Composites pioneer dies

Heinz Bader, a member of the Scott Bader company family, started Swiss company Scobalit, which exists to this day.

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It was with great sadness that Scott Bader (Wollasaton, U.K.) announced on October 16 that Heinz Bader, one of the earliest pioneers in the development of glass reinforced plastics (GRP), died peacefully in Switzerland at the age of 90.

Heinz Bader, with a commercial diploma earned in Lausanne, came to England in 1946 for career experience at Scott Bader’s factory and R&D laboratories in Wollaston. As part of his training, he was sent to the U.S. by his uncle Ernest Bader, to learn from Scott Bader's U.S. licensors. He later returned to Wollaston where he acquired further GRP application techniques and in particular, about Scott Bader's new revolutionary cold cured polyesters, before returning to Switzerland.

Being an innovative, technically minded entrepreneur, Heinz soon started his own production company, near Zurich, in 1950, called Scobalit, to fabricate the very first cold-cured corrugated GRP sheeting using the (then) new UP resins developed at Scott Bader by Ernest Bader's nephew, Brian Parkyn. This new UP resin was used by W.J.Tod in 1951 to build the first-ever open-mold GRP boats. In more recent years, Scobalit AG, which continues as a key Swiss GRP company, was involved in the development and manufacture of the world-famous Mistral wind-surfing board that is still used in Olympic competitions.

Heinz is fondly remembered by his first cousin Godric Bader, now Life President of Scott Bader, who paid tribute to Heinz for his contribution to the composites industry, along with his cousin Brian, in the development of resin technologies that remain in use around the world today.

Ernest Bader started Scott Bader in London in 1921 and created The Scott Bader Commonwealth in 1951, founded upon the Quaker belief that a socially responsible company cannot exist merely for its own interests. These founding Commonwealth principles remain a key part of the International Scott Bader Group community today.