The time of crop rotation has come. A busy period in which the old crop has to make room for the new crop. To protect the new crop in the best possible way, everything is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Especially the greenhouse structure and interior appear not to be able to withstand the disinfectants, Metazet Formflex and Meteor Systems have noticed.
Earlier this year, they already spoke on this issue, as both companies have noticed that in recent years growers have been disinfecting more persistently, according to Renko Schuil, Account Manager for Metazet FormFlex. "10-15 years ago, the cultivation gutters were cleaned with water and a sponge. Now, a pressure washer is frequently used, often in combination with various disinfectants to clean the gutters and to disinfect the greenhouse. This leads to more reports of damage to the cultivation gutters. This is often noticed when it's already too late."
The gutters are made up of steel with a layer of zinc on both sides and finished with a special coating. The coating is particularly sensitive to the often corrosive disinfectants. The result is that the coating is damaged, which results in the underlying layer of zinc, and sometimes even the steel, being exposed. This can lead to corrosion and higher quantities of zinc in the return water.
Metazet FormFlex and Meteor Systems bring in TÜV Rheinland Nederland B.V.
To get a better understanding of the impact of various disinfectants and the damage they cause, Metazet FormFlex and Meteor Systems joined forces and commissioned an extensive research by TÜV Rheinland Nederland B.V. Samples with various coatings and different production batches were analyzed, tested, and finally, subjected to a wide range of disinfectants, including hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, and hydrogen fluoride.
The results of this research give a clear insight into the damage patterns that are caused by using the various disinfectants. Also, it confirms what they already see in practice. As long as the products are used as instructed and rinsed promptly, there is no (visible) damage to the coating. None of the materials are resistant to this when they are treated for a longer period of time, or at a high concentration, and they all show consistent damage patterns.
Use disinfectants as instructed
Cultivation gutters are manufactured from a high quality (coated) material and should also be treated as such. Instructions are and remain: always disinfect and clean according to the guidelines and rinse with water. When in doubt, consult the supplier of the disinfectant and first test the product on a small part of the material that has to be cleaned/disinfected to prevent damage.