Owens Corning

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Owens Corning
Company typePublic
IndustryGeneral Building Materials, Composites
Founded1938; 86 years ago (1938) in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
HeadquartersToledo, Ohio, U.S.
Key people
Brian Chambers (CEO)
  • Insulating systems
  • Composite solutions
  • Roofing and asphalt
  • Other building materials and services
RevenueIncrease US$9.677 billion (2023)
Increase US$1.812 billion (2023)
Increase US$1.196 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$11.24 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease US$5.185 billion (2023)
Number of employees
c. 18,000 (2023)
Footnotes / references

Owens Corning is an American company that develops and produces insulation, roofing, and fiberglas composites and related materials and products. It is the world's largest manufacturer of fiberglas composites.[3][4] It was formed in 1935 as a partnership between two major American glassworks, Corning Glass Works and Owens-Illinois. The company employs approximately 19,000 people around the world.[5][6] Owens Corning has been a Fortune 500 company every year since the list was created in 1955.[6][7] The Pink Panther acts as the company's mascot and appears in most of their advertisements.



Fiberglas production in 1942

Owens-Corning Fiberglas Company was formed in 1935 through the merger of Owens-Illinois and Corning Glass Works.[8][9] It became a separate company in 1938 with its headquarters established in Toledo, Ohio.[6][10] In 1938, the company sales reached $2.6 million.[11]

The company held its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 1952.[12] In 1955, Owens-Corning purchased land for a research and testing facility near Granville, Ohio.[11] Also in 1955, Owens-Corning made the first Fortune 500 company list. The company has been on the Fortune 500 list every year since its creation.[6][7]

In 1965, Owens-Corning Fiberglas Europe was formed. In 1966, Owens-Corning established a partnership with Armstrong Rubber Co. to produce fiberglas-reinforced automobile tires. By 1971, Owens-Corning's annual revenue was over $500 million. In 1974, the company opened a temporary plant to produce insulation for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. In 1977, Owens-Corning acquired Frye Roofing and began production of fiberglas mat to replace traditional paper mat used in roofing.[13] Owens-Corning sales surpassed $1 billion in 1976, and sales were over $2 billion by 1979.

Asbestos controversy[edit]

In 1978, two shipyard workers filed a class action lawsuit against which alleged that Owens-Corning and 14 other manufacturers had known about asbestos-containing products. Over the next three decades, the company was named in hundreds of thousands of asbestos lawsuits. By 2000, it had settled with 440,000 people who claimed Owens Corning's products caused them to develop asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.[14]


Owens Corning headquarters

In 1985, Owens-Corning acquired Aerospace and Strategic Metals Group in Newport Beach, California for $415 million from Armco Inc.[15][16] The color PINK was trademarked through Owens-Corning in 1986, making it the first company to trademark a color. By 1990, Owens-Corning was the defendant in about 84,500 asbestos-related lawsuits.[17][citation needed]

The company opened an Asia/Pacific division in 1993.[18] In May 1994, Owens-Corning acquired UC Industries, which produced Foamular polystyrene insulation, as a wholly owned subsidiary.[19] In 1996, the company changed its name to Owens Corning. In May 1997, Owens Corning acquired Fibreboard Corporation, a vinyl siding and other industrial material manufacturer,[20] which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Owens Corning.[11] The company was ordered to pay $5 million to an asbestos victim in 1997, making it the highest jury verdict in the history of the United States for a single non-malignant asbestos case.[21] In 1999, a jury in federal district court in Florida awarded $1.8 million compensatory damages and $31 million punitive damages against the company for asbestos products.[22]

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000. In 2002, Owens Corning removed its shares from the New York Stock Exchange. In 2006, the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange again under ticker "OC." In 2007, Owens Corning announced a joint venture with Saint-Gobain named OCV Reinforcements.[23]

Owens Corning partnered with DuPont in 2011 to create a steel and foam energy reduction (SAFER) barrier around auto racetracks.[11] In July 2015, the company announced it would be moving a manufacturing center for mineral wool insulation into an empty plant west of Joplin, Missouri.[5][24]


In 1939, the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships made Owens-Corning insulation standard in new warship construction. Warship insulation, called Navy Board, was a permanent form-board insulation covered with woven continuous fiber cloth. Owens-Corning produced a prototype boat hull constructed of fiber glass-reinforced plastic in 1944.[11]

In 1945, the company worked with an automaker to produce the first fiberglas-reinforced plastic car body. In 1953, General Motors used this type of body in the Chevrolet Corvette.[18] In 1954, the company invented a process to make centrifugally-spun fiberglas wool, which became the standard process for producing fiberglas insulation.

In 1955, Owens-Corning introduced its Perma-Ply roofing material for built-up room insulation covering. The company created its first all fiber (AF) fiberglas wool in 1956. To distinguish its product, the company dyed their insulation pink by adding red dye to the AF wool.[11][25] However, considering that the coloring made the insulation look pink, the company was concerned that the color would discourage the predominantly male-oriented market away from the material. As such, they decided to remove the coloring from their insulation, only to receive customer requests for the coloring to be restored. The company resumed the coloring in the face of such customer interest to the point of licensing the United Artists cartoon character the Pink Panther in 1979 as the product's mascot. Furthermore, the company trademarked the coloring in 1987, the first time a color was used for that purpose.[26]

After the January 27, 1967, Apollo 1 fire which killed three astronauts, NASA worked with Owens-Corning and DuPont to develop beta cloth, a fireproof cloth of woven fiberglas coated with Teflon, as a replacement for the nylon outer layer of the Apollo/Skylab A7L space suit.[27][28][29]

