November 2020 Vol. 75 No. 11

Rehab Technology

Sauereisen Named SBA Western PA Exporter of the Year

Not all Western Pennsylvania residents may know about Pittsburgh-based, century-old Sauereisen Inc., but when they safely turn on a gas oven, clothes dryer, grill or even get a drink of tap water, it’s a result of a Sauereisen product. 

“We’re not a commodity material provider, but a piece of the bigger picture,” explained Eric Sauereisen, president. “Our coatings protect concrete and steel or a piece within many appliances. We may be in just about every home in America and across the world.” 

The family-owned company’s storied beginnings can be traced to an 1899 working relationship between C. Fred Sauereisen, founder, and George Westinghouse, industrialist. That partnership led to formulation of one of Sauereisen’s signature products – a chemical bonding agent still used in high-temperature, electrical assembly applications in the automotive and appliance industries. 

Over the following decades, the company continued to invent and produce compounds that help others manufacture safer products. 

“In your dryer or oven, one of our products may be part of the ignitor,Sauereisen explained. For example, it enables ovens to be turned on at temperatures ranging from zero to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit without worries.” 

To remain competitive in the marketplace, however, the company started pursuing new exporting opportunities 10 years ago. It established an international distribution network that now represents up to 40 percent of the company’s revenue. This ingenuity and achievement also earned Sauereisen the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Western Pennsylvania Exporter of the Year award in Sept. 2020. 

Sauereisen credits the exporting success to local/state- and national-funded SBA entities – two, in particular – that help small businesses in every phase of development. 

SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) makes matching-fund grants for states to increase the number of small businesses that export and the value of those exports.  

Complementing the STEP grant, Sauereisen also became a client at the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), one of eight SBDCs in Western Pa. that provide free services, such as introductions and counseling.  

Specifically, Sauereisen utilized the University SBDC’s extensive exporting expertise and contacts to expand into South American markets, such as securing space at a targeted trade conference and arranging for key face-to-face business meetings, including one with the Embassy. Acknowledging Sauereisen’s accomplishments over the last 10 years, this SBDC team nominated the company for the 2020 SBA award. 

Developing a hands-on approach to deliver its products into facilities and specifications across the world, Sauereisen employed a team of independent agents and distributors. These representatives showcase the company’s “Made in the USA” compounds for clean water, clean air and other technologies. 

Strong communication and relationship strategies make the company’s product line applications and specifications borderless. Through locally held marketing summits, for example, Sauereisen provides agents with hands-on training in the uses and specifications of its products in many languages. 

Honored by the SBA recognition, Sauereisen added, “International sales are not always easy, and this award represents a job well-done for many here who make it happen.” 

Based in Pittsburgh, Sauereisen provides engineered solutions requiring specialty materials, including 100-percent solids, VOC-complaine, “green” coatings and linings for new and rehabilitation construction applications in corrosive environments. 


Sauereisen Inc., (412) 963-0303, 

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