Specialty Polymer Coatings was founded by George Robert (Bob) Alliston and his wife Sharon in 1992 with the goal of improving the standard for corrosion and abrasion coatings for the pipeline industry.
Bob's early work experience included several years with Dow Chemical of Canada Limited, as a Product Manager for Styrofoam Expanded Polystyrene. In 1977, Bob joined his father as a partner in Zebra Coatings Ltd., one of the first companies in North America manufacturing and marketing Zebron. Their product, Zebron, was the first of the "100% Solids Aromatic Polyurethanes" developed. Bob and his father took Zebron worldwide by 1980 establishing Alliston & Company Limited in the United Kingdom, to service Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, Zebra Coatings Ltd. performed contracts in Japan and Indonesia before being sold to Reliance Universal Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky in 1984.
Bob continued his Zebron work at Reliance's Houston and Vancouver offices until the division was sold to Hempel Coatings Canada Ltd. in 1989. During his tenure at Reliance and subsequently Hempel, Bob was fortunate to meet his wife Sharon and his good friend and Chief Chemist, Phil Liang.
In 1992, Bob and Sharon left Hempel to start Specialty Polymer Coatings, Inc. ("SPC") marketing the Zebron product line. Phil joined Bob and Sharon a year later and as a team SPC focused on cutting edge, 100% solids, technology and began producing fast curing, thick film, epoxy and polyurethane coatings such as SP-2888® R.G. and SP-3888® which quickly became the gold standard liquid epoxy for the pipeline industry in North America. To date both products are considered highly sought after coatings in the world wide pipeline market.
Building on Bob's pioneer work with polyurethane, Specialty Polymer Coatings, Inc. became a leader in the formulation of liquid epoxies for the oil and gas industry. This was driven by the industry's need for protective coatings that are capable of withstanding extremely high pipeline operating temperatures, coatings that will cure at freezing temperatures and coatings that can be applied to damp surfaces.
Bob transformed a small local company into an international business and in 2016, Bob decided to sell SPC, which was soon after acquired by RPM International Inc. The late Bob Alliston’s legacy continues to thrive on a global scale.