John Lysaght and Colorbond®

 

I am a great advocate for the use of Colorbond® corrugated roofing material and for its creative capabilities,
especially in the Caribbean, where the environment is a constant test ...


But it's not just because of the stunning range of colours available or the choice of profile. These are common knowledge. It's about the background story which strengthens my argument and it's about the history of Colorbond® steel.

In these islands, roofing material is often referred to as 'galvanize'. It is interesting to note that the word has two meanings. Both verbs, the first definition is "to shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action" and the second "to coat iron or steel with a protective layer of zinc."

Things have somewhat evolved in the roofing material market, since the second definition was created, although in roofing terms it still refers to a material called Zincalume®, which has a plain, metallic surface, almost industrial in appearance and is immensely durable and long lasting. I refer to the invention of Colorbond® steel, which has a baked-on paint finish, resists chipping, peeling and cracking and has a long life with low maintenance. And there is more...

This remarkable roofing material has outstanding anti-corrosion and now UV performance and is one of the toughest, most advanced building materials in the world.

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In England, in the 1820s, Henry Robinson Palmer discovered how to corrugate a thin sheet of iron to produce a very strong, lightweight building material.

John Lysaght, from a prosperous family of landowners in Ireland, established his iron working business in Bristol and commenced manufacturing corrugated iron in 1857. The firm exported to many countries including Australia and South America.
By 1880 Lysaghts was exporting so much corrugated iron to Australia, that it established a central selling agency in Melbourne.

The original Lysaght brand of corrugated iron was Orb, followed in 1897 by a cheaper version called Redcliffe. Both brands were exported in large quantities to Australia. Other brand names followed. Globe was a brand produced for American and African markets but some quantities ended up in Australia.

Lysaghts manufactured galvanised sheet and plate between 1880 and 1912 in New South Wales.

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In 1920, the John Lysaght company was acquired by the steel giant Guest Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN), while a wholly owned subsidiary John Lysaght (Australia) commenced manufacture of corrugated iron in 1921, opening a sheet rolling and galvanising works next to the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited, or BHP, at Newcastle, New South Wales.

In the 1950s, things began to change. The Chicago based Lithostrip Corporation (Sun Chemical Corp) and Pre Finish Metals (now Material Sciences Corporation) discovered a way to successfully bond paint to a galvanized base, and John Lysaght again brought the new technology to Australia.

Much time and effort was invested in getting the process and the resulting product exactly right and in 1966 the first coil of Colorbond® steel rolled off the Number 1 coil painting line at Port Kembla, Wollongong. The new line was the talk of the steel business and soon became the industry standard.

In 1979, the company was fully acquired by BHP Steel, subsequently spun off into BlueScope Steel Limited.

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ECMIL is the recipient of this inventive and creative history, successfully applying this tested technology to a region with its very own environmental peculiarities.

The company's attention to affordability, quality and detail, offers the Colorbond® and Zincalume® contemporary and emergent science, to customers who's environment requires exceptional standards. So if you are 'galvanized', as in shocked or excited, typically into taking action and ready to replace or create your roof, especially after reading this, call ECMIL's knowledgeable sales staff. They will guide you through your project, which has already begun with a history of success!

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Sources: colorbond.com | wikipedia.org | gkn.com | lysaght.com | Chicago Tribune | Sun Chemical Corp. | Material Sciences Corp. | Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

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