The five new posthumous members of the Plastics Hall of Fame include Katashi Aoki, who founded Japanese injection press maker Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd.; Westlake Chemical Co. founder Ting Tsung Chao; and Karl Ziegler, who together with Giulio Natta won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1963.
The five inductees will he honored at a May 1 banquet in Boston during Antec 2011, the Society of Plastics Engineers' annual conference, set for May 1-5.
The event will mark the third posthumous Plastics Hall of Fame class that is open to non-U.S. citizens. Inductees have a strong record of consistent dedication and extraordinary accomplishments in the industry. The Plastics Academy screened all nominations, then a committee of current Plastics Hall of Fame members made the final selection.
Posthumous inductees for 2011 are Ziegler, Aoki, Chao, Thomas Long and James Lindsay White.
* Karl Ziegler, a German chemist, helped achieve breakthroughs in production of polyolefins by developing early catalysts to make polyethylene. His innovations created easier methods to synthesize, eliminating the need for the high pressures previously used to make PE. The first plant came on stream in Frankfurt in 1955. Ziegler-Natta catalysts still are used widely today in the polyolefins industry.
Ziegler died in 1973.
* Katashi Aoki, who founded Nissei in 1947, was a pioneer and key inventor in the early Japanese plastics industry. Today, Nissei is one of the world's largest suppliers of injection presses.
Aoki has received several major awards in Japan, including the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1963 and Orders for the Sacred Treasure in 1983. He founded the Society of the Japanese Plastics Industry in 1975. He received 932 patents for his work.
Aoki died in 1988.
* Ting Tsung Chao, better known as T.T. Chao, was a pioneer in petrochemicals in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. He moved his family from China to Taiwan in 1946. In 1954, he built Taiwan's first PVC plant. A decade later, he founded China General Plastics Group in Taiwan, which grew to include many of Asia's largest plastics manufacturers.
Chao's firm formed joint ventures and business alliances in Asia with other major resin companies. He expanded into the U.S. market in 1986, starting Westlake Chemical Corp. in Houston. In addition to being an entrepreneur, he was a generous philanthropist.
Chao died in 2008.
* Thomas Long is one of the pioneers of plastics processing through his company, Formed Plastics Inc. He founded the firm in 1946 as Thomas J. Long Inc. Originally it specialized in machined phenolic laminates for aerospace and other industries.
The company in Carle Place, N.Y., added a thermoforming and blow molding division, called Formed Plastics. In 1975, the entire company took on that name, because the division had passed the laminate business in size. Long added rotational molding in 1961, buying the second McNeil carousel-type machine ever built.
Long was one of the founders of the Association of Rotational Molders. He died in 2004.
* James Lindsay White, a polymer engineering professor at the University of Akron, conducted fundamental research on the impact of processing on polymer structures and properties. That work helped establish polymer processing as an academic discipline.
White founded the Polymer Processing Society. He founded and served as editor of two professional journals: The Journal of Polymer Engineering, and International Polymer Processing. He authored 500 scientific publications and eight books.
He launched UA's Department of Polymer Engineering at the College of Engineering, which later became the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at the school in Akron, Ohio.
White died in 2009.