Titanine Ltd.

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Titanine Ltd.
FormerlyBritish Aeroplane Varnish Co.,
Key people
Theodore W. Holzapfel
Productsmanufacturers of varnish, dope, paint, and other compositions for application on aircraft

Titanine was an aviation coatings (Aircraft dope) originally manufactured by Holzapfels, Ltd., of Newcastle, at their Felling-on-Tyne works, where they had been carrying on business as manufacturers of anti-corrosive paints and varnishes for marine purposes. Titanine continues to be manufactured in a range of paints and coatings used in the aviation industry, including a range of military colours.



In 1881, the German brothers Max and Albert Holzapfel, and Charles Petrie founded the Holzapfel Compositions Company Ltd., in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, producing marine coatings for the local shipping industry. The name International was then coined as their paint brand. The company expanded for many years, moving first to larger premised Gateshead, and in 1904 to a large factory in Felling-on-Tyne, where the 21st century headquarters are still located. [1]

Holzapfels, Ltd. transferred their interests in Titanine, a new dope to the British Aeroplane Varnish Co. Ltd., with Theodore W. Holzapfel, as managing director. The chief advantage claimed for Titanine was that it was neither tetrachloride nor a spirit derivative of chlorine, nor was amyl acetate used in its composition. [2] Approximately 1,000,000 gallons of titanine were manufactured during the First World War.

Titanine, Incorporated (Union City, New Jersey) was a subsidiary company opened in the United States to serve the American aircraft industry. Other plants were opened in Italy and Germany in the years before the Second World War. The company went on to produce a range of paints and coatings used in the aviation industry including a range of military colours. [3]

In 1947, the Titanine company was instrumental in the insolvency proceedings taken against the Miles Aircraft Co of Reading, England which led to that company being wound up. [4]

In the 1950s, Titanine were one of the manufacturers for anti-flash white used on nuclear bombers, the Handley Page Victor in particular. [5] This increasing demand led to an increase in profits for Titanine, from £40,000 (nett) in 1952 to a post-war record £82,000 in 1953. [6] Similar paints would go on to be used for the developing civil aircraft fleets of the 1960s. [7]


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  1. Wood, Andrew. "It began in 1881." Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine AkzoNobel, 2009. Retrieved: 15 May 2012.
  2. "Titanine." Flight, 14 December 1922. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  3. "Gemini." Flight, 1947. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  4. "Insolvency proceedings." Flight, 1947. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  5. "Titanine aircraft finishes are used on the Handley-Page Victor". Flight : 1. 1 January 1954.
  6. "In Brief". Flight : 530. 23 April 1954.
  7. "Titanine aircraft finishes". Flight : 84. 2 September 1960.
  8. "The British Emaillite Co." Flight, 19 November 1915. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  9. "Titanine Ltd." Flight, 29 May 1924. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  10. "Titanine-Emaillite." The London Gazette, 2 June 1936. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  11. "Dufay Titanine." Flight International, 8 December 1979. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  12. "Modern Industrial Finishes Ltd." Flight International, 8 December 1962. Retrieved: 25 April 2012.
  13. "Industry." Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 15, Issue 9, pp. 23–25.