Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What business is Grace in today?
Grace is a leading global supplier of catalysts; engineered and packaging materials; and, specialty
construction chemicals and building materials. The company consists of three industry-leading business
segments—Grace Catalysts Technologies, Grace Materials Technologies and Grace Construction Products—that
provide innovative products, technologies and services to enhance the quality of life. Grace Catalysts
Technologies manufactures catalysts and related products used in refining, petrochemical and other
chemical manufacturing applications. Grace Materials Technologies manufactures materials-based specialty
products and formulations for diverse applications. Grace Construction Products manufactures specialty
construction chemicals and specialty building materials, as well as technologies and services that strengthen,
enhance and protect structures.
Q: What are catalysts used for?
Grace fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts are used by petroleum refiners
to "crack" the hydrocarbon chain in distilled crude oil to produce transportation
fuels (such as gasoline and diesel fuels) and other petroleum based products. FCC
additives are used to reduce sulfur in gasoline, maximize propylene production from
refinery FCC units and reduce emissions of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon
monoxide from refinery FCC units.
Hydroprocessing catalysts are used by petroleum refiners in process reactors to
upgrade heavy oils into lighter, more useful products by removing impurities such
as nitrogen, sulfur and heavy metals, allowing less expensive feedstocks to be used
in the petroleum refining process.
Specialty catalysts (including polyolefin catalysts and catalyst supports) are essential
components in the manufacture of polyethylene and polypropylene resins, as well
as a variety of industrial, environmental and consumer applications.
Q: How are silica and adsorbents products used?
The physical and chemical properties of silica gel (particle size, hardness, porosity
and surface chemistry) can be manipulated, making silica gel highly useful in a
wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. Silica gels are used to matte
coatings, improve ink absorption and print quality for ink jet printing, provide
the cleaning characteristics in toothpaste, improve slip (handling) characteristics
of plastic films, selectively adsorb contaminants in edible oil and beverage processing,
carry flavor and fragrances in personal care products, and aid separations in chemical
Our silica gel and molecular sieve adsorbents are used to adsorb moisture in insulated
windows and for refrigeration, powder applications, packaging protection, and the
purification of gases and liquids in petrochemical and industrial processes.
Q: What sealants and coatings does Grace make?
Grace produces specialty sealants and coatings used in rigid food and beverage packages,
including can and closure sealants used to seal and enhance the shelf life of can
and bottle contents, and coatings for cans and closures that prevent metal corrosion,
protect package contents from the influence of metal and ensure proper adhesion
of sealing compounds.
Q: How are chromatography products used?
Chromatography is commonly used in a wide range of applications, including drug
discovery and purification for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries,
environmental analysis, forensics, petrochemical analysis, food, cosmetics and vitamins.
Our chromatography columns, instruments, consumables and accessories are used to
separate mixtures of molecules into their various constituents.
Q: What kind of construction chemicals does Grace make?
Grace makes concrete admixtures and fibers that improve the durability and working
properties of concrete used in commercial, institutional and residential construction,
as well as additives used in cement processing to improve energy efficiency and
enhance the characteristics of finished cement.
Q: What building materials does Grace make?
Grace manufactures structural waterproofing membranes and systems that cost effectively
control water in commercial and institutional buildings; roofing underlayments that
protect against damage from ice dams and driven rain in residential and commercial
buildings; and fire protection products that prevent structural damage and save
lives in commercial and institutional structures.
Q: Where is Grace headquartered?
Beginning in 1999, Grace moved its headquarters from Boca Raton, Florida to Columbia,
Q: How many offices and how many employees does Grace have?
Grace Davison, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, has approximately 3,690 employees and operates out of 40 facilities.
The largest facilities are located in Baltimore, Maryland; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Worms, Germany.
Grace Davison also operates sales offices and warehouses in various regions.
Grace Construction Products, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has approximately 1,570 employees,
and operates out of 59 facilities. The largest sites are in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.
Because of the nature of the products, Grace Construction Products requires a greater number of facilities
to service customers than Grace Davison.
Approximately 710 employees are dedicated to corporate activities and/or are shared through globally managed
professional groups such as finance, legal services, human resources, information technology, supply chain and
environment, health and safety. In total, Grace employed approximately 5,970 persons as of December 31, 2010,
of whom approximately 2,620 were employed in the United States.
Q: How big is Grace today?
Grace has employees in more than 40 countries and annual sales of $2.675 billion in 2010.
Q: What is Grace's growth strategy?
Our strategy is to increase enterprise value by profitably growing our specialty chemicals and specialty materials businesses in the global marketplace and achieving high levels of efficiency.
To achieve these objectives, we plan to:
Invest in research and development activities, with the goal of introducing new high-performance, technically differentiated products and services
while continuing to enhance manufacturing processes and operations;
- Expand sales and manufacturing into emerging economies, including China, India, other economies in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America;
- Pursue selected acquisitions and alliances that complement our current product offerings
or provide opportunities for faster penetration of desirable market or geographic
- Continue our commitment to process and productivity improvements and cost-management, such as rigorous controls on working capital and
capital spending, integration of functional support services worldwide, and programs for supply chain management, which include both procurement, materials management and logistics.
Q: Does Grace use Six Sigma productivity programs?
As part of our effort to improve our processes, increase productivity and manage
costs, commencing in 1999, we have implemented Six Sigma® and other
productivity improvement programs. Six Sigma® is a structured, statistics-based
process designed to improve our inventory management, customer delivery, plant utilization,
administrative efficiency and, ultimately, cost structure. We seek to make Six Sigma®
a fundamental business process by training and engaging all of our employees.
Q: What is Grace doing about its environmental record?
Grace's first priority is to ensure the safety of everyone who works for us and
everyone who comes in contact with our products. We continuously seek to improve
our environmental, health and safety performance. To the extent applicable, we extend
the basic elements of the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care®
program to all our locations worldwide, embracing specific performance objectives
in the key areas of management systems, product stewardship, employee health and
safety, community awareness and emergency response, distribution, process safety
and pollution prevention. In addition, we have implemented key elements of the new
Responsible Care® Security Code for our operations and systems.
Q: What is the situation in Libby, Montana?
More information on the situation in Libby, Montana is available in this special section of the web site.