Page 684
Previous/Next Page
Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 9

I Introduction

II The Australian Chemical Industry

III Pharmaceuticals

IV Chemists In Other Industries

V The Dawn Of Modern Chemical Industry - High Pressure Synthesis

VI The Growth Of Synthetic Chemicals - Concentration, Rationalisation And International Links

VII Australian Industrial Chemical Research Laboratories

VIII The Plastics Industry

IX The Paint Industry
i The pioneers
ii The early years - home- and trade-made paints
iii Industrial manufacture
iv Some important developments in the 1920s and 30s
v Rapid growth in the 1950s and 60s
vi Some Australian inventions
vii Recent trends
viii Pigments manufacture
ix Trends in the chemical industry in the 1980s

X Acknowledgements



Contact us

The pioneers (continued)

When in 1924, du Font invented a revolutionary new car finish ('Duco') BALM needed access to it. ICI UK were du Font's licensee for the British Commonwealth and both parties were interested to expand local manufacture. As a result ICI and later ICI Australia took a 40 per cent interest in BALM which was gradually increased (to 51 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in 1955; 100 per cent in 1986). However, in 1971 BALM changed its name to DULUX AUSTRALIA Ltd. The abbreviation DULUX is used in subsequent reference. Dulux preserved its corporate structure, expanded in New Zealand (1939), Adelaide (1950), Melbourne (Clayton factory, later fifties), and forged many important, direct links to overseas technology leaders: ICI Paints Division; du Pont ('Duco', alkyds, acrylics); AmChem (metal pre-treatment); Pittsburgh Plate Glass (thermoset acrylics); and Midland Dexter (silicone, epoxies). Already in the forties it had a sizeable laboratory at Cabarita and in 1960 a large Research Laboratory at Clayton; this fulfilled a dual role, customer technical service and adaption of, and improvement on, international technology. It became an important member of the ICI research family world-wide, as well as an independent innovator in Australia.

At the time of writing the paint industry is fully integrated, mature, with little tariff protection and able to service the whole spectrum and volume of Australian demand. It has a turnover of about $700 M and employs some 5500 people, mainly in Victoria and New South Wales. Because of its spread over many producers and many products, it is almost impossible to describe its evolution and, particularly, the Australian components in it, without recourse to technicalities. After all the principal characteristics distinguishing the tacky, unstable yellowing and fading paints of the beginning of the century from the solvent-free or water-based paints of today, which are easy to apply, dry rapidly and last years, is the underlying polymer and colloid chemistry. A quick traverse through the technicalities will fall short of depth in the eyes of the expert, and may be too complicated to hold the layman's attention. Yet the attempt is made here to use chemistry as the guide through the maze because it conveys an impression of the rapid changes, which had to be mastered in science and technology by a small group of technologists, and of the interweaving of Australian and overseas advances.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - BALM Paints; DULUX Australia Ltd; I.C.I. Australia Ltd

Previous Page Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Next Page

© 1988 Print Edition page 718, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher