From one-man company to global player – the history of the Costenoble company

The history of Costenoble starts in the early post-war years. Herbert Costenoble worked as a self-employed sales representative before he started selling petrochemical additives in 1948 for the DuPont® concern in Germany. From 1961 onwards followed the sale of the pearlescent pigments newly developed by DuPont® whose production and sales were sold completely to Merck in 1964. In the same year, Costenoble started with the sale of effect pigments from the American manufacturer Mearl and distinguished itself as jointly responsible for its rise to become one of the largest manufacturers of pearlescent pigments worldwide. Mearl was bought by the American Engelhard concern in 1996, which was in turn taken over in 2006 by BASF. Since that time, Costenoble has been offering its own product line of high-quality effect pigments.

It was thanks to the close partnership with DuPont® that Costenoble was already able in the 1970s to recognise the potential of the product, which was relatively unknown up to that point: PTFE, which was to revolutionise a large part of the industry in the following decades under the trade name Teflon®. In the 1970s, Costenoble therefore became the first manufacturer worldwide of ski waxes to incorporate PTFE. A new downhill world speed record was set in 1978 with this innovative ski wax.

The industrial selling of the PTFE dispersions newly developed by DuPont® began in the same year. Four years later Krytox® PTFE lubricants came to this product range, originally developed for military applications and the American NASA and its Apollo programme. Costenoble took over the distribution of a new and unique product for the manufacture of so-called “milk glass”, also at the beginning of the 1980s. The sales of this product in the years that followed enabled a market share of 90% to be achieved in Germany.

Costenoble has been producing and developing products under the brand name OSIXO since the middle of the 1980s. This product area was extended by the setting up of Costenoble’s own production plant in 1994. Two years previously, DuPont® Production and Sales had sold its petrochemical additive to the Octel® company. Costenoble continued to manage the sales here in the subsequent years. Since 2006, Costenoble has been a channel-partner of Dow Corning®, the world’s largest manufacturer of silicone products.

Since 2011, Costenoble has been part of DGE – Distributors Group Europe. This is an association of European companies in the chemical-technical industry.


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