Since 1940 Rigidized Metals Corporation® has been the leader of producing engineered metal surfaces and panels. Our deep and micro texturing processes add strength, durability and beauty to any project.

For over 80 years, Rigidized Metals Corporation® has been manufacturing deep textured metals for the industrial, architectural, elevator and transportation industries, to name just a few. With the same entrepreneurial spirit that started our company, we have continued over the years to develop new engineered metal surfaces that contribute to the performance of our customers’ products.  Although our value proposition continues to evolve, many of the same benefits of using our textured metal on applications like material handling and food processing equipment, building facades, and airport luggage racks have not changed. Our patterns have stood the test of time, and nearly all of our originals are still in use today. Join us, as we take a walk through our innovative history…

  • July 8, 1940

    Rigid-tex® Metal is founded by Richard S. "Stainless" Smith

    Our story begins in the late 1930s, with our founder, Richard S. Smith. While working for Republic Steel Corp. as the first stainless steel salesman in the country, he came upon a cigarette case while traveling in New York City. The embossed sterling silver case gave Richard an idea, and that idea led to the birth of an entire new world for stainless steel. On July 8, 1940, Rigid-tex® Corporation (as we were originally known), was born.

  • 1940s

    A Call to Action

    When Rigidized Metals Corporation®, originally Rigid-tex® Corporation, was founded in 1940, its main thrust was to provide deep textured metal for industrial applications – most notably, serving the war effort in the 1940s. In fact, our earliest customers included Curtiss Wright & Bell Helicopter, who utilized Rigidized® Metals due to their lighter weight and higher durability compared to other materials.


  • 1940s

    Rosie the RGDZR

    In fact, during World War II, while the men were off serving in the war, Rigidized® Metals’ plant was run almost entirely by women. These powerful images, affectionally called the “Rosie the RGDZR” photos, are a statement of immense pride we have as an organization.

  • March 31, 1942

    Patent for "Decorating Metallic Surfaces" officially awarded

    On July 4, 1939, Stainless Smith applied for a patent for “Decorating Metallic Surfaces”. It was awarded on March 31, 1942, and states, “This invention relates to the art of forming, finishing and decorating metallic surfaces, and more particularly to the finishing and decorating of stainless steel surfaces.”

    March 31, 1942

  • 1943

    First Rolled Pattern - 6WL®

    Rigidized® Metals’ first official pattern, 6WL®, was developed in 1943, serving our first industrial markets. Originally developed to serve the war effort by reducing weight and offering enhanced durability in aircraft and vehicles, the pattern was quickly adopted in other industrial markets such as food processing and material handling. The texture reduces friction, allowing materials to move more smoothly and quickly over its surface.

  • 1945

    Introduction of 5WL®

    In 1945, we introduced pattern 5WL®, which was, and remains, our most popular pattern. The WL (“wavy line”) nomenclature is used on 2 other patterns in our arsenal – 6WL® (our first pattern, released in 1943) and 2WL® (1947), with 5WL®’s pattern depth falling between the other two. While also developed for use in industrial applications, the pattern was seen as aesthetically pleasing, and soon made its way into more attractive large applications in transportation, as well as smaller applications.


  • 1950s

    New Markets

    With the development of new deep textured patterns, the appeal for Rigidized® Metals grew, and soon we were breaking into new markets everywhere. The attractiveness of our subtler patterns drew the attention of architectural markets, and before long our textures were appearing in elevators, restrooms, on the interior and exteriors of buildings, on appliances, and in homes. Textured metal was hot – and still is – and designed to last, making it even more attractive.

  • 1950s

    Introducing: The Curtain Wall

    In the 1950s, a new architectural concept, the ‘curtain wall’, in which a building ‘wears’ an exterior curtain of glass and metal, was introduced. Richard S. Smith believed the entire world was a market for Rigidized® Metals, and thus the first application of a Rigidized® Metals curtain wall was on the 13-story IBM Building in Pittsburgh, PA, with textured window panels in diamond-shaped grid units. Then, in 1960, Rigidized® Metals clad the 53-story Union Carbide Building in New York City. The architectural world took notice, and we haven’t looked back since.


  • 195x

    Evolving in Color

    As our patterns gained popularity across the board, color began to make a splash in all markets we served. Rigidized® Metals rose to the occasion and in 195x introduced color to our ever evolving catalogue. From powder coating and highlighting, to solid color options, the design possibilities with Rigidized® Metals were essentially endless.

  • 1957

    Pattern 1RL

    In 1957 we officially introduced our pattern 1RL, designed by renowned industrial engineer Raymond Loewy. The pattern has immense architectural appeal and is available in countless color and perforation varieties.


  • 1962-64

    Covering the World

    Richard S. Smith believed the entire world was a market for Rigidized® Metals, so, fittingly, in 1962, Rigidized® Metals’  revealed pattern 1UN, specifically designed for the Unisphere for the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows in Queens, NY. Pattern 1UN in stainless steel makes up all of the continents on the structure, and, thanks to the deep texture of our metal, has needed minimal maintenance to remain a popular visual statement of innovation and creativity today.

  • 1964

    A Rebrand to Match Company Evolution

    As the company continued to evolve, so did our brand. In 1964, our logo was updated, and our company name went from Rigid-tex® Metals, to Rigidized Metals Corporation® – a name chosen to be inclusive of the many additional markets we now serve.


  • 1972

    A New Leader Brings New Markets

    As we continued to evolve, leadership was transferred to Richard S. “Stainless” Smith’s son, Richard “Sky” Smith, Jr., in 1972.

  • 1976

    Preserving Rigidized® Metals

    In celebration of our nation’s Bicentennial, “Stainless” Smith placed the celebrated cigarette case into a rocket-shaped time capsule, made out of Rigidized® metal, to be unearthed at a future date.


  • 1980

    Branding Continues to Evolve

    In the 1980s, another design overhaul was completed, and our logo was updated, once again, to what it is today, while Rigid-tex® has been re-branded to represent our still continuously growing industrial and transportation markets.

  • January 1, 2000

    Continuing the Family Legacy

    On January 1, 2000, Sky’s son, Richard “Rick” Smith, III, takes the reins as President and CEO of Rigidized Metals Corporation®.

    January 1, 2000

  • 2000s

    The World of Fabrication

    Under Rick’s leadership, Rigidized® Metals entered the business of custom fabrication, offering customers countless opportunities to take projects from concept to completion. From the addition of an entire building’s worth of fabrication equipment, and a bolstering sales and engineering team to work together and develop complete systems, our former world of simple cutting and hanging has turned into one of complete product development to suit any designer’s needs.

  • 2010

    The Art of Collaboration

    In the early 2000s, with Rick at the helm, Rigidized® Metals became heavily involved in the local community. We began collaborating with local universities, students, artists, and designers to encourage them to imagine their visions in metal – and then worked with them to make it a reality.


  • 2017

    Entering a New World

    Rigidized® Metals acquired Contrarian Metal Resources launching us into a whole new world of exteriors with an entirely new lineup of microtextures, capabilities, and offerings for the architectural community.

  • Today

    Looking Forward...

    As a third generation family-owned business, we, at Rigidized® Metals, continue to look forward. From world-leading products and community involvement to sustainability, evolving technology, and social and economic impact, we strive to always move forward, with our customers as our priority.


  • Thanks to a Man with a Dream

    ...By Looking Back

    At the end of the day, our story would not exist without the ideas of one man, whose family – both by blood, and chosen – has continued his legacy. At Rigidized® Metals, everyone is family.

  • Then and Now

    The Roots of Rigidized®

    Residing at 658 Ohio Street in Buffalo, NY since 1943, we have remained loyal to our Buffalo roots, expanding our home base and staff throughout the decades to accommodate the plethora of growing ideas and activities Rigidized® Metals has come to adopt and share with our local community. Generations have shared in the growth of the Rigidized® family, and with those generations, ideas have flourished. Today, our staff has grown to accommodate more than three plant expansions, new role development, and nationwide sales coverage.

    Then and Now

About Rigidized® Metals Corporation

Since 1940, Rigidized Metals Corporation® has led the world in the development and production of deep-textured, three dimensional engineered metal surfaces used in architectural, industrial and transportation applications. Rigidized® Metals products are known for their attractive, economical and functional appeal. The Rigidized® Metals deep-texturing process adds strength, impact resistance and the ability to hide scratches. It also allows for down-gauging, resulting in lighter, longer lasting products and reduced maintenance costs.

Rigidized® Metals engineered surfaces are available in a wide palette of textures giving the kind of rich surface variation few materials can provide.

We furnish our proprietary Rigidized® Metals engineered surfaces to Service Centers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of countless products around the world. Our patterns include the popular 5WL®, 6WL®, 6SL®, 6HC, 2WL®, RTP® and XTP.

Rigidized Metals Corporation