Edward Borro - Hall of Fame Entry
Author: Plastics Academy Staff
[ Not Rated Yet ]
Pioneered the development and application of thermoset molding compounds. Associated with Durez Div., Hooker Chemical Corp. from 1937 until his retirement. Has made many significant contributions to the technical literature including: machining of phenolics (1943); transfer molding pressures (1944); cup method of measuring flow of thermosets (1945); closed mold molding technique (1950); vacuum technique for transfer molding (1962); gating systems for thermosets (1970).
Edward on his Induction:
During my many years in the plastics industry, the advancement in materials, the improvements in molding press design, and the refinement in tooling filled me with a great enthusiasm for thermoset materials. I pioneered and followed many changes in the methods of molding, and retired from the industry at the beginning of the era of injection molding of thermosets.
With this process of molding, I can see a tremendous challenge to the plastics engineer and a further growth of the thermoset industry. I also can see a great challenge as process controls become more and more accepted. What in my early days was an art peculiar to talented molders can now be stored on a tape that can control all facets of the molding operation. The memory of the human mind is being replaced by the memory of the computer. I see this trend primarily in the injection molding process.
I have always been a great advocate of compression molding. I now observe the great progress that is being made by using a heated barrel and screw to prepare an extrusion of preheated material. The charge can be properly metered so that it can be screw-fed to the loading board of compression or transfer molds. The increased preheat temperature permits extremely short cycles so that the engineer must study carefully the economics of this approach versus injection molding. The elimination of the preform and auxiliary equipment cuts production costs as well as capital expenditures.
Second to my interest in methods of molding is my concern with mold design and construction. Refinements in the process of removing steel by electrical or chemical erosion has permitted molds to be produced to close tolerances and designs that were almost impossible when one had to rely on machining away the steel. The adoption of the computer has helped the tool industry to produce molds even with the shortage of skilled tool makers.
What do I see in the future for the thermoset industry? The engineering thermoset materials will continue to open up new markets, but perhaps the greatest immediate growth will be in the automotive industry. New applications for thermosets are being fostered by our problems of improving environmental conditions. Transmission, brake system components, ignition, and carburetor design are some of the areas in which research and design engineers are turning to the old "workhorse" plastic-phenolic compounds.
What's in the future? I challenge the plastics engineer, the project engineer in the machine and tool industry, and all engineers in the supporting industries to continue in their efforts to find new and better methods of producing a molded part of improved quality for new markets at reduced production rates, and at higher profits. If this is achieved, the future can only be beautiful.