History of Chemetall GmbH

Chemetall was founded in 1982 as a subsidiary of former Metallgesellschaft AG (mg) in Frankfurt am Main, however the actual history of Chemetall can be traced back over a 100 years to the founding of Metallgesellschaft by the Frankfurt merchant Wilhelm Merton.


In its research, development and production, Chemetall GmbH carries on the tradition started by mg's former "Technical Processes Division"


Metallgesellschaft´s expansion and diversification into different fields of activity ultimately led to the foundation of Chemetall, a company created to focus on the important and growing field: the combination of chemistry and metallurgy.


Frankfurt-based Metallgesellschaft founded the Technische Abteilung (TA), the nucleus of Chemetall whose first director was Curt Netto. One of his main objectives was to be aware of the latest technical and industrial developments and to adjust Metallgesellschaft’s corporate planning accordingly.
Founding of Metallurgische Gesellschaft (later Lurgi) as a subsidiary of Metallgesellschaft with Curt Netto on the Executive Board. The TA was incorporated into this new subsidiary.
Development of Bahnmetall, also called Lurgi metal, used as a material for the bearings in trains.
Improvement of Bahnmetall by the addition of lithium. To meet the large demand, Metallurgische Gesellschaft established the Hans-Heinrich metallurgical plant in the Harz region, which later became the Langelsheim works of Chemetall. This was the first time ever that lithium salts were produced on an industrial scale.
Metallgesellschaft founded Kautschuk-Gesellschaft thus laying the foundations for the activities for the future Chemetall in the areas of chemicals for rubber, for bonding and for plastics.
Ties forged with Deutsche Parker Rostschutz GmbH, resulted in TA introducing a new and fast process for temporary corrosion protection named Bonder*.
First Bonder plant started operation in Langelsheim.
TA established a separate lithium division in view of the ever increasing applications for lithium compounds. Start of the production of PVC stabilizers in large amounts in the Langelsheim works.
TA was reincorporated into Metallgesellschaft and renamed Technische Verfahren (TV).
TV used a licensed process to produce sealants for the construction sector.
Within Metallgesellschaft, TV was upgraded to a profit centre with its own statement of operating results.
The acquisition of Société Continentale Parker in Paris marked the formation of the Surface Technology Division. This was the forerunner of expansion abroad for the future Chemetall.
From construction sealants, the Glass and Ceramics Division evolved, with its core business of sealants for insulating glass (Naftotherm**).
Metallgesellschaft granted the TV Division legal independence. Starting on October 1st of that year, it became CHEMETALL, Gesellschaft für chemisch-technische Verfahren mbH.
Chemson was founded as a joint venture between Cookson and Chemetall. The core business was PVC additives.
Expansion of the PVC stabilizer business: Chemetall acquired the majority of Bleiberger Bergwerks Union, a producer of PVC-stabilizers, including the site at Arnoldstein/Austria
Acquisition of the US-based Oakite, specialized in industrial cleaners, to complement the Surface Technology Division.
Chemetall was integrated into Dynamit Nobel, which became part of Metallgesellschaft (later renamed into mg technologies) in the same year.
Chemetall becomes single owner of Chemson
Expansion to the Far East: Purchase of a stake in a company in India (40 %) operating under the firm of Chemetall-Rai India Ltd. In the same year, establishment of a joint venture for the production of Bonders in China, the Shanghai Chemetall Chemicals.
Chemetall takes over the Asian business for industrial chemicals from the British company Brent International plc. Chemetall (Asia) Pte. Ltd. in Singapore taking over the marketing of surface chemicals with a network covering all of South East Asia.
Purchase of the majority in Weiland GmbH active in the field of galvanizing technologies.
Complete takeover of the joint venture for surface technology founded one year earlier in Australia under the name of Chemetall (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. Acquisition of the US lithium specialist Cyprus Foote, the largest investment ever by Chemetall.
Acquisition of Brent International plc, London.
Integration of Brent's activities into Chemetall's organization. Divestment of the PVC Additives Business.
Acquisition of the aviation business from Dinol AB and integration into Chemetall's Aerospace Division. Divestment of the Plating Technologies Business. Divestment of the Bonding Agents Business.
Divestment of the insulating glass sealants business. The remaining portfolio is reorganised into the two Strategic Business Units, Surface Treatment and Fine Chemicals.
mg Technologies divest their chemicals business. As part of the mg chemical group Dynamit Nobel. Chemetall is acquired by Rockwood Specialties, Inc, effective August, 1st.
Chemetall group acquired by Rockwood Holdings, USA
Acquisition of chemical business of Wirral Fospray, UK
Acquisition of GE Betz (GE Metals Process Products), USA
Acquisition of NDT products of Ely Chemical Company, UK
Acquisition of Nalco Finishing Technologies in USA and Asia
Acquisition of Surface Treatment Business of Tergo Ind., New Zealand
Acquisition of Artech Technologies, Australia
Chemetall’s lithium, cesium and special metals businesses started trading under the new name Rockwood Lithium and were legally separated from the Chemetall group
Acquisition of the business of André Coatings, Germany
Acquisition of remaining shares former JV Chemetall-Rai, India
Acquisition of SaberPack, USA, interleavant powder portfolio
Integration of Glass division of Aachener Chemische Werke (ACW), Germany, a formerly wholly-owned company of Chemetall
Integration of the Tribotecc, Austria, metal sulfide business
Acquisition of remaining shares of former JV Shanghai Chemetall
Albemarle Corp. acquires Rockwood Holdings; Chemetall becomes a business unit of Albemarle.