The history of the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic Composites business really begins with the invention of TEFLON®. Back in 1938 at DuPont, Dr. Roy Plunkett accidentally, during an experiment involving the storage of Freon®, discovered that a previously pressurized vessel had zero pressure and the gas inside polymerized into a white, inert powder with very interesting properties. This substance was later trademarked by DuPont as TEFLON.
Many companies of that period discovered this TEFLON material could solve various problems for Industry. With unique properties like non-stick, chemical and temperature resistance, low friction, high dielectrics, etc., several processes were employed to leverage these opportunities. The CHEMFAB Company used water based dispersions to coat TEFLON onto fiberglass fabrics. The FURON Company was known for their ability to mold fluoropolymer into various shapes and to skive master billets into films. And, the NORTON PERFORMANCE PLASTICS group had expertise in extruding variants of PTFE into thin, wide films.
This merger/acquisition/combination of independent companies has forged a "global leader in high performance polymer solutions, focusing on demanding applications, and differentiating through innovative technologies" (SGPPL Vision). Founding giants like Warren Cook, Cleveland Dodge, Wilt Hawkins, Miles Powell, John Effenberger, Don Melville and visionaries like Jed Walsh, Steve Parker, and Joseph Grewe "understood and fulfilled the customers' needs through strategic investment in market knowledge, leading polymer technologies, operational excellence and superior service" (SGPPL Mission) to grow this Composites Business.