Daubert Chemical Co reflects on its 75 years of innovation

It's doubtful that George A Daubert ever dreamed the company he started in 1935 next to his Chicago IL truckstop would become what it is today — a global leader in corrosion prevention, adhesives, and specialty lubricants.

In the 75 years since a customer talked to Daubert about his need for something to keep his steel coils from rusting, the same customer-focused spirit is alive and well today.

Mike Dwyer, Daubert Chemical's president and chief executive officer, said, “Our founder's entrepreneurial spirit is what makes us tick. As a privately held, employee-owned company, it's the skills and dedication of our people — their willingness to listen to and respond to customer needs — that is central to our success.”

The adage “find a need and fill it” is what Dwyer was referring to. George Daubert listened to what his customer was saying and mixed a rust preventive with various blends of oil to give him the corrosion protection he needed. In fact, it worked so well that not long thereafter, he sold the resultant coating to the burgeoning local steel industry and founded a business that was then known as the Nox-Rust Chemical Company. (Daubert's Nox-Rust brand name is now known globally as a leader in rust prevention.)

During the 1940s, the name of the company was changed to Daubert Chemical Co Inc. Word spread that the company's scientists were particularly adept in developing corrosion prevention products for extreme environmental conditions. With America in World War II, word spread to Washington that Daubert's corrosion preventatives were worth looking at — especially well-suited to the heavy equipment and armament that would require protection from saltwater spray en route to Europe. Corrosion preventives for the US Navy came out of this, as did oils used to ship spare parts in-transit, and lubricants in general.

The company gradually expanded its markets for corrosion prevention products to include the automotive, heavy truck, heavy equipment, farm equipment, and marine industries.

Clearly, Daubert Chemical is a “company of extremes” in that the protectants they formulate are specific to the conditions in which their end user customers employ them. Daubert's Tectyl brand of rust preventives (which Daubert acquired in 1999) is another case in point. “Mid-case bolts” used to hold space shuttle booster rockets together employ a Tectyl protectant so the boosters can be reused after falling into the ocean. The extremes of saltwater corrosion gave similar rise to a Tectyl product being selected by a major manufacturer of truck bodies used by municipal departments of transportation to haul and spread road salt.

Since the early 1960s, Daubert has been an innovator in the formulation of adhesives for manufacturing. For example, the company formulated a two-part epoxy designed for flat laminating, used predominantly in the furniture and consumer electronics markets. A more recent example was Daubert's discovery that manufacturers needed a more versatile and fast-setting adhesive for profile wrapping, edge banding, and composite panel lamination. Daubert chemists went to work formulating new adhesive products, such as the Daubond PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive line.

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