Early 1980s

British Steel dismantle the paint coating lines at Newton Aycliffe Works and install a roll forming line to produce profiled painted steel panels. A second roll former is installed in 1984.

  • 1980

    A new product, sound-deadened steel, comprising a visco-elastic core sandwiched between sheets of Zintec® electro galvanized steel, is developed and managed by the Shotwick Laboratories at Shotton Works. Some 300 tonnes are currently being produced annually on a development basis and BSC are investigating the full commercial potential of the product.

    Development centre closure

    BSC’s Strip Development Department at Shotwick on the outskirts of Shotton Steelworks closes in March. The adjacent Shotwick Laboratories, part of Corporate Research and Development into research and development into applications for coated steel, remain open.

    Powder into strip

    Mixalloy Ltd, a company formed by six former Shotton steel managers, sign an agreement with BSC to convert metal powder into strip. The unique process, pioneered by the Corporation, has been found to be particularly successful in the manufacture of nickel, nickel-iron and non-ferrous alloys. The new company will be based in a new factory at Rhydymwyn, near Mold.

    New line at Ellesmere Port

    H.H. Robertson install a second coating line with a width range up to 1,250 mm. and line speed up to 38 mm.

  • 1981

    Shotton Works becomes the operational headquarters for BSC Strip Products Group’s Coated Products, a new grouping of works specialising in the application of metallic and paint finishes to steel strip. The other works are Byngwyn (Swansea), Newton Aycliffe (County Durham) and Tafarnaubach (Tredegar).

    New British Steel profiles

    Aycliffe Profiles is re-launched as British Steel Profiles, with a new range of profiled products.

  • 1981 -1982

    As the British steel industry awaits positive signs of an end to the deep recession of the late 1970s and 1980, production units in the coatings departments at Shotton achieve record output levels while work is on-going to extend the range of coated products. Improvements are made to surface quality and strip shape or flatness and the range of thickness of both steel and metallic and paint coatings are extended while retaining the traditional properties of strength, ductility and long life. The aim is to increase the works’ share of the market both immediately and in the long term.

  • 1983

    Installation of a new dual-purpose No. 6 hot dip galvanizing line at Shotton Works is announced. It will be located parallel to the No. 5 hot dip galv. line in the Coatings Two complex and produce Galvatite® pure zinc coated strip and Zalutite® zinc alloy coated strip, a product new to BSC.

    Corby aluminium line

    Euramax at Corby install a line to coat aluminium strip up to 1524 mm. wide at speeds up to 40 metres a minute.

  • 1984

    The galvanizing line at Port Talbot Works is refurbished.

    Coated steel sales

    British Steel is now selling 200,000 tonnes of coated steel annually.

    Newport installation

    A new Cladcolor line is installed at Newport It operates at 35 metres a minute in coating strip up to 1,450 mm. wide.

  • 1985

    British Steel’s Cookley Works becomes part of the Coated Products organisation. The original works was involved in tinplate production in the early 19th century and retained its name on relocation to Brockmoor, Brierley Hill, in the West Midlands in 1886.

    The site has a terne coating line for the application of a lead/tin alloy to cold reduced strip steel mainly for petrol tanks and gas meters. The weekly production record currently stands at 900 tonnes.

    The product, marketed as Ternex®, is cold reduced sheet and coil hot dip coated with an alloy of lead and tin. A nickel flash film is electro-deposited onto the steel substrate before the dipping process. The inherent inertness of the alloy coating gives excellent corrosion resistance in a wide range of conditions, further enhanced by the reduced porosity offered by the nickel layer. The exceptionally strong bond formed between the coating and the steel base allows extra deep drawing of the product without flaking or cracking of the coating. The product can be seam or spot welded, soft soldered or brazed, using normal methods.

    Original galvanizing lines close

    At Shotton Works, hot dip galvanizing in the Coatings One Department, originally known as the Marsh, ends after almost half a century. The first of the four continuous coil lines was commissioned in 1936 and the last, in 1960. Together they produced millions of tonnes of galvanized strip for a world-wide market and were the backbone of the John Summers/British Steel business for many years. Advancement in coatings technology, increasing quality demands and the economic need for large scale production has made them obsolete.

    Design awards competition

    A Colorcoat® Design Awards competition for architects is launched.

  • 1986

    Shotton Works’ No.6 dual-purpose hot dip coil galvanizing line costing £30 million is officially opened. The new line provides the facility to hot dip galvanize thinner strip up to 1,650 metres wide, the widest available within the Corporation. It will produce a new product, Zalutite®, cold reduced strip coated with an aluminium/zinc mix, as well as pure zinc coated strip.

