History of Chem-Trend

Chem-Trend has a rich history spanning 50 years and many product lines

1960: Chem-Trend Founded.

Peer Lorentzen, a Chemical Engineer, aided by his wife Birgit, a Chemist herself, experimented with the development of release agents for polyurethane foam in the kitchen of their home. After sending out many sample jars of their newly developed product, Peer is encouraged to move production out of his home and into a rented garage in Howell, Michigan and Chem-Trend is established.

Peer Lorentzen

1960: Chem-Trend Expands Focus with Die Casting.

After finding initial success developing a completely new approach to releasing polyurethane foam from the molds for production of automotive seat cushions, Peer turns his attention to solving problems associated with the graphite and solvent based die lubricants of the time. Chem-Trend enters the die cast industry, first introducing a graphite free die lubricant and later an innovative water-based technology for die lubricants, which at the time was considered impossible.

1962: Chem-Trend Establishes First European Distributorship.

Peer Lorentzen, having emigrated to the U.S. from Denmark in 1954, had a strong sense of the global marketplace. Chem-Trend, appointed its first international distributor covering the territories of Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

1963: Chem-Trend Builds its First Dedicated Production Facility.

Increased growth resulted in the need for additional capacity. The first Chem-Trend owned manufacturing facility was constructed in Howell, Michigan. Over time the facility was expanded to more than ten times its original size and still functions today as one of Chem-Trend’s key global manufacturing facilities leveraging the latest technologies available.

Change of address cardConstruction site

1963: Chem-Trend Develops Structure to Support Continued Growth of Industry Expertise.

Chem-Trend establishes the Die Cast Division and allocates dedicated resources toward this specific market segment. This becomes the model for all other industry segments served by Chem-Trend going forward. Each market is provided with dedicated product development and technical support laboratories and staff who become industry segment experts allowing Chem-Trend to become extremely knowledgeable about the problems and processes of the customers that they serve. Thus enabling Chem-Trend to become the industry leader they are today.

Die Cast Division

1965: Chem-Trend Opens First Sales Office Outside of the United States.

Understanding the benefits that a direct sales force provides our customers, Chem-Trend opened an office in Denmark and established a direct sales force for Europe.

Newspaper clipping: Howell Firm Opens Branch In Denmark

1969: Chem-Trend Becomes Recognized for its Technological Leadership.

Due to Chem-Trend’s strong technological solutions and innovative products for the die cast industry, Chem-Trend receives the endorsement of the Die Casting Research Foundation, part of the American Die Cast Institute, again demonstrating leadership in the Chemical Specialties market.

Endorsement of the Die Casting Research Foundation

1969: Chem-Trend Establishes Key Relationship in Asia.

Understanding the increasing importance of its automotive manufacturing sector Chem-Trend establishes a key relationship in Japan for distributing products and providing technical support to customers in the Die Cast segment.

1971: Chem-Trend’s Record for Safety is Recognized.

With Chem-Trend’s focus on safety, our manufacturing processes and products are highlighted by the receipt of the National Safety Council’s Award of Merit. This begins a long tradition of safety awards at Chem-Trend.

1974: Chem-Trend Builds Second Manufacturing Facility.

Chem-Trend’s continued growth in Europe calls for the establishment of local production, product development and a support laboratory in order to better respond to growing customer demand. Chem-Trend opens a new plant and laboratory in Denmark to fulfil these needs.

Second Manufacturing Facility

1978: Chem-Trend Develops Line of Semi-Permanent Release Agents for Rubber Molding.

Chem-Trend expands into the rubber industry by innovating a new line of semi-permanent release agents, improving the efficiency and reducing processing costs for molders of rubber products.

Mono Coat Label

1985: Chem-Trend Acquires GreenChem Products.

The acquisition and successful integration of the products and technology developed by this specialist of the Polyurethane industry allows Chem-Trend to expand its expertise and customer base to better serve its markets.

1986: Chem-Trend Begins Joint-Venture in Mexico.

The continuing trend toward a model of distributed production in the automotive sector throughout North America, and the world, encourages Chem-Trend to expand. A Joint-Venture partnership is formed in Mexico that later becomes a fully integrated part of Chem-Trend’s North American region.

1986: Chem-Trend Opens Office in South America.

