Lee Steel, a Michigan based steel supplier chose Macomb Mechanical to install their two new Eco Friendly (EPS) steel pickling lines. Eco Pickled Surface, EPS, is a proven and patented process invented by The Material Works to replace acid pickling of flat rolled steel. Like acid pickling, EPS removes mill scale from the surface of hot rolled steel, including stainless. Unlike acid pickling, EPS pickling is safe and completely harmless to the environment. Instead of caustic acids, EPS uses steel grit mixed with ordinary water and continuously recycles and re-uses these two process ingredients.
Not only is EPS a better process than acid pickling, it produces a notably better steel product. The EPS process actually conditions the surface of the strip, making it very uniform and remarkably clean. It removes or mitigates mill surface defects and produces a surface texture that is optimized for paint adhesion and appearance. EPS even achieves this for high carbon/alloy and stainless steels, but without slowing the processing line speed as acid pickling requires.
EPS-processed steel resists rusting with no protective oil coating.
After acid pickling, a thin film of oil is applied to prevent rusting of the bare steel surface. This is not needed with EPS – the surface is inherently rust-resistant and can be stored "dry". Such a clean, oil-free surface offers numerous advantages for fabricators and manufacturers:
The 'engine' of the EPS process is the EPS Cell, a complete descaling module capable of pickling 18,000 tons of flat roll strip per month. Coil or sheet handling equipment is added to the EPS Cell to configure a production line. But the modular nature of the EPS Cell allows you to place multiple cells in series to increase line capacity. So adding a second cell roughly doubles line throughput, using three cells triples line throughput, and so on.