Columbia Chemical Expands Pretreatment Chemistry Line with Purchase of Khemex Technical Sales



Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon
columbia chemical building

Columbia Chemical acquired Illinois-based Khemex Technical Sales to help grow their pretreatment chemical market segment. The company says the move will also allow it to provide additional service to an expanding customer base.

Brett Larick

Brett Larick, president of Columbia Chemical

Khemex Technical Sales is a provider of pretreatment chemicals and surface finishing additives, and was founded by Gerry Winkleman, C.E.F., more than a decade ago. Khemex Technical Sales’ product line consists mainly of cleaners and pretreatment chemistry along with acid salts, spray cleaners and a small line of decorative chemistry, all of which will be added to Columbia Chemical’s product line.

Brett Larick, Columbia Chemical president, says this transition creates an opportunity to enhance service to Khemex customers. With a product line and, in certain cases, a customer base that provides overlap between the companies, Larick says the move offers an automatic comfort level and technical expertise with the products and added ease in ordering.

“We look forward to this opportunity to continue to expand our product line and customer base with the addition of Khemex Technical Sales’ high quality pretreatment chemicals,” says Larick, who helped lead Columbia Chemical into purchasing CS Finishing in 2018.

Larick says customers will also benefit from direct access to Columbia Chemical’s Finisher’s Advantage program, which provides the highest level of technical support, custom lab analysis and comprehensive account service.

Columbia Chemical, which specializes in functional and decorative surface finishing chemistry with a high percentage of business in the automotive industry, purchased Khemex Technical Sales to deepen its stake in the surface finishing market, Larick says, and “round out its current pretreatment additives portfolio.”

“This opportunity allows us to leverage our expertise in surface finishing and enhance our ability to understand and meet a customer’s needs, from pretreatment and cleaning of the surface all the way through to the finished product,” Larick says. “This new line of products will provide an expansion of our existing pretreatment line and will be a continued growth driver for us.”

Visit columbiachemical.com.


  • Masking for Surface Finishing

    Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.

  • Plating Q&A: Can you color stainless steel?

    Our expert, Art Kushner, says yes, you can color stainless steel, but it is not a process that is typically performed in a plating shop. Read more about his answer.

  • Aluminum Anodizing

    Types of anodizing, processes, equipment selection and tank construction.