Galvan's Manufacturing Initiatives Make Ground Rods "Greener"

Harrisburg, N.C. -- Throughout its 55-year history as an electrical products supplier, Galvan has shown a willingness to take leadership positions within the industry. Today, Galvan is the only major U.S. manufacturer of both UL-listed hot-dip galvanized ground rods and UL-listed copper-plated ground rods, and is among the world's “greenest” manufacturers of either product.

Recently, Galvan has invested more than $2 million in its galvanizing and copper plating operations to increase capacity and reduce environmental impact. Both operations employ "closed loop" systems that completely eliminate hazardous wastes while improving the company's ability to meet growing demand for the highest quality grounding products.

Recycled, Recyclable

Galvan's grounding electrode products are intrinsically "green", made from metals that are among the most recycled materials on earth - steel, copper and zinc. The minimum recycled content for most steel used in the U.S. is about 25%. Galvan’s products are made from 100% recycled steel.  About 50% of the copper used in the US is from recycled stock. Copper used in Galvan’s process is also 100% recycled.  More than one-third of the zinc consumed in North America is recycled.

All three metals are natural, environmentally friendly elements. In fact, copper, iron and zinc are all nutrients present in the foods we eat and essential to good health. That's just the beginning.

“Green” Hot-Dip Galvanizing


Galvan has made major investments in its hot-dip galvanizing processes, producing hot-dip galvanized steel ground rods using an innovative eco-friendly system

As one example, Galvan uses a Metal Zinc Recovery system, which recovers up to 25,000 pounds of zinc per month from galvanizing process residue.  A co-product from this process is zinc oxide, used in products as diverse as paints, concrete, skin creams, batteries and automobile tires.

Already in compliance with North Carolina air emissions standards, Galvan recently installed a fume collection system that reduces plant air emissions even further below State standards.  Galvan is the only galvanizing facility in North Carolina to install such a system and one of the few in the Southeast to do so without being required to in order to meet emissions standards.

Cleaning the unfinished steel is an important part of the galvanizing process. Nationwide, most galvanizing plants dispose of their cleaning solutions by trucking them offsite to be treated as hazardous wastes, some by deep well injection.  Instead, Galvan has installed state of the art equipment that removes harmful metals and converts them to a co-product that can be sold and used as fertilizer and animal feed supplements.  Galvan’s cleaning solutions are continuously processed and returned to the operation, seldom if ever requiring disposal.


Eco-Friendly Copper Plating

Recycling also plays an integral role in Galvan’s recently expanded patented copper-plating process. In a manner similar to the way copper is refined, called electro winning, Galvan uses scrap copper as a source for the copper to be plated on its products. Conventional copper plating processes require a specially prepared copper-plating alloy that often creates surplus waste solution. The Galvan process deposits 99.99% pure copper on the product while creating zero waste.

The environmental benefits of the unique Galvan plating process are many. First, all the costs associated with converting scrap copper into copper plating alloy are avoided. These include the energy required to melt, refine and alloy the scrap into another form and composition as well as the materials such as phosphorus used in the process. Also, all of the wastes produced in the conversion process are eliminated.

Galvan also uses smart scheduling to minimize its copper-plating power consumption. When possible, production is scheduled only for nights and weekends – off-peak load times when electricity is least expensive. This significantly reduces Galvan’s environmental impact.


Galvan’s commitment to making its manufacturing processes more environmentally sound is the basis for the innovation it brings to the production of ground rod electrodes.

Specifiers in the electrical, electronic and utility industries rely on Galvan for products that meet ASTM, ANSI, UL and RUS standards. Galvan electrical products are used in residential, commercial and industrial applications, including construction, cable TV, lightning protection, power transmission and telecommunications. They are available from leading electrical wholesalers and distributors throughout the United States.

For more information, contact Galvan Industries at 1-800-277-5678 or 704-455-5102.

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