, and architectural applications. AGA Executive Director Phil Rahrig was one of the presenters, delivering Innovative Ideas in the Digital Marketing of HDG Steel to a very receptive audience. The general tone of the presentations and buzz in many conversations held during the week was of note, i.e. only North American demand for HDG is somewhat matching capacity. Production levels in Australia, South Africa, and Europe are down by as much as 75% from 2007 levels. The UK is on the rebound and the future looks promising in the InterGalva host country, but continuously galvanized sheet is making solid inroads in markets traditionally dominated by batch galvanize products. Dr. Tom Langill made two presentations on the first day of the conference: Galvanizing and Slip Resistant Connections and The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Bolt Investigation.
The third day of the conference was dedicated to presentations on improving operating efficiency and introducing new technology for the galvanizing plant. Topics included increasing efficiency of immersed gas heater tubes, environmentally friendly pre-treatments, design of driers, and Zn-Al-Mg alloy coatings.
New to the conference this year was the introduction of four daily workshops. Modeled very much after AGA’s TechForum, the workshop topics included trends in steel chemistry, energy savings in the plant, floating dross, waste acid disposal, and optimizing kettle life. Held during breaks from the sessions, the workshops carried a charge of about 40 BPS (British Pound Sterling) and were extremely well attended and often sold out. Both Phil Rahrig and Tom Langill acted as moderators for two of the workshops.
The anticipated draw of over 450 delegates from around the world brought approximately 30 of the leading equipment suppliers to InterGalva. Based on observation, there was plenty of equipment purchased during InterGalva and high-level networking in motion during the entire exhibition period.
The three days culminated with a Gala dinner at a fabulous local cathedral in Liverpool and the announcement of the winners of the Global Galvanizing Awards. Although not the top project as selected by a panel of architects and engineers, nor the top project as chosen by the association leaders worldwide, the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge, galvanized by AGA member Silver City Galvanizing was chosen as one of the four highly commended projects. This is a significant honor considering the thousands of projects galvanized around the world in the past few years.
InterGalva 2018 will be held in Berlin, Germany and all are invited to join in this very important worldwide conference.