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Safely detached






Safely detached


The winter sports season is upon us, millions of tourists will shortly be heading to the slopes on ski lifts. Assuring safe travel with the ski lift requires that the forged steel parts that guide the cable also need to fulfil the highest requirements of quality. The world leader in cable car construction, Doppelmayr (wolfurt), relies on a corrosion protection solution from Dörken MKS (Herdecke) for this.

With its high-performance zinc flake system, Dörken MKS contributes to the safety of the ski lifts built by Doppelmayr (copyright Doppelmayer Seilbahnen GmbH)

The rigours of daily use 

The long-established Doppelmayr/Garaventa company maintains numerous production sites as well as sales and service operations in over 40 countries worldwide. To date, the cable car and lift specialist has created 15,000 complex systems for customers in 96 states. As safety is of key importance, particularly for cable car operations, each part needs to withstand the highest demands of use – including the forged steel parts that detach the cable. These specially-formed components detach the lift from the cable on its arrival at the station, guiding it onto a separate track for passengers to mount and dismount before guiding it back to the cable. In this process the components are not only subjected to continuous mechanical stress, they also have to withstand enormous fluctuations in temperature, with extreme cold in winter and hot days in summer. To avoid corrosion damage and expensive repair and downtime for the lift, these therefore need to be equipped with a high-performance surface protection coating. 

The forged steel parts utilised in the cable detaching mechanism require capable and effective corrosion protection (copyright Doppelmayer Seilbahnen GmbH)

Zinc flake system ensures long-term component functionality 

For many years now, the Dopplmayr Group has therefore relied on a zinc flake system from Dörken MKS. Gerhard Markstaler, project manager at Dopplmayr, explains: “With zinc flake we are able to achieve enhanced corrosion protection with the application of thin coats. These thin coats are necessary as we are obliged to carry out crack testing prior to fitting the components. The parts need to be free of cracks, as the health and safety of our passengers relies on the functionality of these parts.” The specific solution employed here is a combination of the proven DELTA Tone 9000 zinc flake base coat and a matching DELTA Seal top coat in silver. Applied using spray coating, this very thin coat offers effective corrosion protection for the high-tensile steel parts with tensile strength of > 1,000 N/mm2. In addition, it also guarantees a protective effect of 960 hours and more against base metal corrosion in neutral salt spray testing (in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9227). 

Christos Tselebidis, Key Account Manager Global Sales at Dörken MKS, summarises: “The numerous beneficial properties enable the zinc flake coating to ensure outstanding corrosion protection, thus making a major contribution to the safety of daily cable car and lift operations.”