Carbon fiber legend Roger Prescott passes away

Prescott was an early pioneer in the development of large-tow, low-cost carbon fiber and is best known for work he did at Fortafil Fibers.

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Composites pioneer Roger Prescott passed away on May 13 at age 70 in Canton, Ga., USA. Prescott had extensive experience in composites, but was best known for his work at Great Lakes Carbon in helping develop acrylic as a precursor for carbon fiber. Prescott also saw early on the value of a low-cost, large-tow carbon fiber and eventually helped launch the Fortafil Fibers Inc. in 1984. Fortafil was among the first suppliers of commercial grade (40k tow) carbon fiber introduced to the composites industry. Prescott stayed with the Fortafil brand when it was sold first to Horsehead Industries and then to Akzo in 1987. He retired when the business was sold to Toho Tenax in 2004.

Born in Hornsea, England, Prescott graduated from the University of Leeds in England (1961) and resided in the United States for 43 years. He is survived by his wife, Ann; son, Stephen and wife Michelle; daughter, Judith and husband James; grandchildren, Elizabeth, Tom, Katie, Andrew, and Rachel; brothers, David and Richard; sisters-in-law, Georgie and Janice, and cousin, Pat. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (www.appalachian.org) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA, www.aspca.org).