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Preservation Lines

Preservation Lines


18 weeks +




Cleaning, Corrosion Removal, Surface Texturing


Light/ Medium



Key Benefits

Continuous blasting

Highly efficient blast wheels

Versatile transport technology

High process security


  • Complete systems quoted
  • One supplier for all components
  • Proven abilities - Industry leader
  • Quality components
  • Proven technology
  • Custom designs - Flexible layouts
  • Simple integration into existing manufacturing processes
  • Wide range of system sizes and variants


  • Removal of mill and forge scale and rust
  • Increase of surface roughness

Corrosion Protection For Steel Products

Preservation lines combine the heating (drying), blasting, coating and drying of workpieces such as sheet steel, profiles, pipes or steel structures in one automatic line.

Preservation lines are ideal when there is a lengthy manufacturing or storage time between blasting and final coating. In order to prevent rust returning, a weld primer is applied to provide corrosion resistance for weeks.

Sheet widths of up to 5000mm can be processed, with passage speeds varying from 1.0m/min to 8.0m/min.

Everything You Need Under One Roof

Based on the different fields of applications for preservation lines, Wheelabrator has developed a wide range of options for the most varied uses.

Wheelabrator offers customised solutions for integrated steel and preservation lines, based on extensive years of experience in this sector: Using our excellent engineering know-how, we design systems for your workpieces in line with your requirements to ensure that the desired level of quality is achieved, whilst optimising process and operating costs.

Available Options

  • Infrared pre-heaters
  • Direct flame pre-heaters
  • Water and debris blow-offs
  • Hot air ovens
  • Slat conveyors for conveying wet painted product
  • Load/unload transfer conveyors
  • Plate transfer cars
  • VOC control device integration
  • Paint kitchens
  • Paint spray equipment supply and integration
  • Mechanical and electrical installation
  • Factory modem support
  • Inspection and maintenance service contracts
  • Modernization of existing installations

Preservation Line

Watch the 3D Animation here

Key to Preservation Line

  1. Cross transfer conveyor
  2. Inlet roller conveyor
  3. Pre-heater
  4. Roller conveyor shot blast machine
  5. Blast machine filter
  6. Paint spray chamber
  7. Paint supply system
  8. Filter from VOC-System
  9. VOC-System
  10. Drying chamber
  11. Slat conveyor
  12. Outlet roller table
  13. Cross transfer conveyor

The Process

The workpieces move along the inlet roller conveyor into the pre-heater. They are dried and heated before blasting begins in the blast machine. After blasting, a coating is applied in the spray chamber and the finished workpieces move into the drying chamber. The slat conveyor transports the parts towards the outlet roller table. They are removed there or fed into a downstream logistics system via the cross transfer conveyor.

Inlet Roller Conveyor

The first section is the inlet roller conveyor. The steel sheets and profiles are delivered here and then fed into the treatment process. This inlet roller conveyor can be equipped with a cross transfer conveyor to optimise efficiency or connect it to a logistics system.


This is used to remove residual moisture. It is normally positioned upstream from the blast machine, in order to ensure that the workpieces are dry before they enter the blast chamber. The products are also heated, in order to reach the necessary temperature to ensure quick drying of the primer. 

The positioning of the pre-heater ahead of the blast machine means that it takes longer for the sheets or profiles to reach the entrance to the spray chamber.

This balances out unavoidable temperature spikes and avoids primer damage.


  • Maximum heat transfer to the material with minimal gas consumption: Combination of direct impact on workpieces with gas flames from long tubular burners (burner bars running straight through the pre-heater with hundreds of individual flames) and simultaneous high-speed hot-air circulation (approx. 250°C) via high-temperature fans
  • The variable number of controllable long tubular burners makes it easy to adjust heating performance and therefore avoid excessively long pre-heaters

The Blast Machine

The roller conveyor shot blast machine is the key piece of equipment in the preservation line. The workpieces (plates, profiles or tubes) pass through the blast machine to remove rus t and scale. All machines are equipped with maintenance-friendly and highly efficient TITAN wheels. The wheels and their position, which can be varied depending on specific requirements, allow workpieces to be cleaned comprehensively on all sides in a secure process, ensuring a surface finish in line with the internationally recognised preparation grades of ISO 8501-1.

For high-level corrosion protection, blast cleaning to preparation grade Sa 2.5 is normally required. Sa 3 may be needed in some cases, which requires a significant reduction in working speed (approx. 50%).

Round steel grit abrasive is usually used to achieve a surface roughness of approx. Rz 40-80μm.




Blasting and Coating

Wheelabrator has developed a comprehensive blast machine range for preservation lines, all of which can be integrated seamlessly into a customised line.

Type G Roller Conveyor

This universal machine with straight wheels for metal plates and profiles is mainly used in steel construction or steel preparation industries.

