Bucon is a major producer of corrugated steel tanks which are widely used in the horticultural and agricultural industries. The company’s round and square tanks are made with Magnelis® from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products to ensure their long life and durability. Now Bucon is exploring a new application for their tanks as low-cost housing for Africa. As well as being easy to construct, the housing units can be quickly adapted as family needs change, and are fully recyclable at the end of their long life.
Bucon was founded in 2015 as a producer of corrugated tanks for the storage of water and other liquid products used in the horticultural industry. The initial design, known as BUCOtank®, features a traditional round design which is made from Magnelis® provided by ArcelorMittal Liège (Belgium).
“A key advantage of Magnelis® is that it can withstand the aggressive environments found in horticulture and agriculture,” notes Erik Passchier, CEO of Bucon. “For example, manure tanks are subject to high levels of ammonia.”
A Bucon tank under construction in a greenhouse
Another major benefit of using Magnelis® is the reduced level of zinc runoff to soil compared to hot-dip galvanised solutions. “Zinc runoff is a major concern in agriculture and horticulture, but Magnelis® stays on the steel,” says Erik Passchier. “This was one of the main reasons why we chose Magnelis® on a strong steel (S350GD) substrate.”
Magnelis® is an affordable solution for Bucon’s horticultural customers notes Erik Passchier: “In industrial applications, our tanks represent just a small percentage of the overall project budget. But in horticulture and agriculture they account for a much bigger percentage – margins are much lower. Our customers need affordable and long-lasting solutions. Something we can provide with Magnelis®.”
Erik Passchier, CEO of Bucon Industries with tanks made of Magnelis® from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products
Bucon also produces coloured tanks in either light grey or dark green. In these cases, the steel used is Granite® HDX from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. “We offer a light grey which matches the windows of greenhouses and is usually used inside,” says Erik Passchier. “The dark green finish is mainly used in outdoor applications where it blends into the environment.”
More recently, Bucon has introduced a new range of tanks known as BUCOsquare®. The tanks feature rounded, angular corners which create a rectangular or square tank. The square tanks are ideal for greenhouse applications where they can fit in with the shape of the building.
“Square tanks are only possible due to Bucon’s high-quality equipment,” explains Erik Passchier. “Normally corrugated steel buckles when bent at the angle required, but our machines can bend the corrugated sheets tightly enough to create a ‘square’ corner.”
All of Bucon’s tanks are assembled using the company’s own patented bolt system. The system uses bolts and washers which have the same shape as the corrugated steel sheets they will join. This ensures much tighter contact between the sheets. As well as helping to prevent moisture penetration, the connection has a much higher tensile strength than can be achieved with normal nuts and bolts notes Erik Passchier: “The connection can handle twice the tensile strength of normal bolts. That allows us to build larger or taller tanks safely.”
Bucon utilises Granite® HDX from ArcelorMittal for coloured tanks
The bottom rings of tanks are traditionally painted, but this is unnecessary with modern materials such as Magnelis®
Bucon has adapted its square tank designs to create affordable housing units which can be modified or expanded to meet the changing needs of families. Known as FLEXbuild, the modular building system makes it possible to rapidly deploy a range of relatively inexpensive and sustainable architectural solutions almost anywhere in the world.
“The basic elements of the houses are corrugated Magnelis® panels which are engineered to precision at our facility in the Netherlands,” says Erik Passchier. “As we are located close to the port of Rotterdam, the buildings can be shipped almost anywhere. And when they arrive on-site, the structure can be assembled easily by people with very little construction experience.”
While the basis of the houses are corrugated tanks, they can easily be fitted with insulation or other materials to create a more aesthetic finish. They can also be painted with Bucon’s Adgreen coating which reflects ultraviolet light back into the atmosphere. This reduces the internal temperature of the building by up to 20°C.
Bucon relies on ArcelorMittal’s expertise whenever they have questions explains Erik Passchier: “We’re always innovating, and ArcelorMittal’s technical people have a lot of knowledge about steel. Their answers are based on knowledge and numbers – they don’t make promises they can’t keep. And they strongly believe in long-term relationships and working together to find the best solution – both technically and commercially. What’s technically possible is not always commercial, but ArcelorMittal’s people understand this.”
Bucon Industries was founded in 2015 and began producing its first corrugated steel panels by the end of that year. To date Bucon has produced tanks which are used to collect and store water, manure, and other liquids used in horticultural and agricultural applications. Bucon has a small staff of enthusiastic and highly committed people located in the heart of the Netherlands’ horticultural industry to the north of Rotterdam. Bucon’s tanks are sold and installed by a global network of authorised dealers and distributors.
More info: www.bucon-industries.nl
Pictured in the Bucon warehouse are Marc De Loyer, back office manager, and Erik Passchier, CEO of Bucon
Bucon’s tanks are widely used in the horticultural industry to store liquids such as manure and water
Copyright images: Bucon Industries