World leaders in specialist chemicals, sealants and surface coatings

Our History

Norman Hay – A story of “Entrepreneurial Innovation”

Norman Leslie Stephen Hay was born in London in 1910 and educated at the London School of Economics. The Group that bears his name had humble beginnings in a converted house and workshop in Putney, London.

Early pioneering

During the war years Norman Hay was the Managing Director of Monochrome which specialised in hard chromium plating, a process which he had pioneered.

During the war Norman worked closely with many famous industry names to bring engineering solutions to the war effort. His application of hard chrome to the rockers of the Rolls Royce Merlin engines used in the Spitfire aircraft massively increased engine service life.

Together with George Dowty, Norman developed the split fork suspension, incorporating a hard chromium plated cylinder, which was first used on the landing gear of Lysander aircraft and he later developed techniques to plate the blades of the revolutionary jet engine so famously designed by Sir Frank Whittle.

Developing a pedigree of expertise

In 1946 Norman started his own business in Putney, West London, on the banks of the River Thames, which he named Norman Hay Limited. Focusing on decorative electroplating, the business quickly outgrew the site and moved to a purpose built electroplating and hard anodising factory near London’s Heathrow Airport. This business grew successfully over the years, becoming one of the largest electroplaters of metals and plastics in the world and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1972.

70 years later…

By the start of the 21st century the Norman Hay Group was headquartered in Coventry, UK. Acquisitions and organic growth have since made the Group world leaders in specialist chemicals, sealants and surface coatings with a strategy focused on global growth, backed by exceptional customer service.

Today’s legacy…

The Group’s success is built on continuous innovation in new techniques and technologies to meet ever-changing customer requirements.

Developing and supporting our people continues to generate exceptional expertise and loyalty across our Group. We believe our customers benefit from this through our focus on providing them with quality, care and service excellence. These are the hallmarks that differentiate our business and are encapsulated in the Norman Hay values; We Care.