    Line features include vertical strip storage accumulators at entry and exit, vertical heat furnace treatment sections, four-high temper mill with roll bending capability, and a high degree of computerised process control.

    The equipment also includes two main hot metal baths and a smaller pre-melt bath so enabling the line to operate as a dual-purpose facility. The larger baths have reinforced bases, to withstand movement on articulated bogies onto and off line for a product change.

    gain, Shotton is ahead in the galvanizing field with the widest range of coating equipment on a single site in the world.

    Colorcoat® launch

    British Steel launches Colorcoat® HP200, a new high- performance product with a 200micron plastisol coating and a twenty- year performance warranty.

  • 1977-1987

    This was a period of social change, with major restructuring across industry and extensive rationalisation within British Steel. It was, however, regarded as a decade of enthusiasm and expansion for coil coating, with new lines installed within British Steel and in the private sector.

    There were mergers and acquisitions among paint suppliers. Hydro Polymers and Crown Paints became preferred suppliers of plastisol to British Steel. Other new entrants to the organic paint supply sector included Dexter Midland, and Freeman Chemicals, both with production facilities at Deeside Industrial Park, adjacent to Shotton Works.

  • 1988

    British Steel Corporation is replaced on 5th September by British Steel plc, a public limited company.

    Stelvetite® production move

    Production of Stelvetite® is transferred from Shotton to Tafarnaubach where a film laminator has been installed in the paint coating line.

  • 1989

    Coated Metals Limited, Pontardulais, Swansea, is acquired by British Steel. It has the UK’s only continuous hot dip aluminising line and supplies the automotive, domestic appliance and petrol chemical sectors.

    The steel substrate is coated on both sides with aluminium alloy, giving the strength of steel with the corrosion resistance of aluminium. The products are marketed under the trade names of Aludip ® and Aludip BQ ®. The gauge of the finished product ranges from 0.5 mm to 2.00mm and the strip width, 600-1250 mm. Forty per cent of the current output is exported.

    Galvannealing at Shotton

    A galvannealing furnace in which the zinc coating and iron in the steel strip substrate form an alloy, is installed in the No.6 hot dip galvanizing line at Shotton Works.

  • 1989-1990

    A new £60 million Coatings Three complex is completed on the site of the original Marsh/Coatings One Department at Shotton Works. It has new coil-to-coil lines for electro galvanizing and organic painting, bringing the number of modern coil coating lines on the Deeside site to six.

    All have common features, particularly terminal equipment. Strip processed is in a width range of 600mm to 1,650mm wide and equipment is capable of handling coils up to 32 tonnes.

    Strip storage accumulators at entry and exit enables the coating process to continue without interruption while the leading end of the oncoming coil is either welded or stitched to the tail end of the coil in process.

    Strip is cleaned prior to coating and in-line tension leveller units provide shape control.

    A network of computers and visual display terminals is used for process control, data logging and statistical process control with operatives having the vital role of keeping up-to-the-minute data on coils and process information.

    Part of the development includes the refurbishment of the original No. 1 electro galvanizing line at a cost of £32.5 million. Completed in April 1989 the new No. 3 electro galv. line applies zinc or zinc/nickel alloy to cold reduced strip up to 1,640 mm wide and has an annual capacity of 178,000 prime tonnes.

    The line products, Zintec ® pure zinc coated strip and a new product, Nizec®, nickel-zinc coated strip, meet the requirements for wider corrosion resistant strip steel for use in cars with long-term warranties.

    Nizec ® is produced under licence to Sumitomo Metal Industries of Japan whose technology requires the use of eleven vertical plating cells fitted with insoluble anodes of lead/indium composition. Changes to the electrolyte solution make it possible for plating of both pure zinc and zinc/nickel alloy.

    The new No.2 Colorcoat® paint coating line, completed in 1990, operates at up to 100 metres a minute and processes strip up to 1,650 mm wide mainly for the automotive and construction industries. The line’s annual capacity is 110,000 tonnes. It produces the Colorcoat ® range of products and also Durazec ®, nickel zinc substrate with a lacquer coating for which the sole customer is the Nissan motor company.

    With this development, Shotton becomes the first works in Europe capable of metallic and paint coating 1,000,000 tonnes of steel strip a year, with four lines for applying either zinc or zinc alloy coatings by either hot dipping or electro plating, and two lines for the application of a range of organic paints. The metallic coatings protect the steel from corrosion and the addition of paint gives a colourful finish as well as further extending product life.

    The semi and pre-finished coated products are used widely in the construction, automotive, consumer durables and engineering industries. End uses include wall and roof cladding, car body parts, domestic appliances, electrical switchgear and ducting