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History of LANXESS Inorganic Pigments

Hawley Company Background

The family company of W Hawley & Son Ltd was established in Derbyshire in 1838. Over the years, its activities of mineral processing focussed more and more on coloured pigment preparation and blending. Towards the end of the last century, it was the largest independent company in the UK blending and marketing Iron Oxide pigments.

In its product range were the well-knownShadeacrete® powder pigments and Hydrocol® aqueous slurries, used primarily for the colouration of concrete and other cementitous products - these trade names remain in use to the present day. The company was the first of its type in Europe to achieve accreditation to the Quality Standard BS 5750, now superseded by the ISO 9001 standard.  

In 1998 the Hawley business was acquired by the Bayer Group, which was the largest manufacturer of Iron Oxide pigments in the world, marketed under the Bayferrox® trade name.

Significant investment was made in the late 1990's on a new  factory with improved manufacturing and laboratory facilities. Production started at a new location at Branston, near Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, in January 2000.

In 2003, the parent company, Bayer, started plans to spin off its chemicals and some of its polymer activities as a new and independent company.

The new company was named LANXESS and in July 2004, the name of W Hawley and Son Ltd. was changed to LANXESS Limited to become the single legal entity of the new group in the UK. In January 2005, LANXESS AG was spun off from the Bayer Group and is now a completely independent global chemical company.

Pigment blending and marketing activities continue at Branston, as part of the Inorganic Pigments business unit of LANXESS AG.  In addition, the Branston site handles local orders for indent supplies of Bayferrox® pigments that are delivered into the UK and Irish markets directly from the LANXESS Iron Oxide factory in Germany. The Branston operation is one of seven Inorganic Pigments manufacturing sites around the world.

The Hawley Colours name was replaced in the market by "LANXESS Inorganic Pigments" which remains a testament to quality and reliability, linking the strength and world-renowned products of LANXESS AG with local flexibility, special blends and packaging, and customer service.

The company can provide a colour-matching service for customers to help them achieve the desired shade in their end product. Together with our parent company, we offer arguably the widest variety of colours, shades, packaging types and delivery forms of Iron Oxide and other inorganic pigments of any supplier in the world. In addition, we are able to offer advice regarding pigment dosing and metering equipment that aids in the use of our products, eliminating manual handling problems and reducing dust.