A large sheet of cleaned steel exits the Wheelabrator Autoblast Preservation Line at the Delta Steel facilities in Morgan City, LA.

Delta Steel, located in Morgan City, LA., is a provider of large sheets of steel for the ship building industry. This new facility opened in 2006, and Delta Steel installed an Autoblast® Preservation Line in August during the facility start-up. The Preservation Line is a Wheelabrator® design that removes contaminants such as rust and scale, profile steel surfaces and apply a weldable zinc-based primer coat of paint for corrosion protection prior to storage or subsequent manufacturing operations.

The Autoblast Preservation Line allows Delta Steel to clean and paint stocked materials per each customer’s requirements while also distributing steel products to customers in a time-sensitive manner, often within hours of placing an order. The machine is designed to blast steel plates up to 160 inches wide, 2 inches thick and 60 feet long. It can also blast and paint 42-inch I-beams, with process times varying between 5 to 10 FPM.

The steel enters the machine on a roller conveyor that moves the steel through a station where it is preheated by a direct flame to remove water or moisture prior to blasting. Next, the steel continues on the conveyor through the shot blast machine where it is exposed to the abrasive blast of direct drive 12-bladed TargetLok® wheels for even distribution of abrasive over the entire width of the plate and around structural profiles. After shot blasting is complete, the steel enters an automatic paint booth where a dual system paints the steel with HVLP guns for waterborne paint or airless guns for solventborne primers. This dual system allows Delta Steel to accommodate a broad range of automated blasting and painting needs. When painting is completed, the steel leaves the paint booth and enters a drying tunnel before exiting the Autoblast Preservation Line on a conveyor.

The paint booth features a dual filtering system – a reverse pulse paint filtration unit that removes paint particulates from the air followed by a thermal oxidizer that cleans volatile organic compounds from the air. The filtration systems prevent harmful paint fumes and particles from entering the facility or the outside environment. The Delta Steel Preservation Line is environmentally sound, causing little waste in the overall process.

Bob Lewis, the Delta Steel General Manager at the Morgan City facility, said, “This piece of equipment really sets us apart from the rest of the crowd. We are able to deliver high-volume, high-quality products to a well-satisfied customer base. I have been using Wheelabrator products for 40 years, and they stand far above their competitors in every way that can be measured.”

Wheelabrator has provided Delta Steel with increased productivity and a more environmentally friendly solution for their blast and paint needs. This is yet another example of how Wheelabrator is leading the industry by providing efficient shot blast and painting solutions for the shipyard industry in the United States.

“Wheelabrator has dominated this market with this product line. Multiple systems have been sold in the past 10 years all over North America,” said Brad Sanderson, Wheelabrator manager who specializes in blast and paint lines. “It’s this volume of sales that has driven the development of new technology. Wheelabrator has a great proven track record with these Preservation Lines.”

Wheelabrator Group is a global provider of surface preparation and finishing solutions. Committed to offering the broadest array of technologies, products, services and technical know-how, Wheelabrator Group works closely with customers to deliver the best solutions for their specific requirements. The company’s strategically located and electronically linked offices allow Wheelabrator Group to provide unrivalled customer service and support worldwide. For more information, visit the web site at www.wheelabratorgroup.com or e-mail info@wheelabratorgroup.com.