The ArcelorMittal Gent site includes a large administration building and the integrated mill. A short drive away is the Metal Structures Centre (MSC) which houses part of ArcelorMittal’s Global R&D division. In order to showcase new ArcelorMittal steels and solutions, the site has stepped-up a project to use ArcelorMittal’s innovative products in a more eye-catching way.
Product placement started more than five years ago when the new MSC building was constructed. The facility is used to develop and test new steels, highly efficient coatings, revolutionary connecting techniques and futuristic applications for steel.
In addition to an Indaten® feature wall and Aluzinc® cladding and ceilings, the MSC building makes extensive use of xcellook®. A decorative and cost-effective alternative to stainless steel, xcellook® is produced locally at ArcelorMittal Gent. It is specifically designed for interior applications where aesthetic quality is key.
“All of the products in the MSC building have been in service for at least five years and they still look great. This demonstrates to visiting customers that they work in real-life, high-use scenarios,” says Geert Van Heirseele.
The interior of Lift 2 in the MSC building has been completely clad in xcellook®, giving it a slick, corporate character. After years of moving both people and deliveries, the lift still looks as good as new.
Xcellook® has also been utilised for the counter-front and splash-back of a new sandwich bar installed in the main administration building at the ArcelorMittal Gent mill. “Xcellook® is ideal for use in non-contact food applications such as refrigerator doors, covers and the fronts of counters and cupboards,” notes Geert. “Even after two years of very intensive use, it has a beautiful appearance, just like stainless steel. The scratch resistance has been fully proven and, thanks to its fingerprint resistance, the surface is very easy to clean. This is a big advantage over normal stainless steel. All of these benefits come at an affordable cost.”
Another application for xcellook® is found in the administration building’s conference room where it has been formed to clad the speaker’s stand. “The use of xcellook® adds sophistication and, at the same time, demonstrates the pride we have in our products,” says Geert.
Geert is very excited about xcellook® Outdoor which was used to clad a new reception building in the truck parking area: “This is a new product that is still under development. The building provides us with an excellent opportunity to show our customers the very nice appearance of xcellook® Outdoor and demonstrate its durability!”
Recent improvements to the mill’s infrastructure showcase ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products’ durable and self-healing Magnelis® coating. “The new standing-seam roof of the quenching tower is made with Magnelis®,” notes Geert. “The idea came from the mill team themselves. They heard about the unique properties of Magnelis® and immediately saw opportunities for it to be implemented onsite. It is very positive to see that our teams are fully informed of the advantages of Magnelis® and that it is being used in more projects throughout the mill.”
In addition to the quenching tower, a new transport conveyor has been constructed to move raw materials from storage to the blast furnace. The conveyor structure and its protective roof are made from structural steels which have been coated in Magnelis®. “The use of Magnelis® will ensure the structure can withstand the wear-and-tear from fine particles generated as materials are transported along the conveyor belt,” Geert explains. “Magnelis® repairs itself on cut edges, ensuring the underlying steel is protected from corrosion.”
Magnelis® has also been utilised on the roof of the new galvanisation line at ArcelorMittal Gent. The new steel deck roof consists of plates which are coated in Magnelis® ZM310 and then placed on the top of the building. Additional layers of insulation and waterproofing membranes are added to make the roof completely watertight.
“Magnelis® was chosen as it is necessary to pierce or cut the steel deck in places to enable the insulation and membrane layers to be secured to the steel deck,” notes Paul Vermeire, purchasing manager for the site. “As Magnelis® can heal itself on these cut edges, there is no risk of corrosion. It can withstand the humid and industrial atmosphere onsite, and the condensation which forms on the underside of the steel deck. Together these properties make Magnelis® the perfect long-term solution.”
Magnelis® coated steel has been used to manufacture new lighting poles which were put in place throughout the plant two years ago. A new Magnelis® ventilation grille was also installed above the hot rolling mill. This environment is extremely aggressive. The Magnelis® grilles replace aluminium versions which had degraded significantly in the harsh atmosphere.
The framework of a new building in the mill has been coated in Magnelis® to ensure a long service life. As Magnelis® self-heals on cut edges, it was not necessary to add corrosion protection to fixings, enabling the building to be constructed in record time.
“Magnelis® was chosen for two reasons: its excellent durability and because it does not require painting, even in the aggressive industrial environment of the mill,” notes Geert. “This reduces maintenance costs significantly as the previous solution had to be repainted every year or two.”
And further improvements will come soon because the use of ArcelorMittal products in the Ghent mill is set to continue.
Copyright images: Jeroen Op de Beeck, Wim Collaert (ArcelorMittal Gent) and ArcelorMittal’s Global R&D division