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Abtrex Company Overview

Abtrex Industries Incorporated was founded in 1969. The company specializes in rubber lining and other abrasion and corrosion-resistant protective linings.

As a result of strategic planning and advancement, Abtrex Industries now serves clients from multiple bases of operation and provides world-class solutions around the globe.

Through years of dedicated service, Abtrex Industries has tackled some of the most difficult demands of the manufacturing industry. Our crews are professionally trained to tackle tank linings, tank inspections, tank coatings, as well as on-site fabrications and repairs.

Want to learn more about Abtrex? Contact us today.

Abtrex Qualifications

  • ISO 9001:2015 certified
  • AWS Member
  • NACE Member
  • BBB Accredited
  • SSPC Member
  • ASME Certified
  • MSHA Certified Technicians

Partial List of Abtrex Customers

  • Dow Chemical
  • 3M
  • GE / Sabic Plastics
  • DuPont
  • PCS Phosphate
  • BASF
  • Fluor
  • Outotec
  • Weir
  • GE
  • Siemens
  • Honeywell
  • Whirlpool
  • AM General
  • ADM
  • Cargill
  • United States Steel Corporation
  • EON/US
  • Duke Energy
  • Babcock & Wilcox
  • Metso Minerals
  • TIC/Kiewitt
  • Bayer
  • ArcelorMittal
  • AES
  • URS

Abtrex Customer Logos

Abtrex Timeline

1969 – Abtrex Industries was established by Harold Byars and Jim Graham

Harold was born into a family of peach farmers in Spartanburg, SC. After graduating from high school, Harold moved to Detroit MI with his uncle whom had gotten a job at Ford Company.  In 1967, Harold began working at Commonwealth Foundry in Detroit, making metal finished bolts and nuts. By bringing an electric current into a finishing bath using a Copper fitting and a rubber coated copper wire called a ‘dangler’, Commonwealth had found a way to produce a better finish using less chemicals and using lower amperage in the process. Harold loved to race cars and would do so in his free time.  He served on a pit crew at Flat Rock with Jim Graham, a co-worker along with the son of the owner of the foundry.  Harold and Jim, known for their work ethic and commitment to delivering on every promise were offered the rights to produce these ‘danglers’ exclusively for Commonwealth by the owner of the foundry.  The cost of purchasing these rights was $50.  Harold then began making the equipment in his garage for the plating industry.  This side business officially became Abtrex in 1969.  The name Abtrex was chosen because Harold wanted to be list first in the phone book (AB) and he believed the T-Rex was the strongest animal.  ABTREX. Harold continued his job as a forklift driver with Commonwealth until Mel Guthrie, the man he had running Abtrex was injured in a motorcycle accident.  Harold and Jim Graham and a few of their friends began at Abtrex full-time.  They purchased the plant in Inkster where the headquarters is still located today.

1979 – American Fiberglass Fabricators in Elkhart, IN was purchased by Abtrex

Abtrex’s main focus throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s was building plating lines.  The purchase of American Fiberglass Fabricators helped the company service this industry.  During the mid-1980’s however, the plating industry companies began moving their operations down to Mexico and other countries.

1985 – Elkhart operations moves to South Bend, IN after Blast-Kote, Inc was purchased

Elkhart operations moves to South Bend, IN after Blast-Kote, Inc was purchased in 1985.

Blast Koat Photo

Focusing on the steel industry in the 1980’s, Abtrex sales plan included having facilities within 200 miles of the major steel plants like Ford Rouge, US Steel, Inland Steel, etc. Abtrex bought Blast-Kote, Inc. in South Bend, IN and moved the Elkhart, IN operations to this location and it is still home to the Indiana Division of Abtrex Industries.

1985 – Leetsdale, PA plant was purchased and Abtrex Industries, Pennsylvania began operations

This allowed Abtrex to service the Pittsburg, PA steel mills by fabricating pickle lines and electro galvanizing lines.  In 1985 through 1999 when LTV Steel filed for Bankruptcy, the steel industry were Abtrex’s main customer.  1999-2005 were pretty bleak years for Abtrex as it was for many companies but Abtrex was able to survive.

Abtrex Leetsdale PA

2005 – Abtrex purchased intellectual property of Reliable Linings and Coatings, Inc out of Hillside, IL

Abtrex purchased the intellectual property of one of their competitors out of Hillside, Illinois in 2005.  Reliable Linings and Coatings, Inc. had been in the rubber-lining business since the late 60’s but due to the downturn in the economy, they were forced to declare bankruptcy and ceased operations. With the purchase, Abtrex gained some key personnel and some new customers whom needed rubber-lining work but also need fabrication vendors, a service which Reliable Linings couldn’t provide but Abtrex could.

Reliable Linings and Coatings Photo

2009 – Abtrex expanded further into the railcar lining and service industry by establishing Abtrex Texas in Cleveland, Texas

In 2009, Abtrex expanded again by opening a railcar lining operation in Cleveland, TX.  Abtrex signed an agreement with Untion Tank Car and created a total railcar rehabilitation complex to help their customers meet their requirements.  Union Tank Car does the railcar repairs, Abtrex then strips the old linings off using a state-of-the-art robotic blaster, and the railcar is relined by Abtrex’s technicians.

2011 – Abtrex acquires KSF Chemical Processes in Cambridge Ontario and opens Abtrex Technologies to serve the Canadian market.

Abtrex acquires KSF Chemical Processes in Cambridge Ontario and opens Abtrex Technologies to serve the Canadian market in 2011. KSF is a worldwide leader in the engineering and design of steel pickling and acid recovery systems which owns the patent rights to the acid recovery systems originally developed by Wean United. This design has been proven throughout the years and honed to meet the stringent demands of the Environmental Protection Agency. Abtrex acid recovery systems can eliminate or reduce the downtime required to de-sludge tanks and change acid. Our acid recovery systems make the composition of pickling solutions more consistent, increasing quality and reducing expensive rework. The union of Abtrex and KSF means that we can design, build, install and maintain turnkey pickling systems throughout North America. Our team of engineers, project managers, fabricators and installers work together to bring projects to fruition on time and within budget. KSF Chemical Processes Acid Recovery Systems can be retrofitted to your existing system or included as part of a new steel pickling line.


Abtrex Indiana

Our South Bend, IN plant consists of four buildings totaling over 55,000 square feet. The four buildings include a dedicated fabrication facility, the main rubber lining building with a 12’ x 60’ autoclave, two other lining and coating areas, a separate paint and polypropylene facility, and a sandblast booth.

59640 Market Street
South Bend, IN 46614




Abtrex Pennsylvania

Our Leetsdale, PA plant is located just outside of Pittsburgh and consists of one building with three bays totaling over 32,000 square feet. The facility boasts a 10-ton crane, a 10×40 foot autoclave, a sandblast area and a cold room for material storage.

112 Ross Way
Leetsdale, PA 15056




Abtrex Texas

Our Cleveland, Texas plant is a total railcar linings and rehabilitation complex. This facility was established in 2008 after signing an agreement with Union Tank Car.

602 County Rd. 2205
Cleveland, TX 77327




Abtrex Alabama

The Mobile, AL plant is located on the Alabama Gulf Coast and consists of one building totaling 12,000 square feet located on 4 acres. The shop is split between two areas, rubber lining and fiberglass fabrication. This facility also includes a 9’x33’ autoclave, sandblast/paint yard, cold storage for materials, and a hydraulic pulling machine for fiberglass pipe manufacturing. Field rubber lining and fiberglass repairs are offered from this facility.

5561 Todd Acres Drive
Mobile, AL 36619