History of Intergalva

The first International Conference on Hot Dip Galvanizing was held at the Institution of Danish Civil Engineers in Copenhagen from 17-21 July 1950. That first conference was organised by the British Hot Dip Galvanizers Association, which at that time was affiliated to the Oxford-based Zinc Development Association. The 80 experts that gathered in Copenhagen debated many of the topics that still feature in today’s Intergalva conference sessions. Technical sessions included papers and discussions on the role of aluminium additions to the galvanizing bath, influences on dross formation, inhibition of white rust and methods of drossing. The session on ‘The Future of General Galvanizing’ and discussions on ‘Rivals to Galvanizing’ make fascinating reading over 65 years on and looking back on how the industry did flourish much as was predicted at the time!

Another notable feature of the first conference was the presence of Dr Heinz Bablik. Generally accepted as the ‘father’ of the industrialisation galvanizing process, Heinz Bablik combined being a lecturer in the Technical University of Vienna with managing the family galvanizing factory in Brun (a plant that still operates today as part of the Zinkpower Group). This combination of theory and practice resulted in his classic book on galvanizing first published in 1926. By 1950, it was in its third edition and also translated into English. He attended the 1950 event and delivered a keynote speech on ‘The Relative Merits of Flux Galvanizing and Dry Galvanizing’. Of course, this is one debate that we will not be holding at today’s Intergalva events.

A digital version of the full 160-page Proceedings of the International Conference on Hot Dip Galvanizing is free to download and read more of those first discussions and collaborations that gave birth to today’s spirit of Intergalva.

By 1955, three international conferences had stimulated demand for a European Galvanizers Federation but the sheet, wire and tube galvanizing industries were largely served through the steel industry and it was left to the general galvanizers to form their own association in November 1955. By ballot, Heinz Bablik was first choice for President and EGGA was born. EGGA took over the organisation of the conferences, which were then held in Milan (1956) and Belgium (1958). That started the pattern of conferences every 3 years with the host country nominating the EGGA President. From then on, the series of International Galvanizing Conferences (also known as Intergalva) has never looked back as the leading international forum for the industry.