Aeroplanes and Veneers

Glue Film

The glue film from Th. Goldschmidt AG was undoubtedly a surprise success. After a patent had been applied for in 1929, it advanced to become the most important product for the company in just a few years.

Th. Goldschmidt AG had acquired its initial know-how in glue production from its involvement in the Kempen electrochemical factory, which produced leather glues. However, production of these glues was problematic. The wet glues that had been used up to then in many applications were based on plant and animal proteins - casein, for example - which were extremely perishable. Also, mixing up the glue before it was used was laborious and prone to error.

As the wood processing industry was experiencing similar problems, Dr. Josef Weber, member of the board at Goldschmidt AG and a chemist with the company since 1892 encouraged the search for a dry glue for manufacturing plywood and chipboard. The result of three years of research was the Tego glue film which was also distributed successfully outside of Germany. It was made out of phenol resins and soda pulp paper to carry the glue and was placed in thin layers between the layers of wood. Under high pressure and heat, the glue film and the wood combined perfectly. Goldschmidt AG entrusted Dr. Wilhelm Luethy with selling the new product-a difficult task, because potential customers had to invest in special presses before they could use the Tego glue film.

The advantages of the new processes were obvious however and became even more apparent under the National Socialists’ four-year plan. The glue film was made out of “home grown” raw materials which reduced the import of casein. Moreover, the innovative glue was a highly successful export which earned the German Reich foreign currency. In addition, it had an unlimited shelf-life and applications were of consistent quality.

Accordingly, the glue film business expanded rapidly from 1936. As it was indispensable for aircraft production, Th. Goldschmidt AG was classified as strategically important to the war effort. From 1937 to 1943 the quantity produced rose substantially by 327%.

Even after WWII, the glue film, which Th. Goldschmidt AG produced in a branch factory in Schöppenstedt, continued to play an important role for some time, particularly in the furniture industry. However, increasing competition from new kinds of synthetic glues affected sales more and more. In 1955, Goldschmidt launched Tego-Tex, a new and very successful glue film especially geared to furniture veneers. At the beginning of 1984, Goldschmidt AG sold the glue film and Tego-Tex production to Casco-Nobel.