In February 2017, Owens Corning received the Asthma and Allergy Friendly certification for its Pure Safety high-performance insulation. "Owens Corning now joins a select group of manufacturers that are focused on product innovation to address people's exposure to allergens and irritants in their homes," said Julian Francis, president of insulation, Owens Corning.[30]

At the TCT Show in Birmingham, the XStrand family of materials was introduced.[31] These composites are used for 3D printing.[32]


Plant in Gimcheon, Korea

The company has 30 composites facilities, 31 insulation facilities,[33] and 16 roofing facilities.[citation needed]

Environmental work[edit]

In the Kansas City metropolitan area, Owens Corning purchases locally sourced recycled glass from Ripple Glass to manufacture fiberglas insulation in its local manufacturing plant. The joint effort between Owens Corning and Ripple Glass is helping to greatly reduce the amount of glass that would have been deposited in local Kansas City landfills.[34] The Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program was launched in 2009 to keep shingles out of landfills.[35]

In 2013, Constellation Energy built a 2.7-megawatt solar power system at an Owens Corning insulation plant in Delmar, New York. The power system, which is leased to Owens Corning, can produce 3.3 million kilowatt hours of electrical energy in a year.[36][37]

The National Safety Council awarded Owens Corning the Green Cross for Safety medal in 2014.[38] Owens Corning received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign.[39] Owens Corning has been recognized on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for six consecutive years as of 2015.[40] It is also ranked number 1 in the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking by Corporate Responsibility Magazine in 2022.[41]


  1. ^ "Owens Corning 2023 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2024-02-14.
  2. ^ "Brian Chambers | Owens Corning". media.owenscorning.com. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  3. ^ Glenn Collins (12 November 1994). "Europe's Insulation Market Is Target of Owens-Corning". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Owens Corning". 27 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b Redden, Susan (10 July 2015). "Governor, local officials, welcome Owens Corning division to Joplin". The Joplin Globe. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d Linkhorn, Tyrel (27 October 2013). "A marriage of two companies, Owens Corning celebrates 75th anniversary". The Blade. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b "1955 Full list". Fortune. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  8. ^ "The Great Depression" (PDF). Toledo Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  9. ^ Keller, Michael E. (1998). The Graham Legacy: Graham-Paige to 1932. Turner Publishing Company.
  10. ^ "Fiber Glass Premiere (Feb, 1938)". Modern Mechanix. February 1938. Archived from the original on 2011-05-08. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Owens Corning company timeline". Toledo Blade. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Once a crucible of new companies, Toledo is ready to have IPOs again". Toledo Blade. 28 March 2000. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Environmental Impact" (PDF). RTD FastTracks. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation". Asbestos.com. The Mesothelioma Center. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Orange County". Los Angeles Times. 27 September 1985. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  16. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (17 August 1985). "Owens-Corning Agrees to Buy Armco Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Owens Corning Corporation - History, Lawsuits & Occupations". Mesothelioma Center - Vital Services for Cancer Patients & Families. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  18. ^ a b International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 20. St. James Press. 1998.
  19. ^ Sarkis, Lisa (31 July 1995). "UC Industries Boots Foamular Capacity". Plastics News. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Owens Corning and Fibreboard Corporation Announce Merger Agreement; Owens Corning to Acquire Fibreboard Shares for $55.00 per Share". PR Newswire. 28 May 1997. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  21. ^ Fakler, John T. (28 November 2005). "Law firm adds partners, changes name". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation, petitioner, v. Deward Ballard, Respondent". Supreme Court of Florida. 26 August 1999. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain Create OCV Reinforcements". netcomposites.com. Archived from the original on 2018-01-02. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  24. ^ "Owens Corning Plans $90 Million Manufacturing Complex In Joplin, Missouri". Area Development. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  25. ^ Harris-Taylor Marlene (26 October 2013). "Pink Panther, color carry considerable value in Owens Corning marketing efforts". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  26. ^ O'Reilly, Terry (10 May 2018). "Which brand colours encourage you to buy". CBC Radio One. Pirate Radio. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  27. ^ Mike Wall (February 28, 2011). "Everyday Tech From Space: Fiberglas Fibers for Fabric Roofs". Space.com.
  28. ^ McQuaid, Maltida; Beesley, Philip (June 2, 2005). Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781568985077 – via Google Books.
  29. ^ "Crew Patch reference guide". crewpatches.com.
  30. ^ "Owens Corning Pure Safety™ Insulation is World's First to Earn Certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America" (Press release). BusinessWire. 6 February 2017.
  31. ^ "Ultimaker Introduces New Material Profiles and CC Red 0.6 Print Core for Industrial Use | All3DP". All3DP. 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  32. ^ "The Ultimaker Ecosystem, Composites and Owens Corning | 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing". 3dprint.com. October 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  33. ^ "Crews battle fire at Owens Corning plant in Delmar". Archived from the original on 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  34. ^ Nastu, Jennifer (October 16, 2009). "Owens Corning, Ripple Glass Begin KC Recycling Project".
  35. ^ "Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt Shingle Recycling Program Approaches Milestone". Roofing Contractor. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  36. ^ "How Owens Corning Is Taking Big Steps To Reduce Its Environmental Footprint". Business Insider. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  37. ^ "Constellation completes solar project for Owens Corning". Baltimore Business Journal. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  38. ^ "National Safety Council honors Owens Corning with the 2014 Green Cross for Safety medal" (PDF). National Safety Council. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  39. ^ "Corporate Equality Index 2015" (PDF). Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  40. ^ "Owens Corning placed on DJSI World for sixth straight year". Global Insulation. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  41. ^ "100 BEST CORPORATE CITIZENS OF 2022". 3BL Media. Retrieved 28 June 2022.

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