Metal Sections was established by Major Leonard Henderson at Greet in Birmingham in 1931. Henderson designed his own machines to convert steel strip into profiled sections by cold rolling. The first applications were mainly car parts such as window frames. Just a year later, Henderson sold his company to Tube Investments who moved the business to Oldbury in the West Midlands.
For the remainder of the 1930s, Metal Sections developed various transport applications, including structural components for buses and railways, such as the pillars for coaches and buses.
During the Second World War production was concentrated on products for the military, including handles for the early sten guns, the LILO rocket launcher, parts for Bailey bridges, the structural framing for Lancaster bombers, as well as cartridge belt runners for Spitfires.
In 1945 Metal Sections was re-established as a separate company within Tube Investments. The firm entered the buildings market by making parts for post-war prefabricated homes.
In 1948 the first kits of parts for building a bus were exported to Argentina. These became known as The Bus in a Box, and were a major part of the company’s activities for the next 30 years, with Hong Kong and India as important customers.
In 1954 a 25 bay warehouse was built for the US Air Force at Burtonwood, Lancashire, using a novel concept devised at Metal Sections. The project established the use of cold-rolled sections as structural components in large buildings and of Metal Sections as a significant supplier of such products.
Throughout the 1960s Metal Sections expanded and the company established a second site at Tividale.
In 1985 the company was floated on the stock exchange as Metsec plc.
In 1998 Metsec was acquired by an Austrian steel company called Voestalpine. Today, Metsec is the largest specialist cold roll-forming company in the UK, providing products for the construction and manufacturing industries.