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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



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Industrial manufacture

The foundations of the paint industry in Australia were laid at the turn of the century with some semi-processing of imported paints. In the 1920s larger scale production was consolidated. A major step in the formation of a fully integrated industry was the manufacture of white lead, by the forerunners of both Dulux Australia and Berger Paints. The technique, called the 'stack process' involved exposure of lead strips over a period of four months to the heat and products of bacterial decomposition of spent tanbark, in the presence of acetic acid. The corroded lead strips were then removed from the stack, separated from unchanged lead, and the residual white lead was washed, ground and mixed with linseed oil. It was not until the 1940s that a new quick process for making white lead was introduced by British Australian Lead Manufacturers (BALM, now Dulux). Restrictive legislation on the use of lead paints, however, and its rapid replacement by titanium oxide, soon resulted in the demise of white lead.

Techniques for grinding pigments into the chosen resin system before 1920 were very crude by today's standard. 'Edge runners', made of stone, were used to compound heavy materials such as putties and steel roller mills for fine grinding pigmented varnishes.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - BALM Paints; Berger Paints; DULUX Australia Ltd

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© 1988 Print Edition page 719, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher