As one of the leading producers of organic-coated flat-rolled products we supply our customers with materials that are also highly cost efficient. In many sectors, the use of pre-finished steel already delivers significant cost advantages by eliminating the extra time and costs associated with post-painting. But we also do everything we can to ensure our customers make the most of our materials’ potential – for example through expert advice on design and fabrication.
With our steadily growing range of pladur® products we already cover a broad spectrum of applications: from the reflections color scales for industrial and commercial buildings to our new metallic finishes for the appliance industry. And there’s plenty more to come from coil coating technology.
“pladur® is our colorful, functional end coating for premium manufacturers.”
“pladur® is the proof that we are working hard for our customers. Why, you ask? pladur® is our organic strip coating that gives our steel a new appearance layer by layer, endowing it with the right properties. In this manner, we can offer a high-quality, long-lasting, sustainable, economical coating for any industry. We have the right solution for you, regardless of whether the steel is used in conjunction with household appliances, utility vehicles, doors, multi-story buildings, or industrial buildings. Just ask us.”
“pladur®, our organic coating, has impressed customers worldwide for 60 years!”
We at thyssenkrupp Steel were the first in Europe who believed in the success of coil coating right from the start. Our organic coil-coated sheet steel is now celebrating 60 years of this success. Quite right, too, as it’s the true allrounder still today as it was back then, setting new standards: it is economical, with almost infinite colors, numerous surfaces and good formability. pladur® wins us over in every sense – see for yourself.
#tksteelinside: Washing mashines pladur®
Lots of washing machines get your laundry whiter than white. But for brighter, whiter appliances, you need pladur® organic-coated steel. It makes possible the attractive appearance of all @bshgroup.DE-brand washing machines – and also helps to ensure a long lifetime. To make doing laundry more pleasurable.
#tksteelinside: fridge pladur®
Our organic-coated pladur® sheet brings the world of colors to household appliances and protects your surfaces effectively against dirt, scratching and fading. If desired, doors can be printed with custom motifs.
From our #tksteelinside series:
Refrigerated trucks clad with our organic-coated pladur® sheet are especially sturdy, weather-resistant, durable, scratch-resistant and dirt-repellent.
Back to the future – a short journey in time, through the first 60 years of pladur®. Discover how pladur® originated and evolved. And what final products our organic coil-coated material has made possible over the decades. You’ll be amazed!
Pioneering in coil-coating technology
The 1950s were marked by Germany’s “economic miracle.” The construction industry gained momentum, the demand for consumer goods increased. Hoesch, a company belonging to today’s thyssenkrupp Steel, was the first to take the initiative and seek an industrial-scale counterpart to the composite products already available in the USA. Together with the companies Dortmunder Plastik and Chemische Werke Hüls, Hoesch began to develop a process for the continuous coating of steel strip in 1954. With one clear goal: the production of a composite material made of high-quality corrosion-resistant steel with an aesthetic and functional surface that could qualitatively surpass the “skin-plate” sheets manufactured in the USA, while undercutting their prices. The company’s Trierer Walzwerk AG subsidiary with its Wuppertal-Langerfeld branch took on the required development work.
A done deal: the first wide-strip coil-coating plant in Europe
On May 26, 1959, the decision was made to build a wide-strip coil-coating plant in Wuppertal with all the necessary ancillary facilities. This paved the way for Europe’s first wide-strip coil-coating plant.
The debut: an exhibition at the International Plastics Fair
In October, the new material was presented for the first time to a wider public at the International Plastics Fair in Düsseldorf. Under the motto “Kunststoff auf Stahl =PLATAL” (plastic on steel = PLATAL) we presented not only several heavy coils, but also a variety of finished parts that had been punched, bent, folded, pressed or drawn.
Get the production lines rolling: Europe’s first coil-coating plant
In Wuppertal-Langerfeld, the first large-scale plant involving the continuous application of plastic to a moving steel strip went into operation on September 30, 1960. Four halls with 4,000 square meters of usable floor space made up the new production center for this innovative material. Even then, organic coil-coated steel was intended for a diverse range of applications in the household and the construction and automotive industries.
Get as much publicity as possible
We used a wide variety of platforms to familiarize people with the many benefits and possible uses of high-quality organic coil-coated flat-rolled steel. These included trade fairs, advertisements and brochures. And also a special exhibition: in the information center for steel applications in Düsseldorf’s Walzstahlhaus (rolled steel center), a number of possible applications for the new material were showcased.
Miraculous results of the economic miracle: increasing product diversity
A selection of the objects and products created in the course of the 1960s based on this organic coil-coated material: exterior façades of industrial and multistory buildings, partitions for elevator areas, boiler cladding, deep-drawn parts for suitcases, shelves, and even the dashboard of the Ford 20 M TS. Even then, functions and designs met customers’ requirements and matched the trends of the time.
Compound steel finds its way into architecture: in a prefab bungalow
In the early 1960s, we began production of 100% prefabricated houses that were built with wall panels and roof structures made of organic coil-coated steel – e.g. in Dortmund (Germany) and on Mallorca (Spain). Right from the start, the buildings known as Hoesch bungalows demonstrated the material’s functional and aesthetic possibilities in residential construction.
A new and brilliant achievement: a new brand with a glossy surface
We were able to expand the advantages of the composite material: after the introduction of PLATAL, plastic on a steel base, PLADUR – galvanized high-quality steel with an evenly heat-cured plastic coating – was also presented for the first time at the “Kunststoffmesse 1963”, a plastics fair.
More capacity please: the new coating plant in Hamm
Only a few years after the first coil-coating plant in Wuppertal, a second one was built in Hamm: an extremely high-performance high-tech wide-strip facility that, in addition to coatings, could also apply films. Not only steel but also other materials could be coated, on both sides if desired and with strip widths of up to 1,850 mm, at a speed of 66 m/minute.
Unlocking new potential: coil-coated thin sheet from Duisburg-Beeckerwerth
Thyssen, yet another member of today’s thyssenkrupp Steel, also discovered the possibilities presented by coil coatings: in December 1968, the steel producer started up its first coil-coating plant in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth. The facility used films and paint finishes to produce multicolored coil-coated thin sheet, which was marketed under the brand name THYSSEN-Color. Thyssen had now joined Hoesch in its pioneering role in organic coil-coated steel.
As colorful as our product world: our advertising
With an extensive advertising campaign, THYSSEN-Color was presented to a broad audience of industry professionals. This selection of early brochures offers an impression of the diversity of designs.
Capacity expanded: a new coil-coating plant at Kreuztal-Ferndorf
Siegener AG, later acquired by Hoesch Siegerlandwerke and now part of thyssenkrupp, also recognized the trend and the market potential of organic coil-coated materials at quite an early stage. In 1970, a coil-coating plant was commissioned at Kreuztal-Ferndorf. It focused on the coating of various materials, including galvanized strip steel for the construction industry and aluminum for mobile home claddings. In the 1970s, the dimensions of the materials coated mainly ranged from 0.75 mm to 1,250 mm. Later, the plant could even coat substrate thicknesses of up to 2.00 mm at speeds of up to 60 m/minute.
In great shape
Good formability has always been one of the great advantages of prefinished steel strip. The nearly 50-year-old photos prove this: our organic coil-coated products could be bent, edged, folded, pressed, profiled, or deep drawn without any problems.
Always the ultimate benchmark: individual requirements
All of the companies with coil-coating lines now united under the umbrella of thyssenkrupp have always been responsive and customer-oriented, whether delivering material for the dashboard of a high-end automobile or various products for interior architecture, shelf construction or shipbuilding. Designs have changed, and shapes and features have been adapted to customer requirements. We developed a material for a still well-known shopfitting company on the shores of Lake Constance. In the construction field, we went one production stage further – with finished products for façades. And to ensure the individualization of surfaces, we invested in transfer printing as early as the 1970s. An example of a final product incorporating this technology: a briefcase with a map of the world printed on it, which served us for years as a “sample case.”
Dressed up in high-tech: the Sheraton Hotel in Paris
Another high-tech product from our company was a wide strip, hot dip-galvanized on both sides, with an anti-corrosion TEDLAR PVF film, for façades of multistory buildings. PLATAL T was characterized by excellent color stability, outstanding corrosion resistance and good formability – and set new benchmarks in the construction industry. This material’s superb qualities were undeniably demonstrated in the façade of the newly-built 110-meter-high Paris Sheraton Hotel – covering an area of 18,000 m2.
Redoubled capacity: the new coil-coating plant at Kreuztal-Eichen
Another wide-strip coil-coating plant – again one of the most modern in Europe – was commissioned at Kreuztal-Eichen. The focus of the plant configuration, involving thicker substrate thicknesses of up to 1.5 mm and strip widths of up to 1,500 mm, was clearly on the construction industry. In addition, the plant matched the increasing demand for color variety accompanied by smaller batch sizes. To this end, alongside the usual adhesive bonding and topcoat application units, a second topcoat application unit was also integrated into the system to enable color switchovers within a very short timeframe, without incurring excessive costs, and at process speeds of up to 120 m/minute.
Keep your cool, even when things get hot
New coatings laid the groundwork for new products based on our organic coil-coated material. Thanks to high temperature-resistant Teflon coating, a product of aerospace research, this robust material could be used e.g. for barbeque grills.
A real hit: our garage doors
In garage doors too, our organic coil-coated sheets demonstrated their qualities at an early stage. These premium products scored points in terms of aesthetics, formability and UV resistance. Europe’s leading supplier of garage doors, front doors and interior doors began relying on our new designs early on.
Even greater speed and customer proximity
Long into the 1980s, new materials were needed to modernize Germany’s infrastructure. For district heating pipelines that were ubiquitous in the Ruhr area and still are in some areas, for example, we developed specific products with high corrosion resistance for cladding insulation. We also supported the industry in designing color schemes that were used to indicate different media in the pipework. This made PLATAL a synonym for insulation sheets.
And the diversity of applications keeps increasing
In the 1980s too, the use of our composite material was welcomed whenever high-quality finishes, aesthetics, functionality and durability were called for. In addition to the automotive, construction and shipbuilding industries, the organic coil-coated material continued to enter more customer- and application-specific areas of usage.
Earning our stripes: color variations at the customer’s request
Yet another example of our customer focus and process innovation: on the initiative of mobile home manufacturers, we developed a process for carrying out a type of stripe painting. This made it possible to use three colors in any number of stripes.
One success after another: the 500,000th ton on the Kreuztal-Eichen conveyor
In less than seven years, 500,000 tons of coil-coated steel were produced at the Kreuztal-Eichen plant. This achievement was to a large extent thanks to our three coating machines, which allowed “flying” color switchovers for extremely smooth and fast production.
Decorative and versatile: a new print technology
By intensifying development work in the 1980s, we succeeded in applying a new printing process. One very popular application was in patterned panels that could be written on. They were formable, durable and could be wiped clean, making them ideal for offices and schools.
Good around the house: our materials in white goods
During the 1980s, we conquered new industrial sectors with pladur®: our organic coil-coated materials were no longer in demand only for “brown goods” – a teletronics-sector term for devices such as video recorders. At that time, we were pioneers of the first hour in the home appliance industry. It all began with a customer design for a large home appliance producer in Bavaria: for the first time, the company used our high-quality coil-coated steel for refrigerators and freezers. For this purpose, we developed customized colors and surfaces and adapted the products to the customer’s manufacturing process – an example of advanced customization and subsequent simultaneous engineering with and for our customers.
New paint technologies from our partners in the plastics industry enabled us to apply innovative coating systems using industrial-scale production facilities: the products supplied for the household appliance industry ranged from material with smooth to structured surfaces and from white to multicolored, using both coatings and films.
A special jubilee: 25 years of history and 2.5 million tons
25 years after the opening of the first continuous coil-coating plant in Europe, we had come this far: 2.5 million tons of plastic-coated steel had been produced in the four works at Wuppertal-Langerfeld, Hamm, Ferndorf and Eichen.
Achieving competitive advantages: even more diversity and customer proximity
Competitive pressures in Germany, as in other European countries, increased in the late 20th century. The market now included nine large suppliers using wide strip coil-coating systems. For us, one more reason to strengthen our focus on the customer and expand our product portfolio by adding even more functions.
New markets open up: Central and Eastern Europe
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe offered new opportunities. Today, these countries form the largest market for coil-coated steel. In Poland, for example, our coil-coated steel still sells like hotcakes – for use as roofing tiles. This application looks very simple but, due to the compression and stretching occurring during reshaping, it is actually quite a challenge for the coil-coated material. For a manufacturer from southern Poland, we have combined our coil-coating expertise with high-quality flat-rolled steel as well as galvanizing and coating processes. The result: a new application for pladur® and at the same time several newly developed products – plus a track record of unbroken success with the customer.
Answering increasing demand: a new plant in Duisburg
The new coil-coating plant in Duisburg-Beeckerwerth was built in response to increasing industry demand. Widespread applications include refrigerators, extractor hoods and dishwashers, or roller shutters, doors and partitions. And the list keeps growing longer.
Hitching up: debut in the trailer industry
In the mid-1990s, we entered the trailer industry – adding yet another specialization to our coil-coating repertoire.
Cool high-tech for cooling trailers: a success story
Using pladur® multilayer paint coatings on the outer shell and extremely wear-resistant pladur® film products on the insides of refrigerated trailers, thyssenkrupp joined forces with a major manufacturer in the industry to set new standards. But that’s not all: for optimum resistance to the very high stresses on the exterior coatings of refrigerated trailers – such as stone chips and scratches – we worked with partners to develop the innovation pladur® E (today pladur® Multishell), which was patented in 1999. This newly-developed product is a combination of the best of all coating systems, created for a highly-demanding application. Even today, it is still the only material of its kind as far as the eye can see. The customer’s appreciation of the material was so great that sales volumes have redoubled several times over. A success for our partner and for us – a win-win story in the truest sense.
White goods, thousands of colors: the great diversity provided by pladur® Smooth
Thanks to a multitude of possible variations in color and surface texture, with pladur® Smooth we were able to vastly expand the product design possibilities of white goods: the offer of smooth, glossy or matte surfaces and numerous colors means that there are now well over 8,000 variations to choose from.
Merger: Thyssen and Krupp
At the end of the 20th century, the two big players in the steel industry merge: Thyssen and Krupp join forces. This has enabled the companies to combine their coil-coating expertise.
Invaluable in the long term: greater environmental protection, lower resource consumption
Public awareness of environmental protection has continued to increase. Our group has assumed a leading role in the steel industry in terms of environmental and resource-saving production. Step by step, we are adapting our processes – and without compromising the quality of our organic coil-coated products in any way. We now produce, among other things, materials free of chromate and CMR substances, in line with the respective REACH regulations. And don’t forget: steel is and remains a sustainable material, as it is 100 % recyclable.
Development of a special kind: environmental protection for the eyes
Friedrich Ernst von Garnier developed a new color philosophy based on the fundamental idea that buildings, especially industrial buildings, should visually blend in with the landscape and the environment. That was exactly the purpose for which we created the top-quality, corrosion-resistant product reflections One. Based on this concept, further steel innovations such as reflections Cinc and reflections Lume were then developed.
Unmistakable: new benchmarks in industrial construction
Our new hot-dip galvanizing line 8 in Dortmund was one of the first buildings to incorporate our product innovation based on Friedrich Ernst von Garnier’s color philosophy. The facility, which set new standards in industrial construction, was awarded the 2003 European Steel Design Award.
Steel pan tiles: aesthetics in focus
The use of high-quality coil-coated steel for roof tiles became established alongside traditional clay tiles. In addition to polyester-coated steel strip, surfaces with a lighter structure were becoming increasingly popular. Our response to the trend: with a partner, we developed a paint system that, in addition to an aesthetic appearance based on texture, color and gloss level, was also significantly more wear-resistant than conventional coil coatings. The use of corrosion-resistant pladur® Wrinkle got underway: in Poland, pladur® became a synonym for “wrinkled surfaces.”
Special requirements, special features
Another innovation at the beginning of the 21st century was the material pladur® Antigraffiti. The product was covered with a clear coat whose purpose became visible only when cleaning the surface: graffiti could be quickly and simply washed off with clear water. The product was so popular that even a major tabloid reported on its properties.
pladur® Luminous, a material that glows in the dark, and pladur® Agrotect, which protects agricultural buildings against the harmful effects of vapors related to livestock farming, demonstrated new properties in organic coil-coated products.
Innovation on steel surfaces: household appliances
In the mid-2000s, we introduced another innovation on steel surfaces: pladur® Metal Look. It displayed the world’s first brushed metallic and non-metallic steel finish that was halogen- and PVC-free. With this product, we joined forces with partners including a well known German household appliance manufacturer.
Special eye-catchers: naturalistic surfaces
Another process innovation was a printing technology that we introduced with the pladur® Relief product line. With it came surfaces that harmonized with nature in appearance and structure – while simultaneously defying wind, weather and UV radiation. For example, pladur® Relief Wood with a look and feel similar to wood. Or pladur® Relief Icecrystal with an appearance reminiscent of ice crystals.
A new color combination: reflections Pearl
High quality gets higher: reflections Pearl. This newly developed, highly durable product offers a top-quality surface in a new color combination. It is matte, metallic and extremely vibrant. The combination of a special finish with light surface texturing creates a unique and exclusive appearance, which varies depending on the incidence of light and the viewing angle. The harmonized color scales of reflections Pearl open up new creative freedom and allow façades that gleam in a distinctively stylish and dynamic manner.
Multiple benefits, one brand: pladur®
Since 2008, all our organic coil-coated products have been bundled together under one brand: pladur®.
Corporate architecture at its best: our new headquarters
pladur® has always been predestined for high-quality multistory buildings. This was demonstrated as early as 2009 by the new thyssenkrupp headquarter in Essen, with its award-winning architecture. The façades and interior paneling were made of pladur® in a unique color.
The focus of attention: five strong sectors
Now, almost a decade after our merger, we focus pladur® on five sectors: home appliances, utility vehicles, doors and gates, multistory buildings, industrial buildings. Particularly noteworthy is the refrigerated trailer segment. Here we have become market leader with our pladur® product.
Meeting the highest standards
Today we meet the highest standards when it comes to garage doors: whether these are standard or customized – pladur® offers top-quality designs with distinctive accents in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
Recognized environmental friendliness: pladur®
Since 2014, all pladur® materials have borne the EPD seal of approval of the construction and environment auditing body “Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V (IBU)”. This respected environmental product declaration considers the product’s entire lifecycle. It serves as an important basis for assessing the sustainability of building structures.
To top off the range, a product with a special feel: pladur® Relief Texture
In pladur® Relief Texture we have developed a visually appealing mix of slate and wood grain structures. The tactile experience the material offers was a special focus. The new product is designed to give roofing and façades an individual look and feel.