CANCUN, Mexico Pyrotek
Inc., an equipment supplier to aluminum and zinc producers, is
anticipating a pickup in demand from Chinese zinc smelters this
year, and is focusing its sales efforts on the region.
Pyrotek makes numerous
high-temperature products, including graphite pumps used in
aluminum and zinc remelting operations.
The aluminum industry accounts
for about 80 percent of the companys sales while zinc is
closer to 10 percent, and Pyrotek is aiming to increase
zincs 10-percent sales share this year as the Chinese
market remains largely untapped, Mark Bright, technology
manager of zinc and galvanizing, told AMM at the
International Zinc Association conference in Cancun.
The technology used by Chinese
zinc smelters is 10 to 20 years behind their Western
counterparts, and there is pent-up demand to modernize
smelters, Bright said on the sidelines of the conference.
"Theres large growth potential in China for zinc
smelters. They can make quality zinc, but its more
manual. As opposed to highly automated ingot casters (in North
America, Europe and Australia), theyre still manually
taking zinc out of the molds by hand at some locations.
Its very labor intensive."
He said the Chinese zinc market
is at a point "where it would benefit by expanding into new
technology that could make them more productive."
Pyroteks offices in
Dongguan, Nanning, Shenzhen and Xian will focus on the
Chinese sales push this year, but production of the molten
metal pump products will take place at its Solon, Ohio
facility, Bright said.
To capture the zinc growth,
Pyrotek is focusing on its patented Metaullics Zinkoff Recovery
System (MZR) technology, which recovers metallic zinc from the
skimmings of a zinc bath to enhance yield and minimize waste,
"Historically, weve used
this technology for galvanizing, but now were looking at
whether or not it can be used to increase production and
recovery at zinc smelters," Bright said, adding that early
trials indicate the MZR technology has "much to offer the zinc