SCHLENK Timeline

Initial Phase & Departure

Starting the company and taking over market leadership:
from wrought iron production to market leader in the area of bronze and aluminium pigments. Carl von Schlenk-Barnsdorf invested in the Weiss & Feyertag wrought iron manufacturing facility in Barnsdorf, Germany and in 1879 he used it to establish his own company. Milestones in the early decades of the SCHLENK company include starting aluminium powder production in Barnsdorf in 1892, becoming a publicly traded company in 1897 and opening the first production factory in the USA in 1904.

Foundation of the Company by Carl Schlenk


Generation of social facilities and foundation of the company fire brigade in Barnsdorf


Start of Aluminium Powder Production in Barnsdorf


First Schlenk Advertisement


Schlenk goes public


Workers of Schlenk Company


Employees of Schlenk Company


First manufacturingplant in the USA


Development & Expansion of the portfolio

Wartime and loss of top market position:
After World War I, Carl Schlenk`s sons Arthur and Wilhelm took over the largest company in this industry. In 1928 SCHLENK acquired the rolling mill in Bernlohe and established the metal foil division. In the following years, the worldwide economic crisis and more war resulted in severe difficulties for the company. Years after the war was over, however, a spirit of optimism returned and Germany transformed itself into a leading industrial nation. In 1954, SCHLENK produced aluminium pastes for the first time in Barnsdorf. Just two years later, the company also began to produce aluminium powder for the aerated concrete industry.

The sons Arthur & Wilhelm pull the strings of the enterprise throughout the second generation


Appropriation Schlenk USA


Start of copper strip and foil production


Wartime destruction of the production facilities in Barnsdorf & Rothenbruck


Initial manufacture of aluminium paste


Beginning of aluminium powder production for the aerated light weight concrete industry


Internationalazation & Growth in all areas

Stabilization and internationalization:
In 1957 Günter von Schlenk-Barnsdorf became the chairman of the board in the third generation of family leadership at SCHLENK. In 1961 his brother-in-law, Dr. Eckart Scharowsky, joined him in this position. Modernization projects and the development of new production technology for aerated concrete aluminium powder were carried out in Barnsdorf and completed in 1966. In the 1970s, SCHLENK started producing foils with thicknesses of 7-8 microns. With the establishment of subsidiaries in the USA, France and Brazil, SCHLENK become a global player. In 1990, the year that East and West Germany were reunited, investments were made in a 20 roll wide strip rolling mill in Bernlohe for producing very thin copper foils. In 1992 and 1998, SCHLENK acquired two Eastern European locations: in the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Günter von Schlenk-Barnsdorf/Dr. Eckart Scharowsky are appointed as the new managing directors


Start of foil production in the 7-8 micron range


Establishment of subsidiaries in the US, France and Brasil


20 roll milling machine


Acquisition of Albo- Schlenk a.s., Czech Republic, Foundation of Pigmenti Metallici S.R.L., Italy and Schlenk Asia Ltd.


Moving into the new millenium towards the future

Innovation and sustainability:
In 1995 Joachim von Schlenk-Barnsdorf became a managing director and in 1998 chairman of the board in the fourth generation of family leadership. The strategy of the corporate group is now determined by global megatrends including globalization, population development and the scarcity of natural environmental resources. The plant in Bitterfeld was opened in 1999. Here raw materials are produced for the new product lines of the parent plant in Barnsdorf. From 2004 to 2020, SCHLENK operated its own pigment plant in Jiangsu Province in addition to the already existing mixing center in Shanghai. In 2020 SCHLENK acquired a manufacturer of vacuum metallized foils in Kansas (USA). With this step, SCHLENK now guarantees its own supplies of an important pre-product under its own management. Technological innovations in all areas of the company are focused on efficiency in terms of energy and resources. The company continues to develop environmentally friendly and green technology products as well. The solar industry, manufacturers of building materials that contribute to energy efficiency and producers of solvent-free color systems are becoming important customer groups.

Joachim von Schlenk-Barnsdorf CEO of Schlenk


Embedded in nature – our renaturation program to be kicked off


Inauguration of the Headoffice in Barnsdorf, Germany Take-over of Kamnik-Schlenk D.O.O., Slovenia Foundation of SAL, China


In-house aluminium atomiser technique in Bitterfeld


Opening of a new facility for high end non leafi ng aluminium pigments


Inauguration of the Technology Centre by the Bavarian Minister President Dr. Edmund Stoiber


125th Schlenk anniversary


Inauguration of the aluminium surface treatment center Start of Production of Press Ready Inks in a new facility in Roth


Start of production in Taixing, China


Win of the Axia-Award inthe category “Internationalization”


Putting a new regenerativeenergy source into operation –hydro power turbine


Increased capacity, production of copper strips for the solar and automobile industry

Introduction of new pigment technology, European Coatings Show

Commissioning a new aluminium powder facility for the aerated concrete industry

Expansion in rolling capacity with highly advanced technology

Production of vacuum metallized foils Lawrence, KS, USA


We continuously optimize our production processes and consistently decrease our consumption of raw materials.



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