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Metallurgical | Bellows

Customised bellows deliver €120,000+ in annual savings


Our customer was experiencing frequent failures of multi-layered fabric steering roll bellows on a hot dip continuous galvanizing line. Replacement of these bellows required a total shutdown of the process resulting in significant maintenance costs and lost production time.


Steering roll bellows on a hot dip continuous galvanizing line.

Existing solution

Multi-layered fabric bellows provide a flexible seal between the furnace wall and the bearing supports at each end of the rolls which must be capable of accommodating significant roll movement.

James Walker solution

James Walker’s experienced engineering and design team produced design drawings for a novel bellows design incorporating modified steelwork and the application of new materials. A test rig was developed to simulate the application’s movements and new materials were sourced before prototype units were manufactured and tested to demonstrate performance. Close collaboration with the customer throughout this process resulted in an order placed on a further trial basis.

Results and benefits

Our bellows have seen continuous service since early 2020, and have outlasted the previous supplier’s product several times over. Thermographic surveys have confirmed that our bellows are operating with a surface temperature 150°C below the previous solution, further increasing longevity. Following a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis, annual savings in excess of €120,000 have been proven.

Annual savings of €120,000+
Reduced maintenance costs
Increased productivity
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