Galvanizing an iconic recycling sculpture
A Merseyside business in the UK has lent a helping hand to an iconic community project designed to raise awareness of the important role recycling has on protecting the planet.
Merseyside Galvanizing Ltd, which is part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the largest Hot-Dip Galvanising organisation in the UK and with a history dating back over 150 years, was invited by the team at Castle Foundry to provide its hot dip galvanising treatment to a large 150kg rhino sculpture, which has been installed in Maghull on the outskirts of Liverpool.
Chris Butler, Managing Director of Castle Foundry, created the design using 3D design software, which he then brought to life by making the steel frame, welding it together, and lining the inside with steel mesh. Once fabricated, he had the sculpture processed at Merseyside Galvanizing. Galvanised finish Sculptor Chris had originally planned to paint the rhino once the protective galvanising treatment was done, but upon seeing the finish, changed his mind. He explains:
“Galvanising protects steel from rust and corrosion, and I wanted to make sure that we had the rhino treated so that it could last for many years to come. “However, once I saw the stunning raw finish of the galvanising treatment, and how it resembled the Northern White Rhino, I immediately changed my mind. It was perfect – and a big thanks must go to the team at Merseyside Galvanizing for being able to support such a worthwhile project.”
The life-size rhino weighs approximately150kg and measures three metres long. It symbolises the need for recycling to protect the environment, with pupils from three local schools — Northway, Lydiate, and St Andrews — collecting bottle tops to fill the rhino. Installed at Stafford Moreton Way in Maghull, one of the busiest areas of the town, it was a collective community project crowdfunded by Friends of Maghull and District (FOMD).
“We’re thrilled to have been involved in this fantastic initiative,” says Richard Smetham, Sales Manager at Merseyside Galvanizing. “The choice of using hot-dip galvanising was a perfect one and complements the project’s overall purpose to promote recycling and sustainability.
“As a process, galvanising is highly sustainable and produces minimal waste, with any zinc that doesn’t instantly form a coating on the steel remaining in the galvanising bath for reuse. The non-ferrous property of the metal also makes it indefinitely recyclable without any loss to the physical or chemical structures. Once galvanised products have been constructed and installed they can also be removed, re-galvanised and reused, as well as easily recycled with scrap during the steel production process.”