Company Overview

Columbia Chemical: World leader in developing surface finishing additives

Columbia Chemical provides high quality, specialty plating chemistries to the surface finishing industry.  For more than 40 years, we have been defined by innovative R&D, quality manufacturing, responsive customer service and expert product technical support.  Over the last decade, we have had a focus in developing green technologies that pose less of an impact on the environment.  Our company headquarters is located in Brunswick, Ohio and was built in 2008 to provide an expanded location to support our rapid growth and expansion.  Our current facility is home to our manufacturing, warehousing, laboratories and administrative offices.

Columbia Chemical Headquarters

Functional and decorative platers trust Columbia Chemical for all of their needs, from cleaners and acid inhibitors to brighteners, passivates and topcoats.  Our products have a reputation for high quality and dependability among electroplaters and surface finishers who want top results from their zinc, zinc alloy, electroless nickel, decorative nickel and trivalent chromium plating chemistries.

We are proud to be a 100% employee-owned (ESOP) company and that pride resonates in the way our employees work with our customers, suppliers and community.  As an ESOP company, every Columbia Chemical employee has an investment in our success and is motivated to constantly improve on the products and services that we provide. We supply our plating chemistries across the U.S., Canada and Mexico as well as to over 30 countries outside of North America through direct sales, distribution partners and Joint Venture companies.  Our global presence and product availability allows us to be a trusted supplier to automotive and other OEM’s with a global footprint.

Company History

William Rosenberg SrColumbia Chemical began as the partnership of two talented chemists who rented space in a former textile mill in Cleveland, Ohio in 1975.  The surface finishing industry was moving toward alkaline cyanide-free zinc plating, and the founders of Columbia Chemical led the way with their breakthrough COLZINC® ACF-II Process.

The Columbia brand name grew and exports increased, prompting the move in 1992 to Brunswick, Ohio.  Columbia joined the ranks of ISO:9000 certified companies in that same time period.

An increase in direct sales to plating shops required an expanded product line, including cleaners, hexavalent chromates, and sealers and topcoats. Products like PICKLE PAL®, LAC-CHRO-SEAL, Zinc-Chro-SHIELD® and COLZINC® ACF-II became synonymous with dependability. International distribution and licensee network expansion followed.

Original Cleveland Building

By 1997, Columbia’s facilities had to be expanded to accommodate the growing research lab, sales, office and warehouse needs. An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) began in 2004.  Columbia Chemical strengthened its position in the global automotive market as a market leader in the trivalent passivate movement and the European End-of-Life (ELV) directive with its COLDIP® and SpectraMATE® product lines. That trend continues to grow.

A new 44,000-square-foot headquarters was built in Brunswick in 2008, consolidating R&D, manufacturing, technical support and customer service under one roof.  The company became 100% employee-owned in 2011.  On its 40th anniversary in 2015, Columbia expanded its product line into the decorative plating market with NiCOL bright and semi-bright nickel plating processes and TriCOL® trivalent chromium plating processes.