75 Years of Denso – an ongoing success story

Frank Coales joined Paul Winn & Co. in 1916 and this era saw the company develop from a small trading company into a substantial business.

In 1929 the company took on the agency for a tape of German manufacture used for corrosion prevention – marketed in Germany as “˜Schades Plastische Schutzbinde’ and Paul Winn & Co. marketed this product initially in the UK as Denso Anti-Corrosion Tape.

The original Denso Tape comprised of a cotton cloth impregnated with a petroleum jelly compound and was cold applied and self-adhesive.

The initial market was aimed at the gas industry for wrapping underground pipes – until this time hot applied bitumen and pitch troughing systems were used.

Being cold applied, Denso had distinct operational advantages over the existing systems and sales grew steadily with the product being accepted and used by most of the public utilities.

By 1933 the sales justified the creation of a manufacturing operation and Frank Coales became a partner. A manufacturing company was established – Winn & Coales Ltd. (later Winn & Coales (Denso) Ltd.) in a small factory in Stepney, East London.

With the advent of war in 1939 Denso Tape was widely used for gas proofing rooms, waterproofing military vehicles, landing craft and for the repair of bomb damaged services.

The head office in Trinity Square was totally destroyed by a flying bomb and the administration was moved temporarily to Beckenham – although the Stepney Factory survived.

Following the War the demand was near to outstripping capacity and it was decided to move both the head office and factory to one site in West Norwood where an old brewery was purchased and the company moved in 1950.

In 1956 a range of waterproofing products for the DIY market and the builder was introduced under the Sylglas brand name.

In addition, Bitumen and Coal Tar Tapes were launched and widely used for the protection of new pipelines following the introduction of natural gas.

Over these years a UK Export Marketing Department was formed resulting in sales to over 50 countries. Between 1968 and 1973 subsidiaries were established in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and South Africa with their own sales and marketing teams plus a network of importers and distributors.

In order to provide solutions for most long-term corrosion prevention and sealing requirements a comprehensive Denso product range has now been developed which includes:

  • Denso Protal Epoxies for buried pipelines, fittings and mounded LPG vessels which withstands a higher operating temperature;
  • Densopol and Densoclad Tapes for very fast machine application to pipelines;
  • Denso Butyl Tapes for very low temperature conditions;
  • Denso Steelwork Systems for all above ground steel structures including offshore rigs;
  • Denso Archco-Rigidon industrial linings for steel storage tanks, ducting, pumps, internal pipe coatings and concrete tank bund walls;
  • Denso SeaShield Systems for marine jetty pile protection;
  • Denso Tokstrip for jointing precast concrete units;
  • Denso Acrylic Waterproofing Membranes for exposed roofing and Densoseal Membranes for tanking requirements in the civils industry; and,
  • Denso Highway Maintenance products for sealing and jointing asphalt road surfaces.

Ongoing demand for this highly specialised range of Denso Products is supplied by two factories in the UK, one in Australia and one in South Africa.

A life cycle of 75 years is unusual for any product and with 21st century technology involving special polymer modifications further improving Denso Tape this product still remains the most effective protective coating when applied over light rust, over chemically contaminated surfaces and even underwater.

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