Why is Belzona launching a podcast?

Belzona is globally recognised a designer and manufacturer of repair and composite materials, as well as industrial protective coatings across a range of industries, including Oil & Gas, Marine, Mining, and Renewable Energy.

Over the years, Belzona has had a significant presence across many communications platforms as a way to connect with its customers, Distributors, and fans across the world. However, from the company’s inception in 1952, until now, Belzona didn’t have a podcast. 

A podcast has a distinctive quality that is otherwise not offered in other forms of media, and the personal, informal approach is what makes podcasts so unique and popular with customers. 

Our host for series one of The Belzona Podcast is Specification Development Engineer for Belzona Europe and Africa, Richard Bywater. In upcoming episodes, Richard will be joined by fellow Belzona colleagues, who will share their knowledge and experiences with the listeners in interview and discussion style episodes focussing on industrial protective coatings and engineering composites. 

For the first episode of The Belzona Podcast, Richard was joined by co-host Hannah Wilkinson, Marketing Coordinator at Belzona Harrogate, UK who assisted Richard in the interview with the special guest. 


Repair, Protect, Improve 

Our special guest for Episode 1 of The Belzona Podcast was Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group, and the perfect person to talk us through ‘An Introduction to Belzona’.

Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group being interviewed for Episode 1 of The Belzona Podcast
Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group being interviewed for Episode 1 of The Belzona Podcast

To someone who has never used Belzona before or is not familiar with polymeric technology, it may not be easy to understand the Belzona Solution. In this interview Hannah asks Joel how he would describe Belzona to someone who had not previously heard of the company: 

“Describing Belzona has sometimes been a challenge and a number of years back we decided to simplify it, to make it easier for people to understand and that’s where the ‘Repair, Protect, Improve’ comes from.” 

Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group, 2020

Many may recognise the phrase used by Joel here ‘Repair Protect Improve’ as it features on the Belzona company logo, and has done for numerous years, arguably withstanding the test of time. 

Joel goes on to explain the ‘elevator story’ (a short description of an idea, product, or company) for Belzona being that the company repairs, protects and improves machinery and equipment, buildings and structures. He emphasises the importance of having that simple explanation, as Belzona has a broad product line and operates across a wide range of industries. 


Where it all began for Belzona

With a company history as long and as impressive as Belzona’s, it’s only natural to be intrigued by the origins of the company and reasons why it was founded. In our interview for this first episode of the Joel Svendsen tells the story of how Belzona was founded.

The idea of Belzona began back in the 1950s when Jorgen Svendsen, Joel’s father and entrepreneur, was working at a company which produces fire extinguishers. The fire extinguishers of this time were made of steel and were prone to rusting due to the water and gas contained within them. Joel described these fire extinguishers as “a great environment for corrosion”. With the extinguishers so prone to corrosion, they lived a very short life and became a disposable item, despite the ability to refill them, over time, the steel would rust through. After identifying this issue with the fire extinguishers, Jorgen began studying how the extinguishers could be prevented from corroding. 

Harrogate Headquarters, UK, 1957

The origins of Belzona 1111

Seeing the corrosion of these fire extinguishers made Jorgen question how the fire extinguishers could be prevented form corroding. From this, the original Belzona company was born, which at the time was called Metalife, and began formulating the first effective zinc-paint. 

Joel explains: 

“This began as the origin of a long fascination with corrosion for my father. He said corrosion is everywhere; everywhere you go you see the loss of resources to corrosion” 

Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group, 2020

After creating the original zinc paint, Jorgen had the idea of not only protecting that things that are going to corrode, but also repairing things that have already corroded. This led to the development of Belzona 1111, an epoxy-based composite for metal repair, which is not just a coating grade but also a filling grade which can be used to fill to corroded steel. To this day, Belzona 1111 remains a staple product in the Belzona product line-up, and is a go-to coatings product in a range of industries due to its outstanding corrosion resistance and excellent chemical resistance against a wide range of chemicals.

Belzona 1111 - An epoxy-based composite for metal repair
Belzona 1111 – An epoxy-based composite for metal repair

A solution to improve

So far in this first episode of The Belzona Podcast, Joel has already educated us on the origins of the repair and protect properties of Belzona. The final feature we are yet to mention which is included on the Belzona strapline with ‘Repair’ and ‘Protect’ is the ‘Improve’ characteristic.

Joel explains where the concept of using Belzona products to improve came from:

Originally it was in the energy conservation field with Super Metal Glide that we said we could make things better through Belzona products, and we see that often now as the Belzona coatings have got more advanced we can provide a much higher degree of protection to a variety of chemicals and environmental conditions that you could do with just base construction materials, so you could end up with something that is improved from its original state, not just protected or repaired. 

Joel Svendsen, President of the Belzona Group, 2020

As you can see, Joel has provided a fascinating insight into the origins of Belzona and concept behind the development and creation of the leading industrial protective coatings company that we all know today.

Click the buttons below to listen to the full first episode of The Belzona Podcast , and find out Joel Svendsen’s favourite Belzona product and his hopes for the future of the company.


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