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Plastics Hall of Fame inducts five posthumously.

The National Plastics Hall of Fame inducted five new posthumous members in a ceremony at the National Plastics Center and Museum in Leominster, Mass., on September 17. Recognized for "consistent dedication and extraordinary accomplishments ... that have contributed to the stature and growth of the plastics industry," the five are:

* Edwin F. Bushman. An early pioneer in acrylic and fiberglass products, Bushman worked extensively on the development of large plastic structures, such as overhead storage compartments and lighting/venting areas in commercial aircraft. He obtained six U.S. patents in plastics products, carbon fibers, and colored glass fibers, both in process and application.

A graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana with a B.S. in petroleum geology and chemistry, Bushman worked as a plastics engineer for Bell & Howell, Motor Products Corp., General American Transportation, and USS Chemicals. He worked as an independent plastics consultant in California for 23 years. Bushman was named Western Plastics Man of the Year in 1972 and in 1981 was presented with the Lundberg Award by SPE. He died in 2003.

* Denes B. Hunkar. Widely known in the plastics industry for his innovations in process control, Denes Hunkar is the inventor of closed-loop process control for injection molding (1970), the first methodology for internal surface cooling in blow molding (1973), and microprocessor-based machine control (1978). Later innovations include statistical process control and automated process management for plastics manufacturing.

Hunkar was born in Keked, Hungary, and held a dual M.S. in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering. He founded Hunkar Instrument Development Laboratories in Cincinnati in 1962, renaming it Hunkar Laboratories in 1970 when he began to concentrate on process control for the plastics industry. His work over the years earned him the following SPE awards: the International Award for Engineering and Technology (1991), the International Award for Business Management (1992), and the Blow Molding Division's Distinguished Achievement and Man of the Year awards. He died in 2004.

* Thomas J. Morton, Jr. In 1937, Thomas Morton founded Cardinal Corp., where he used one of the first injection molding machines--an Isoma from Germany--to mold the first high-volume injection molding application in the United States: a shelf stud for Sears, Roebuck's Coldspot refrigerators. With Jack Baur, Morton developed the See-Deep process for decorating the back surface of clear molded parts, first used commercially in the 1938 Nash horn button. Their company, now called Hoosier Cardinal Corp., also brought the vacuum-forming process into mass production for sighting domes for World War II heavy bombers.

After the war, Morton founded Benersons Corp., which developed assembly machines that automated plastics manufacturing. In the 1950s, he bought a business called Fiberfil, a developer of glass-reinforced thermoplastic compounds, and supplied the first commercial injection molded product from these materials: a land-mine housing.

* Giulio Natta. Winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Giulio Natta of Milan, Italy, was an expert in the field of high polymers used to manufacture film, fiber, and synthetic rubber. A 1924 graduate of the Polytechnic of Milan, where he studied chemical engineering, Natta pursued a career in academia, conducting research in polymerization of plastics materials.

In 1938, Natta studied the production of synthetic rubber and was the first to accomplish physical separation of butadiene from 1-butadiene by a new method of extractive distillation. His work on the strereospecific polymerization of polypropylene led to the development of isotactic polypropylene, first produced on an industrial scale for film, fiber, and resins uses in 1957. His studies also included the synthesis of crystalline alternating copolymers and the synthesis of sterically ordered polymers. Professor Natta died in 1979.

* Alexander Parkes. In 1862, Englishman Alexander Parkes created the first artificial plastic material, Parkestine, which he exhibited at the Great International Exhibition in London. A semi-synthetic thermoplastic material based on cellulose nitrate, Parkestine could be chemically modified to be hard yet flexible, or soft and rubberlike--essentially providing a foundation for the plastics industry that followed.

Although lacking formal training, Parkes worked as an independent inventor in the fields of metallurgy and chemistry in Birmingham, England. His work in rubber compounding led him to develop a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate; the solvent was based on camphor. Although his Parkestine was never commercially successful, Parkes's work laid the groundwork for John Wesley Hyatt's 1869 breakthrough with cellulose nitrate in the form of collodion as a substitute for ivory billiard balls. Parkes died in 1890.
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Title Annotation:appointment of posthumous members
Comment:Plastics Hall of Fame inducts five posthumously.(appointment of posthumous members)
Author:Molinaro, Hope
Publication:Plastics Engineering
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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