David A. Swedlow - Hall of Fame Entry
Author: Plastics Academy Staff
[ Not Rated Yet ]
David A. Swedlow
Sales, Process, Management
Pioneered efforts in the commercial and aerospace uses of plastics. Developed a continuous laminating machine for reinforced plastics; a continuous casting machine for acrylic sheet; stretched acrylic sheet with improved properties and free forming of complex acrylic shapes for aircraft canopies.
Swedlow developed a method of forming light-weight acrylic into the contours required by such early aircraft designers as Northrup, Douglas, Boeing, and Lear. From the Hudson bomber to the B-1 and beyond, he was the leader in manufacturing complex transparent systems for the aerospace industry.
In the early 40s, he developed a continuous method of combining glass fabric with thermoplastic resin to form rigid sheets. The primary use for this material was in fuel cells for military aircraft. His ingenious method for continuously casting acrylic sheet created immense applications for signs, bathtubs, and the vacuum forming industries.
During his 50 years of involvement in plastics, his contributions helped to stimulate the technical and commercial growth of the industry. His talents and achievements were best summed up by President Reagan, when he wrote to Swedlow saying, ". . . it is hard-working individuals like you who make up the backbone of this nation."
He is survived by his wife, Sandy; three children, David K., Jill Ann, and Robin Swedlow Liebner, and five grandchildren.