Our history | 140 years of success & innovation | James Walker (2024)

Our history | 140 years of success & innovation | James Walker (1)
  • Home
  • About us

Over 140 years of product innovation and support that has enabled our customers to succeed and advance.

Every day our people around the world work in partnership with our customers, supply chain, test houses and industry bodies to provide effective affordable solutions that maintain and improve industrial processes whilst also protecting the environment and the people involved.

2010 - present day 90s and the Millennium 70s and 80s 50s and 60s 20s, 30s and 40s 1882 – 1920

Manufacturing expansion and innovation for green power and bioprocessing

In parallel with our customer base in the oil, gas and power generation sectors, we have applied our expertise to new growth industries such as renewable power generation, partnering with other innovators, manufacturers and service providers to meet the new challenges that have risen in these rapidly developing sectors.

Our large diameter rotary shaft seals for wind turbines, high temperature compression packing for use in valves handling molten salts on solar farms have seen rapid adoption in their respective fields along with Shieldseal and Elast-O-Pure specialist materials in the nuclear and biopharmaceutical industries.

Global expansion has continued with new James Walker sales and support companies opening up to service markets in the Middle East, China and South America, whilst manufacturing centres have also been created in Singapore and India to make best advantage of logistics routes, material supplies and the availability of suitably skilled labour. Managed under strict QA regimes and backed by the knowledge and expertise available in our centres of technical excellence for manufacturing, engineering and material science, our footprint enables us to service global supply and support contracts for our customers in any industry.

Conquering fugitive emissions

Further technological challenges followed in the 1990s when the control of VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions became an environmental and economic necessity. Our innovative work on this front resulted in the development of Supagraf Premier, a world-beating valve stem packing that controls fugitive emissions from petrochemical plant. This was swiftly followed by other products, including Supagraf Control that improves the sealing efficiency of control valves.

In parallel with product development, our expertise across the field of fugitive emissions and flange management became sought by customers particularly in the chemical and hydrocarbon processing industries who were looking to ensure safe, leak-free operations. The addition of RotaBolt - an innovative tension measuring bolting concept - to our existing product portfolio, provided a valuable contribution to our fugitive emissions control offering.

Material advances enabling oil, gas and electronics development

Global industry was now developing at a rapid pace, pushing the boundaries of existing technology in many areas. In the UK exploration and development was taking place in the North Sea oil and gas fields and new materials and products to meet these challenges were urgently needed.

Our partnerships with operators and equipment manufacturers in the oil and gas industry proved highly productive, characterised by our development and application of rapid gas decompression (RGD) resistant grades of elastomer that withstand the harshest of downhole and wellhead duties.

Other materials and products swiftly followed that provided sealing solutions to extend greatly the maintenance-free working life of oilfield equipment, and enable operators to work more efficiently in hostile environments.

Materials science expertise also saw James Walker enter new markets with the development of products to aid the manufacturing efficiency of computer components as the global electronics revolution began to gather pace.

New materials and further international expansion

Our reputation for materials technology made us one of the first companies outside America to work with an outstanding 'new' polymer called PTFE at a time when PTFE was classed as a strategic material and available only on special licence from the USA.

Engineering work with polyamides started soon after and led to our identification of new roles for thermoplastics and fluoropolymers in high integrity seals on rotary and linear action mechanisms operating in the most challenging environments.

Continued expansion overseas saw new manufacturing facilities created in Australia and the USA with a sales and support business opened in Italy.

Global expansion and investment in materials science

Following the establishment of depots throughout the UK our first overseas enterprises were formed in Belgium and then the USA. This was soon to be followed by the setting up of companies in France, Australia, Netherlands and New Zealand.

James Walker's outstanding success attracted competitors thick and fast, especially when his original patents expired. But constant research, development and the resulting improvements to products - backed by hard hitting anti-piracy advertisem*nts - kept him well ahead of the field.

Continued product innovation and an ability to meet the toughest production targets even in times of a global conflict meant our products and knowledge were in urgent demand - and so were new skills. Chemists, metallurgists, tribologists and materials scientists were all needed to help develop the fluid seals and other components that would match giant leaps in engine and plant technology - and lead to the jet and nuclear ages soon to follow.

