celebrating 100 years!

Since 1923 Composition Materials has been a leading innovator of sustainable and recycled products made from post-agricultural and post-industrial sources. These eco-friendly products have been at the core of the company’s product offerings from the beginning, with new products and applications in development.

The company started in the 1920’s repurposing birchwood sawdust for use as a filler in various manufactured products. From there, the company founders evaluated various by-products from agriculture and industry. Along the way cherry pits, peach pits, peanut shells, and leather scrap from the shoe industry were milled and classified into abrasives, fillers, and powders. Over the next decades industrial applications became most plentiful for ground materials such as Walnut Shell, Apricot Shell, Pecan Shell, Corn Cob and Rice Hulls.

In the 1960’s, Composition Materials worked closely with the US Navy in developing a safer and more economical paint and coatings removal process for Naval boats and submarines.  With Composition Materials expansive knowledge of agriculturally derived abrasives, testing was conducted utilizing ground Walnut Shells in pressure blast operations. The Navy discovered Walnut Shell blasting accomplished what no other abrasive material could – it removed the topcoat of paint while leaving the expensive undercoat intact, offering significant cost and time savings. Soon Walnut Shell blasting expanded into repair and restoration of bridges, buildings, outdoor statuaries, as well as for industrial parts cleaning.

In the 1970’s, there was further interest in paint removal processes to replace toxic chemical stripping of cars, trucks, and airplanes. Composition Materials evaluated various thermoset plastics in an emerging paint removal methodology called Plastic Media Blasting. This method proved to be significantly safer and more economical than chemical stripping, and Composition Materials expanded its manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing demand of Plasti-Grit® products manufactured from recycled materials.

In the 1980’s, Composition Materials expanded its applications to natural ingredients for the cosmetics industry.  Body and bath companies began using ground Walnut Shell and Apricot Shell in personal care formulations, followed more recently by the addition of sustainably sourced Tagua. With decades of experience in natural ingredients for cosmetics, in 2014 the company was invited to meet with state legislators researching natural alternatives to plastic microbeads in personal care products to help protect the environment and wildlife. Since the 2015 federal ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, Composition Materials has assisted many personal care manufacturers to transition from plastics to eco-friendly biodegradable ingredients.

Over the last decades there has been a steady increase in interest from companies worldwide looking for environmentally friendly abrasives, fillers and ingredients for a wide range of industries and applications. With 100 years experience, Composition Materials offers a unique and proven product line of natural, sustainable, and recycled materials and looks forward to the next 100 years continuing as an innovator and leader in green product solutions.

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