Founded in 1994 by Rosario Curatolo, Saro srl was, from the beginning, highly specialised in steel and iron wear resistant products.

Its mission, it says, is to develop protection for your equipment to give manufacturing efficiency and non-stop working processes.

The company says that this requires observation, know-how and passion. In a significant sign of things to come, in 1997, Saro ventured into testing ceramic material as a wear-resistant coating and says it was the first in Italy to offer such solutions to the market while still, of course, continuing to offer its steel and iron products.

“A turning point for the company came in 2000, with the supply of the first rotary valve lined with ceramic material,” said Alessandro Giordano, sales manager at Saro.

“This was for the major Italian panel maker the Mauro Saviola Group. At the same time, a ceramic-lined resin blender was supplied to another major Italian panel maker – the Frati Group. “This took Saro into new territory: the particleboard industry,” said Mr Giordano.

“Although I must mention that we had been supplying products to the panel industry since 1996,” he added. In fact, Saro has supplied its products to the particleboard, MDF and OSB industries.

“Also in the year 2000, ceramic products came to represent 70% of the company’s sales,” said Mr Giordano.

Another significant year was 2006 when Saro launched its flexible hose for pneumatic transport, ‘Cergomhose’.

Research and development (R&D) has always been important to Saro and still is today; the company invests 5% of annual earnings in training and R&D.

In 2006, this led to the development of a new type of hose for pneumatic transport. This was a flexible rubber hose lined with ceramic material, for the transport of highly abrasive materials.

Having already outgrown its premises in 2004 and moved to a new HQ and production facility, the company again moved in 2016 to its current, larger, premises. So Mr Curatolo, who today remains the very active CEO of the company he founded, has seen his business grow rapidly over the past 24 years.

“We used to work exclusively with endusers in the panel industry, but over the years we have increasingly worked with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Siempelkamp, Dieffenbacher, Texpan, Imal, Pal, Instalmec and Trasmec,” said Mr Giordano.

The company offers its wear-protection services in resin blenders, cyclones, piping, screw conveyors and screens, to name but a few of the many applications.

“There are five main product areas for Saro: Aluminium oxide; elastomers; basalt; polymeric resins; and hard-faced steel plate,” said Mr Giordano.

The trade names under the aluminium oxide sector are Sarcer and Sarmos. Sarcer includes products such as elbows and pipes, customised shaped pieces and circular segments.

Sarmos covers the areas of square mat, hexagon mat, elbows and pipes and lining. Under ‘elastomers’ are Hexagon Hose (flexible ceramic-lined hoses); Tetragon Hose (also flexible ceramic hose); Saroras (belt scrapers); and Sarcergom (Cergom pad lining).

Four different types of cooling hose are also offered in the elastomer range. Under ‘Basalt’ comes the Sarbas brand.

This includes elbows and pipes, customised shaped pieces, circular segments and highthickness linings.

Under ‘Polymeric resins’ is a large number of adhesives, coatings, wear protection resins, corrosion protection resins and resins suited to protection at very high temperatures. The adhesives are known as Saroplast T250 and Saroplast T2000, while ceramic resins are named Sarpol RP07, RP08 and RP15. These are wear-protection resins. The Sarpol range relevant to the panel industry also includes RP17, which is a micro-thickness coating; RP18 to give wear protection at high temperatures; RP44 to give corrosion protection to metals; finally, HT999, which gives wear protection in very-high temperature areas such as energy plants.

The fifth and final category of product takes us back to the original speciality of Saro – metal. Saromax 100 is a hard-faced steel plate faced with chromium carbide. Saromax 100 is available either in standard format, or as a customer-led design project.

Turning to typical protection applications for the products, there are seven main ‘problem’ categories which Saro’s products are designed to address: abrasion; erosion; cavitation; impact; sticking; corrosion; and those extremely high-temperature areas again. Abrasion occurs mainly in chutes, hoppers, mills, belt conveyors, rotary valves, mixers and resin blenders.

Saro’s aluminium oxide (Sarcer, Sarmos), basalt (Sarbas), resins (Sarpol RP07 and RP08 and ceramic resins), hard-faced steel plate (Saromax 100) and elastomers with an aluminium basis (Sarcergom) all find uses in these high-abrasion areas.

Erosion is perhaps similar to abrasion and occurs throughout pneumatic transport systems. Not surprisingly perhaps, the Saro products used are also similar to abrasion situations, excluding only the hard-faced steel plate, and utilising some different Sarpol ceramic resin formulations: RP17, RP15 and RP18. Aluminium-based elastomers, Hexagon Hose and Tetragon Hose, also find applications in this area of erosion.

Cavitation, or pitting, occurs mainly where water is present, such as in pumps and turbines, and protection is again offered by Saro’s range of Sarpol resin coatings, this time using RP17 and Sarpol 6007. Impact damage is common in crushers, hoppers, buckets and slides and in these situations, Saro employs its elastomer products (Sarcergom), hard-faced steel plate, and resin systems (RP08).

In situations where sticking of material to equipment is a problem, such as in crushers, chutes and rollers, Sarmos aluminium product, elastomer Sarcergom, or Sarpol RP17 resin are recommended.

Corrosion is of course a problem where certain chemicals are in use and Saro’s resin protection systems are again suggested, this time utilising RP66 and RP44.

The seventh and final challenging environment recognised by Saro is in extremely high temperatures, such as in energy plants, and the company offers protection up to 1200oC. Here its hard-faced steel plate, Saromax 100 and Sarpol resin HT999 are employed, as well as elastomers in cooling hoses.

However, Saro is not just about all these products and applications mentioned above. It also works with customers and potential customers to find tailor-made solutions to their specific problems.

“We work with customers all over the world and we intend to continue our expansion globally, working with end-users as well as the OEMs – hopefully with some assistance from our advertisements in WBPI!” concluded Mr Giordano.