A History of Innovation in Concrete Chemicals: Concrete Industry “Firsts”

ChemMasters' “Concrete Knowledge” (our in-depth understanding of the science of concrete), has lead to many innovations throughout our history. Our research staff and dedicated, on-site concrete research laboratory develops high performance concrete chemicals that are reliable day in and day out.


1950 – 1969

Mr. Murlan (Jerry) Murphy founder of Murphy’s Oil Soap, started the innovation that is at the core of ChemMasters today when he stopped a highway crew in the 1950’s and asked them what they were putting down on fresh concrete. He came back and started making his own version of curing compound call Spray Cure. He was the first to make a spray coating of paraffin wax and mineral spirits. Spray Cure, a new division of The Murphy Phoenix Company was founded. Mr. Murphy is remembered for saying, “What can I put in the top of my reactor that I can bring out of the bottom with value added?” He was first of the Murphy family to graduate from the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio Chemical Engineering Department.

1970 – 1979


Bill Ferrell, Spray Cure R & D Director, created a breakthrough technology by putting water into solvent systems. This was the first time water was added to petroleum wax dispersions. It represents the first of many innovations that Spray-Cure brought to the highway curing industry.

1980 – 1989


The Murphy Phoenix Company sold its Murphy Oil Soap brand to Colgate-Palmolive and was renamed Spray Cure to reflect the company’s focus on curing products for the highway industry. Bill Ferrell developed the company’s first true water-based emulsions that were water dilutable, eliminating flammability and clean-up issues. This environmentally-sound science eliminated pollution associated with spills of petroleum-based products in rivers and streams near highway construction sites.

1990 – 1999


Spray Cure grew by adding in a new line of concrete patching materials, grouts, floor coatings, and expansion aids, that lead to advancing cementitious restoration and beautification. The introduction of Chemseal water proofer, and its companion products Texture II masonry coating, and Aquanil™ water repellent, were to be the foundation of a new line of products to be developed for sealing and protection of masonry and brick. 1995 the company name was changed to ChemMasters.Other achievements of the 1990’s were:

  • State of the art water-borne systems for flooring coatings
  • Duraguard™ epoxy and polyurethane coatings for functional flooring solutions
  • Safe-Cure® and Seal EPX and Duraguard™ 310 CRU coatings were developed for vertical bridge structures that gained approvals for Ohio DOT Bridge Projects
  • New York State DOT approvals for Safe-Cure® and Seal EPX/Duraguard™ 310 CRU only the second supplier in the US to achieve approval
  • Developed a 100% active, no solvent or water product, that had no flammability or odor issues during installation.
  • First floor coating with Zero volatile organic compounds (VOC), no odor, and Environmentally-Friendly
  • Developed floor coating systems for use in air port hangers providing an extremely high gloss floor with a mirror finish
  • Restored the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge in Cleveland with new epoxy and polyurethane materials

2000 – 2009


  • Won 10 year restoration bid for the Pentagon after September 11th using Aquanil™ Plus 100 Penetrating Silane Concrete Sealer & Waterproofer and Colorsil™ Non-fading Pigmented Silicate
  • Recoated all three floor levels of the Pentagon Utility Plant with Safe-Cure® & Seal EPX Epoxy Cure & Seal
  • Added a highly acid resistant epoxy, Novalac, resistant to 93% concentrated sulfuric acid. Prior coatings were resistant to solutions of only 70% concentrated sulfuric acid.
  • Texture DOT acrylic emulsion coating was approved by both the Ohio DOT and Ohio Turnpike for use on sound barriers in Ohio
  • Texture DOT coating was sprayed directly on fresh concrete as a curing compound – an innovative first that has become a standard method saving time and money for DOT’s that slip-form median barriers.
  • Finished floors at the General Electric Airport Hanger with proprietary epoxy floor finish product
  • Developed methyl methacrylate grouts and repair mortars used at the Maryland Naval Air Force Base
  • ChemMasters built a new state of the art Polymer & Liquid Lab and expanded the existing Cement Lab
  • Developed new grout based on fly ash; one of only three companies in the US to have this technology
  • Introduced polymer mortar and grout with working temperature range down to -20°F
  • Methyl Methacrylate flooring product line developed and marketed through name brand supplier, Tennant Company

2010 –