Understanding the growing importance of the South American automotive manufacturing market, Chem-Trend establishes an office and production facility in Brazil, the largest economy in the Southern Hemisphere. Later, Brazil is made home to Chem-Trend’s Southern Hemisphere regional headquarters.

1987: Chem-Trend Begins Joint-Venture in Korea.

The continuing growth of the automotive market throughout Asia and the growing strength of the Korean automotive market lead Chem-Trend to further geographic expansion. A Joint-Venture relationship in Korea is established which later becomes a fully integrated part of Chem-Trend’s Asia Pacific region.

1987: Chem-Trend Increases Manufacturing and Development Resources.

Growth of our business required additional manufacturing capacity and enhanced, industry specific research and development facilities. Chem-Trend builds new office, laboratory and manufacturing facilities in Howell, Michigan as the company’s new global headquarters, incorporating the headquarters for its North American regional organization.

1988: Chem-Trend is Purchased by Burmah Castrol.

Nearing retirement, Peer Lorentzen finds a buyer for Chem-Trend that will provide strong resources and support for Chem-Trend’s continued growth with a relationship that also continues and strengthens the core values Peer put in place. Burmah Castrol acquires Chem-Trend and makes it a standalone business unit focused on chemical specialties and release agent markets.

1990: Chem-Trend achieves ISO 9001 certification.

Demonstrating Chem-Trend’s long established commitment to quality, we are the first company within Burmah Castrol and the first release agent company to be awarded with the ISO 9001 certification. The first Chem-Trend ISO certification was issued to our Denmark facility, Chem-Trend A/S, with forthcoming ISO certifications issued throughout the Chem-Trend global infrastructure.

1990: Chem-Trend Enters Tire Industry.

Through the development of a new line of innovative tire paints, Chem-Trend adds a new dimension of value added products and services to the tire industry. Lending Chem-Trend’s history of excellence to this product line, Chem-Trend becomes a global leader in the tire manufacturing industry in a very short time.

1991: Chem-Trend Acquires Portions of Park Chemical Company’s Release Agent Line.

The purchase enables Chem-Trend to expand its breadth of offerings in the polyurethane industry segment by complementing its existing technology and product line portfolio.

1991: Chem-Trend Acquires the PERMA-MOLD® Product Line.

The purchase of a portfolio of polyurethane molding products from the Brulin Company helps Chem-Trend expand its technology base and product offerings further into the polyurethane industry, with significant focus on release agents for the rigid polyurethane foam used in the refrigeration industry.

1991: Chem-Trend Establishes a Representative Office in Singapore.

The continuing economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region spurs Chem-Trend to expand its resources in this strategic area. The representative office in Singapore later becomes home to Chem-Trend’s Asia-Pacific regional headquarters, supporting the expansion over time of offices, manufacturing facilities, distribution relationships and warehousing units throughout the region.

1997: Chem-Trend Acquires Portions of Dow Corning’s Tire Release Agent Business.

The acquisition of the Dow Corning tire release agent business in the America’s and Europe, along with an agreement to become a sole distributor of some of Dow Corning’s well respected tire industry product portfolio strengthens Chem-Trend’s ability to serve the needs of its customers and provides additional momentum in the development of innovative products for the tire and automotive industries.

1997: Chem-Trend Acquires the Pura® Line of Polyurethane Products.

The acquisition of the Pura® business from Air Products brought with it a strong brand and products well known throughout Europe. Adding a new, strategically located, manufacturing facility in Europe, with complementary technology and a product line portfolio for the polyurethane industry continues Chem-Trend’s global leadership in the chemical specialties markets.

1998: Chem-Trend Acquires Chemlease®.

The successful integration of the well established product line and global distribution network of Chemlease®, a well-known and respected provider of innovative release agents for the composites industry, helped solidify Chem-Trend’s commitment and leadership to this industry segment.

2001: Chem-Trend Begins Joint-Venture Relationship with Chemlease Japan.

Following the successful integration of the Chemlease business into Chem-Trend, a formal relationship is established with Chemlease’s highly experienced distribution partner in Japan. The relationship between Chemlease Japan and Chem-Trend expands over time to also cover the industry segments of Tire, Composites and Rubber in the key Japanese market.