Type HD Roller Conveyor

This high-performance machine with angled wheels for metal plates, pipes and steel structures is used in the steel construction and steel preparation industries, with high passage speeds and long maintenance intervals.


Type S Roller Conveyor

This machine was designed purely as a plate blast machine and is used almost exclusively in large shipyards or rolling mills, where maximum blast performance and ease of maintenance are absolute necessities. 

Sheet widths of up to 5000mm can be processed, with passage speeds varying from 1.0m/min to 8.0m/min.

The Spraying System

As there is often a lengthy manufacturing or storage time between blasting and final coating, the workpieces are painted with a quick-drying, temporary anti-corrosion coating in the spray chamber in an airless spraying process (coating thickness approx. 15 - 25μm).

We use special large-volume airless pumps. The significant displacement volume of the pumps ensures a low pump frequency and therefore the least possible amount of wear on sealing elements.

This paint coating is by far the most expensive sub-process in the entire preservation line, but the ability to precisely control the coating process can result in annual savings running to 6 figures for a major preservation line.

Even the slightest reduction in coating thickness tolerance means a major saving for paint use. Wheelabrator spray systems can implement plate tolerances of an incredible 2μm.

Workpiece Recognition

The operator selects the correct setting for the piece (which is pre-programmed for the specific customer). This determines whether a spray pulling process or a push process is better for the workpiece variety. Workpieces are then recognised by a reflection light sensor that oscillates with the spray bridge. The height of the workpiece is measured at the same time by a high-resolution horizontal light grid.

Unlike other systems, the drives for the spray bridges and workpiece recognition sensors are positioned ahead of the actual spray chamber, in a clean area. This ensures that the sensors do not get contaminated with the paint spray mist over time, and their function is not compromised.

Spray technology

The recognised workpiece data (position, width, height etc.) is saved in the spray system SPS. A wide range of spray programs can then be used, based on this intelligent workpiece recognition.

This is the only way to incorporate extremely tight tolerances into the homogeneity of coating thickness.

Coating and Drying

Wheelabrator uses linear gears with servo drives and toothed belts as oscillators. This minimises the wear and tear commonly seen in simpler systems (with prism rollers moving across drawn profiles with chain drives). Wheelabrator’s hardened support rollers also run on hardened precision-ground guide rails. The advantage of this arrangement of drives upstream of the spray chamber is that the rails cannot be dirtied by overspray.

The upper and lower spray bridges in Wheelabrator’s high-performance systems are often equipped with 4 spray nozzles each in order to cover a wide spray zone. The spray bridges can move up to 2m/s, brake at the deviating point and accelerate back in the other direction, often 24 hours a day.

Handling Overspray

Wheelabrator uses a spray chamber, with oscillators mounted upstream of the chamber. This means that the chamber largely consists of smooth, straight walls. They are coated entirely with Teflon film and dried overspray can simply be swept off this film. Depending on the size of the machine, the overspray can be removed from one or both sides by a pre-filter coated with Teflon film. This innovative system means that long sessions of machine downtime to clean the walls are avoided.

It is only then that any remaining (largely dry) paint dust can pass into the filter system. The system is equipped with special Tefloncoated cartridges to ensure long-term dust removal from waste air to a residual dust content of ≤ 2mg/m3³.

If solvent-based paints are used, these release gases that can naturally not be filtered out by a dust filter. Thermal, catalytic or activated carbon filtration systems can be used here (VOC systems).

Drying Chamber & Slat Conveyor

The preserved steel plates and profiles are dried continuously here. The drying chamber can be heated by the exhauste air from the pre-heater, so that even paints with long drying times (such as water-based paints) can be dried quickly. Additional circulation of high quantities of air accelerates the drying process. If a pre-heater does not need to be operated all year round, you can also use a self-sufficient heating system as an alternative or addition.

Workpieces are transported through the drying chamber on a slat conveyor. The greatest possible distance between the spray zone and the slat conveyor reduces unavoidable contamination with overspray. To prevent the bending of thin plates, an elevating roller is positioned upstream in order to balance out height differences and ensure that the plates are transferred smoothly onto the conveyor cross slats. The plates only rest on the support points of the conveyor cross slats, which means there are very few points of contact with the workpiece. The wet primer remains largely undamaged as a result.

The length of the drying chamber varies depending on the type of paint, coating thickness and passage speed.

It is vital to select the correct drive as the load on this can be very high. The right layout of the drive shaft, drive and gear ratio will ensure the even running of the slat conveyor. 

Outlet Roller Table

The last section is the outlet roller table. The preserved steel plates and profiles are discharged here.

The outlet roller table can be equipped with a cross transfer conveyor to optimise efficiency or connect it to a logistics system.

Original OEM parts

We provide high quality, long lasting replacement parts. As the largest distributor of replacement parts in the industry we can deliver globally in the shortest timescales to prevent you having to have a large inventory stock on site or breaks in production.

Contact us directly +44 161 928 6388 or click the link to get to our contact form.

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