Plastics extrusion expert Peter Heilmayr died on Aug. 18 at age 87.
Heilmayr had suffered a stroke at his home in Broadway, Va., according to his family. He was "surrounded by his family and the music of Mozart," they said in an email.
Born in Salzburg, Austria, Heilmayr earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Vienna. He then built a career in plastics extrusion while cultivating a lifelong love of music and the outdoors.
Heilmayr was involved in twin-screw extruders in the early days of the industry, launching his career in 1961 as a consultant to the Wilhelm Anger Co. in Vienna. He held management positions at major machinery suppliers and extrusion companies, including Wilhelm Anger, CertainTeed Products Corp., Robintech Inc., American Maplan Corp., Vinyl Extrusion Technologies Inc. and Theysohn. During his career, Heilmayr received eight U.S. patents related to plastics extrusion.
While working at Wilhelm Anger, Heilmayr helped install the first Anger extruders in the U.S. at early PVC pipe extruders Carlon Products Corp. and Johns Manville Corp. He later was a co-owner of Theysohn North America, a previous unit of Theysohn, an Austrian supplier of twin-screw extruders and extrusion components.
In a 2014 interview with Plastics News, Heilmayr said the Anger company had a close cooperation with Theysohn, which at that time mainly produced PVC sheet dies but grew into one of the largest suppliers of screws and barrels to twin-screw machinery makers and extrusion companies.
Larry Kuykendall, co-owner and president of Theysohn North America, described Heilmayr as "one of our icons in the PVC industry."
Heilmayr is survived by his wife, Claire Robin; his children, Dietlinde, Robert, Stephan and Susanna; his grandchildren, Kasimir and Sophia; and his first wife, Anna Heilmayr. He was predeceased by his second wife, Gundula Heilmayr.