2001: Chem-Trend Forms New Organization in India.

Understanding the huge growth potential in India, Chem-Trend establishes a new organization to focus resources on supporting this advancing market. The organization later becomes the foundation for Chem-Trend’s India regional headquarters.

2001: Chem-Trend is Purchased by Cinven.

After BP Amoco purchased Burmah Castrol, and consequently Chem-Trend as well, in 2000, they then sold Chem-Trend to the private equity group Cinven in 2001. BP Amoco’s desire was to divest themselves of all businesses that were not associated with their core market of oil & gas, while Chem-Trend was seen as a valuable holding for Cinven due to our technological leadership, financial strength and strong market position.

2004: Chem-Trend is purchased by Freudenberg & Co.

Freudenberg, of Weinheim, Germany purchases Chem-Trend and forms Freudenberg Chemical Specialities (FCS). The FCS group includes Klüber Lubrication, a world leader in the field of specialized lubricants for industrial application and OKS, a manufacturer and developer of lubricants and other performance products for manufacturing operations. Together the three companies form a strong combination of product development, technological innovation and industrial expertise in a broad range of manufacturing settings.

Kluber LubricationOKSChem-Trend

2005: Chem-Trend Expands into Thermoplastics and Enhances its Polyurethane and Die Cast Capabilities.

The integration of the Klüber Chemie Deutschland (KCD) organization into Chem-Trend establishes us as an innovative market driven leader in the thermoplastic industry segment while also expanding our product and development portfolio in polyurethane. Additionally, the transfer of the Klüber Lubrication Die Cast business to Chem-Trend greatly enhances our presence in this industry throughout Europe and grows our portfolio of industry leading products. The combination brings with it a group of experienced personnel as well as a second German manufacturing, laboratory and administrative site. This site, located in Maisach, Germany is named as Chem-Trend’s European regional headquarters.

2006: Chem-Trend Enters into Wood Composite Industry.

Observing the strong similarity between the Wood Composite/Panel Pressing industry and the other industries served so successfully by Chem-Trend throughout its history, Chem-Trend enters the segment. Its first key measure of success is its development of products to aid the industry in overcoming the challenges faced by the use of pMDI resin binders. As we continue to research and develop new products in this area we will help move the industry away from the long standing use of formaldehyde binders.

2008: Chem-Trend Opens Key Manufacturing Facility in China.

A new manufacturing and administration facility is opened in Qingpu, China representing an important milestone in our commitment to further expand our global presence while leveraging this vast new market to strengthen our supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region.

2010: Chem-Trend Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence.

Festivities are held in all Chem-Trend offices around the globe during 2010 in recognition of our fifty years in business. The remarkable accomplishments of our founder, Peer Lorentzen, and all of the people who contributed to our growth over the years are recognized during the events. Most notable is the event held in Howell, Michigan where Birgit Lorentzen shared stories of the company’s earlier days when she and Peer would mix samples in the kitchen of their home.

2013: Chem-Trend Acquires Zyvax®.

The acquisition of the broad product line portfolio, technology and global distribution network of Zyvax®, a well-respected and highly regarded provider of innovative release systems for the composites industry, uniquely positions Chem-Trend to serve both the advanced composites and traditional FRP segments of the composites industry.

2016: Chem-Trend Acquires Huron Technologies.

The acquisition of the Huron Technologies, Inc. business, a worldwide source of customized mold release agents, mold conditioners, cleaners and flushes for multiple molding applications, provides additional product technology, manufacturing and process know-how, raw material sources and customer segments, strengthening Chem-Trend's product offering to the polyurethane industry while providing unique growth opportunities into other segments, such as friction products and concrete molding.

2016: Chem-Trend Acquires Ultra Purge™.

The acquisition of the Ultra Purge business, a well-known high performance line of purging compound technologies, provides additional product and processing technologies and other business assets, strengthening Chem-Trend's product offering to the thermoplastics industry in combination with our existing Lusin® brand of purge compounds, release agents and mold maintenance products.

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Chem-Trend has a long history of products designed to help improve the efficiency of producers in a wide range of industrial applications. Learn more about the brands that Chem-Trend has built over the years.

Chem-Trend’s story is unique, read about how our company grew from one man’s search to solve a problem.