The Magnificent Seven at Marcegaglia: Italian steel giant goes all Wheelabrator with descaling operations


Marcegaglia Specialties SpA has purchased seven Wheelabrator FL blast cleaning machines for wire and bar descaling for its plant in Contino di Volta Mantovana, Italy.

Marcegaglia manufactures stainless steel tubes and flat products as well as cold-drawn bars in Contino. The company had bought its first Wheelabrator FL machine for the plant in 2012. Impressed with its reliable performance and ease of maintenance, Marcegaglia decided to replace all remaining non-Wheelabrator equipment with new FL machines.

Mechanical descaling is a more environmentally responsible alternative to chemical pickling and can happen inline and at relatively high through-feed speeds. Wheelabrator’s FL machines are designed specifically for this application and are used around the world – with over 200 machines currently operational. The common feature of all FL machines is the focusing of the abrasive onto the narrow workpiece surface via guide plates, which can be adapted to suit different workpiece diameters. 

The machines for Marcegaglia are:

  • one FL-6 for flat material (coil to coil process)
  • four FL-4 for flat and square material (coil to coil process)
  • one FL-4 for round, hexagonal and square bar (bar to bar process)
  • one FL-6 for round, hexagonal and square bar (bar to bar process)

All seven machines are equipped with powerful U70x380 direct drive blast wheels. The total number of blast wheels across the machines is 32, amounting to a combined power of 1,322kW.

Stefano Dall’Acqua, plant manager in Contino, comments: “When we bought our first FL in 2012, it had an immediate, marked impact on production here in Contino. It was incredibly reliable while at the same time requiring less attention and maintenance than any of our other machines. That’s why the investment in seven further FL machines makes perfect business sense for us. It will make us more efficient, more agile and more competitive.” 

The new equipment is being delivered and commissioned over a two year period, starting in March 2016 and concluding in March 2018 with the installation of the two FL-6 machines.