Magnelis® provides long-term support for wine growers
Valente's Tekno Evo range of support structures for agriculture is revolutionising the grape growing industry in Italy. The unique poles and support mechanisms all make use of Magnelis® to provide long-term maintenance-free support for vines. The material is supplied to Valente by ArcelorMittal CLN Distribuzione Italia – a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Gruppo CLN, an Italian business active in steel distribution and engineering. ArcelorMittal CLN looks after the steel needs of almost 3,500 companies across Italy.
Magnelis® coated steel (grade S220GD) arrives from ArcelorMittal CLN Distribuzione Italia as slit coils, ready for Valente to form into vine support poles. “Valente started making concrete poles for vineyards. In the first months of 2000, we began to produce steel poles which were post-galvanised,” says Paolo Zalgelli, supply chain manager for Valente.
Valente decided to work with Magnelis® in 2012 following a thorough assessment of different options.
“A lot of chemicals are used in agriculture to protect plants from pests and weeds, and to encourage growth,” notes Paolo Zalgelli. “Poles can be destroyed by these chemicals so we included them in the salt-spray tests to see what effect they had. Magnelis® performed better than any other solution.”
Magnelis® coated steel can be processed using the same forming and joining techniques as uncoated steels.
After forming, the poles are stamped to create notches as Paolo Zalgelli explains: “The notches hold the wires which support the vines. Thanks to the excellent performance of Magnelis®, all the steel accessories Valente produces that are used in vineyards and orchard structures, are made from this material.”
The poles are then bent into their final shape. A key advantage of Magnelis® is that it heals on cut edges. That ensures that all parts of the pole are protected against corrosion, even in the notches.
“Valente’s Tekno Evo poles are suitable for use with smaller plants such as vines,” says Paolo Zalgelli. “We are also assessing whether they could be used in orchards where poles need to be 4 to 5 metres high.”
Until recently, Valente coated the bottom of the poles with a red paint. The entire pole was then coated with a clear varnish to add extra protection. “This came about because we had problems with zinc-aluminium coatings in the past. We now realise that this step is unnecessary with Magnelis®,” notes Paolo Zalgelli.
Each post is marked with depth measurements to simplify installation and ensure the support structures are level. The poles are used with wires and hooks made from Magnelis®. One of the most innovative is the Multi-V patented bracket which allows vines to be positioned for maximum light and air exposure. This ensures the optimal ripening conditions for the fruit.
“Valente is the only manufacturer of vine support systems in Italy that is not using post-galvanised metal,” notes Paolo Zalgelli. “Magnelis® sets us apart from our competition!”
Magnelis® withstood the salt-spray tests Valente performed for more than 500 hours. “Based on these results we expect that the poles will last up to 20 years in vineyards, depending on local soil and climate conditions,” notes Paolo Zalgelli. “Since we started using Magnelis® in 2012 we have had no complaints!”
Despite the many advantages of Magnelis®, Paolo Zalgelli expects it will be a few years before all vineyards in Europe are using Valente’s Tekno Evo poles: “Farmers are very traditional and it is not easy to get them to change. But many are trying our Magnelis® coated accessories and poles, and we are getting good feedback from them. With time it will gain acceptance.”
More info on Magnelis® on the related ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products' document centre page
Contact ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products
For getting to know Valente visit: http://valentepali.com/en/home-eng/
Website ArcelorMittal CLN Distribuzione Italia
Image courtesy of Valente
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