Steel Components Protected At Whitewater Center

Staff | September 28, 2010

When the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, was being designed, the engineers knew that galvanizing would be the best way to ensure long-term, reliable protection from corrosion. Corrosion could be a major problem with critical steel components constantly exposed to water and air. Galvan Industries, a nationally recognized galvanizer located in Harrisburg, N.C., was chosen to provide this protection.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center is the world's largest man-made whitewater park. Unique features include a 1,000-foot slalom course, seven enormous custom-built pumps, a 110-foot conveyer, a 550-foot freestyle channel capable of Class IV rapids, and an adjustable surf wave that can reach up to 7 feet in height. These jaw-dropping innovations are made possible with steel gates, posts, cables, and other steel components.

The structural steel and cabling required to make this adjustable river function smoothly for years to come were hot-dip galvanized by Galvan. There, the steel parts were dipped into kettles of molten zinc as large as 42 feet long, 4.5 feet wide, and 8.5 feet deep. This process creates a metallurgical bond between the steel and the zinc that is corrosion resistant for a minimum of 40 years.

Approximately 40 tons of galvanized steel were used in the project. This includes not only the gate materials that control the water flow, but also handrails, platforms, stair stringers, columns, and frames used in the buildings and on the grounds. All of it was protected against corrosion by Galvan.