Gurit was founded in 1835 by Georg Philipp Heberlein in Wattwil/Switzerland, the company Heberlein first established itself as a textile finisher and printer and subsequently as a pioneer in synthetic fibers and textile machines. After founding its rubber and synthetic foam factories in Richterswil/Switzerland, (hence the name Gurit: Gu for Gummi i.e. rubber in German, Ri for Richterswil) in 1929, the manufacture of synthetic materials became another core competency. Over time the mastery of synthetic materials also evolved into medical and dental health care specialties.
For many years, Gurit and its joint-venture partner Essex/Dow spearheaded the development of the car industry with their direct bonding concept for glass and bodywork and with innovative damping materials. As the car industry became increasingly globalized, Gurit sold its share to Dow Chemical in the year 2000. The released funds fuelled the rapid organic expansion and numerous acquisitions of the health care and composite materials businesses while textile printing and finishing were phased out and the fibre technology and the thermoplastic materials businesses were sold.
In 2006, the listing of the health care division on SIX Swiss Exchange as an independent company, Medisize, further focused Gurit’s activity as an advanced composites specialist.
The major steps in creating this global leader in composite materials included the acquisitions of Stesalit (composite materials for Aerospace; 2000), SP Systems (composite materials for Marine and Wind Energy 2002), AIK (composite materials for Aerospace; 2002), ATC (structural core materials; 2003), China Techno Foam (PVC materials; 2009), High Modulus (composite materials and engineering for Marine; 2009); Red Maple (tooling equipment for composites; 2009) and Balseurop (balsa wood core materials; 2011). Thanks to these developments, as well as organic expansion across the globe and into new application areas, Gurit is today a leading global manufacturer and supplier of composite materials, engineering solutions, tooling systems, and select finished parts, uniquely positioned to serve global growth markets.