Enhancing efficiency and reliability for transport and manufacturing

From reseller to manufacturer of our own products to improve the sealing efficiency of stuffing boxes on steam engines and pumps. Prior to James Walker’s development work, few other companies had applied engineering science to the design and manufacture of gland packings.

The result was the innovative and greatly admired Lion Brand High Pressure Steam Packing. This product proved vital to the success of a new generation of high-efficiency steam engines that powered mankind into the 20th Century. Solving challenges through a combination of materials science and application engineering remains one of the foundation stones of our business to this day.

More about us

Our people We put people at the heart of amazing engineering. Find out more
Sustainable goals Our commitment to setting goals that will help make a difference for the future. Find out more
Customer experience Supporting our customers and their businesses by focusing on how we serve them. Find out more
Expert to Expert Want to discuss your project, engineering or materials challenge expert to expert? Simply provide us with your contact details and a little information about the application you are working on, and one of our experts will contact you as soon as possible. Contact us
Our history | 140 years of success & innovation | James Walker (2024)


What is the history of James Walker? ›

Our founder was a Scottish engineer named James Walker, who worked abroad for many years before establishing a business in London to sell oils and engineering accessories to the masters and chief engineers of the ships berthed in the city's docklands.

What is the turnover of James Walker? ›

For the year ending March 2023, our turnover was £204 million, split between the three strategic business units; James Walker (£141m), edilon)(sedra (£54m) and Tiflex (£9m).

Who is James Walker black history? ›

Walker received his PhD from Dalhousie University in 1973. His publications have focused on the history of Black Nova Scotians, racism in Canada, the holocaust, and civil society. He created the first courses in African-Canadian history offered at a Canadian university.

What did James Walker do? ›

James John Walker (June 19, 1881 – November 18, 1946), known colloquially as Beau James, was mayor of New York City from 1926 to 1932. A flamboyant politician, he was a liberal Democrat and part of the powerful Tammany Hall machine. He was forced to resign during a corruption scandal. New York City, U.S.

How many employees does James Walker Group have? ›

Today the Group employs circa 2,000 people and has a manufacturing and sales presence in 30 global countries.

Who is Captain James on Walker? ›

Coby Bell stars as Captain Larry James, a former colleague turned Ranger Captain to Cordell Walker (Jared Padalecki), in The CW's new highly anticipated drama, “Walker.” Bell is the son of Broadway veteran and Tony-nominated actor, Michel Bell.

Who is the antagonist in Missing? ›

James Walker is the main antagonist of the movie Missing. He is a domestic abuser whose drug habit endangered all of Grace's family.

What is the history of Walker Books? ›

Walker Books is a British publisher of children's books, founded in 1978 by Sebastian Walker, Amelia Edwards, and Wendy Boase. In 1991, the success of Walker Books' Where's Wally? series enabled the company to expand into the American market, starting a sister company called Candlewick Press in 1991.

What was John Walker famous for? ›

Sir John George Walker, KNZM, CBE (born 12 January 1952) is a former middle-distance runner from New Zealand who won the gold medal in the men's 1500 m event at the 1976 Olympics. He was also the first person to run the mile in under 3:50.

Where is the walker family from? ›

History: The name was brought to North America from northern England and Scotland independently by many different bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Samuel Walker came to Lynn, MA, c. 1630; Philip Walker was in Rehoboth, MA, in or before 1643.

What was John Walker known for? ›

John Walker, the inventor of the friction match, was born in Stockton-on-Tees on 29 May 1781. After his education, he became an apprentice to Watson Alco*ck, one of the town's most important surgeons, but his interests lay mainly in botany and chemistry.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Otha Schamberger

Last Updated:

Views: 5569

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Otha Schamberger

Birthday: 1999-08-15

Address: Suite 490 606 Hammes Ferry, Carterhaven, IL 62290

Phone: +8557035444877

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: Fishing, Flying, Jewelry making, Digital arts, Sand art, Parkour, tabletop games

Introduction: My name is Otha Schamberger, I am a vast, good, healthy, cheerful, energetic, gorgeous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.