ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Stanley William Otto Menzel, a pioneer of Australia's plastics industry, died recently of mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos.
Menzel, 76, began his career in plastics in the 1930s. In the 1950s, his interest in PVC piping and fittings developed while he worked at his Adelaide-based family company, Iplex Pty. Ltd.
In 1980, Menzel formed plastic pipe maker Rib Loc Group Ltd. He was chief executive officer from 1980-94 and had been chairman since 1985.
His major contribution to the plastics industry was a mechanism to allow broken underground pipes to be repaired without being dug up. Marketed under the Expanda Pipe brand, the system is now in use in more than 30 countries.
Expanda Pipe is a spiral PVC strip with locking mechanisms to stop the strip from moving during insertion into the pipe. Once the wire locking mechanism is removed, the strip expands and glue is released to seal it.
Survivors include his son Peter, Rib Loc's chief executive officer.