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ZAM Coating and the Animal Containment Industry


At the Iowa Pork Congress, Kloeckner’s Tulsa Building Products partnered up with Wheeling Nisshin to introduce a great new product to the animal containment industry: ZAM coating. ZAM is an acronym that stands for zinc, aluminum, and magnesium. The coating is a hot dip layer like galvanized and galvalume which is coated on steel to make it more resistant.

The Iowa Pork Congress was a perfect venue for ZAM coating. Iowa is the leading producer of hogs, and the convention is the largest hog convention in the United States. ZAM Coating almost doubles the lifetime of a hog containment facility, thus saving the growers thousands of dollars in building maintenance.

The process of applying ZAM coating is a hot dip process where the ZAM coating is molten and cold rolled steel is then ran through the bath. The goal is to fill in the micro fractures and cut edge voids on the edges of the sheets and provide superior protection. Because the cut edges are where the corrosion of the metal starts, ZAM coating is designed to heal the metal and prevent it from rusting. The key ingredient in this added resistance is the magnesium.

“This is all done at the mill level,” Mark Steward of Kloeckner Metals said. “Kloeckner Metals is the distribution arm.”

ZAM was first introduced in Japan with Wheeling Nisshin. The first application was in the automobile industry to protect the outside of cars. Wheeling Nisshin is now expanding to the agriculture industry which is another good place to use ZAM coating. In addition to hog containment, Kloeckner and Wheeling Nisshin hope to expand the market to cow containment as well.

“The goal is to attract the owners of the facilities at these conventions but also attract contractors to distribute it for a more affordable price,” Mark said. “We have targeted downstream, the building owner, to get their interest in this product so that they then, in turn, drive the manufacturers and the construction companies to offer this new product.”

While ZAM coating is a premium over typical painted steel, that premium is less than one percent. For the building owner that is a great investment because they are increasing the life of the hog confinement building from around 15 to 20 years all the way up to 30-plus years. That benefit more than makes up for the small premium, generating long-term savings.

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