Epoxy maker expects record sales this year

Last updated on May 10th, 2022 at 11:06 pm

Copps Industries Inc.

10600 N. Industrial Drive, Mequon

Industry: Epoxies used in the mining, construction, precast concrete, concrete flooring and related markets.

Employees: 30


The epoxies made by Mequon-based Copps Industries Inc. are critical components in systems that most people walk past, use or drive by every day. However, most people don’t even know they’re there.

Copps Industries epoxies are used in industrial, manufacturing and related industries. The company develops and makes blends for the mining, construction, precast concrete, floor coating and related markets.

Since its beginnings in 1979, Copps Industries has made epoxies for the mining and aggregate industries. The company’s epoxies are used in rock crushers as a backing material, where they protect steel plates inside the crushers from the forces of rock and aggregate material being crushed into smaller pieces.

“This is a maintenance material, a disposable,” said Greg Palmer, Copps Industries’ vice president. “There are continuous maintenance issues if you’re crushing hard rock.”

Copps also makes several epoxies that are used as grout for heavy machinery such as stampers, CNC mills and other industrial machines. The company’s epoxy is more expensive than other industrial grouts, but has been proven especially effective in environments where it can be exposed to harsh chemicals. Industries that require Copps’ industrial grout include the automotive industry, paper mills, petrochemical processors and extensive users of hydraulic fluid, said Patrick Copps, president and founder of the company.

Epoxy grout also cures much faster than concrete grout, Copps said.

“Epoxy grout is 25 to 30 percent more expensive than concrete grout,” he said. “Concrete cures in 28 to 30 days. Our epoxy grout cures in eight hours.”

Because the epoxy grout is fast curing and able to withstand harsh conditions, including large temperature fluctuations, it has been extensively used in wind turbine installations, Palmer said.

“We are in that two inch gap between the concrete (slab base) and the bottom steel flange,” he said. “(The epoxy grout) is a critical component in the strength of the turbine’s foundation.”

Copps Industries also makes epoxies that are used as coatings for concrete floors like a garage floor epoxy and for wooden forms used to make detailed precast concrete panels.

“These are for the architectural precast panels,” Copps said. “They’ll roll our product onto a pouring table and the concrete is poured into that. It gives that rock hard mirrored finish.”

All of Copps Industries’ epoxies are formulated to be free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have historically been key ingredients in epoxies.

“(Our epoxies) have no nasty vapors, are not flammable and contain no known carcinogens,” Palmer said. “We’ve challenged our chemists to create products with the same properties without those in them.”

Copps Industries is owned by Patrick Copps. The company has 30 employees in its 30,000-square-foot facility in Mequon.

The company’s 2010 sales were nearly at the same level as 2008, when the company hit its highest sales levels. Copps is forecasting a record level of sales in 2011, however its sales were sluggish in December and January.

To grow its sales in the future, Copps is working to increase its sales in other countries. The company now exports 15 to 20 percent of its epoxies. It hopes to increase that to 25 percent in the near future.

“We’ve started the new product development process to grow our top-line sales, looking at environmental innovation,” Palmer said. “Greener, safer products, especially for the export market, are a big focus for us in 2011.”

Many of the “greener” products the company hopes to develop are being made for the much stricter environmental laws in place in European countries.

“The (European Union) wants to say no,” Copps said. “A lot of our development work is looking at products and chemicals ahead of the curve, things that are not banned yet or overly regulated.”

“We’re formulating what we hope are products that are one step ahead (of regulation),” Palmer said.

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