History Article

Original Hycomp History

Aerospace & Aviation

Like a piece of fabric with many threads and man-made fibers that crisscross and touch, the story of Hycomp™ is interwoven into a tapestry of innovative people connecting and adding their own “touches” to build and become a trusted expert of carbon fiber composite and thermoplastic material solutions today.

The first stitch started with Courtaulds, a United Kingdom manufacturer of fabric, artificial fibers and chemicals established in 1794. It became the world’s leading, man-made fiber production company with a longevity lasting almost a century. In order to focus on fibers and chemicals, Courtaulds joined Dexter in 1986 (based in Cleveland) to create HySol Graphil Composites Components Company - a startup that manufactured finished components using high-performance raw materials for aerospace applications. HySol Graphil’s team included several pioneers like John Thorp and Eugene Gargas, Sr. and Jr., who had many years of machining and manufacturing expertise.

In 1991, John along with Bernie Nowak, Bob Scoular, Don Moyer, Gene Gargas, Joe Reardon, and Leon Zaczek bought Dexter and formed Hycomp™ LLC. This is where the thread of innovation begins in HyComp™ as the new owners focused on developing proprietary, self-lubricating, high-temperature composite materials for use in general industries and aerospace as well as provide integrated manufacturing capabilities.

Hycomp™ Composites Group

Passionate about materials, the Hycomp™ team built the business rooted in five core values: integrity, work ethic, technical expertise, innovation and trust. Initial business development focused on domestic aluminum/steel rolling mill and aerospace markets, later shifting globally in the mid-90s when a sales office was opened in Germany to capture new sales in Europe.

As international sales grew from new rolling mill construction, SMS became a strategic customer, leading to their interest in acquiring Hycomp™. When John retired in 2000, SMS bought Hycomp™ and appointed Bob Scoular as President, starting a new pattern toward industrial sales, which grew in the aluminum beverage and food canning equipment markets.

Industrial Canning Hycomp™ Applications

Aerospace sales had also grown through the 1990s due to expansion of air travel and material qualifications with GE, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney that provided opportunities for injection molded thermoplastics. As industrial segments declined in 2008, aerospace sales steadily increased based on the need for lighter and more fuel efficient aircraft. Mark Scoular, who had previously worked as Aerospace product development engineer, joined Hycomp™ sales to grow the aerospace business. In 2014, under the leadership of Gene Gargas as President, the business increased its commitment to aerospace and its future by expanding the facility. In 2016, Mark was appointed GM of Sales & Product Development and with the Hycomp™ leadership team, they focused on developing the next generation of materials business in strategic aerospace applications and new industrial markets.

Instead of man-made fibers from the past, the Hycomp™ team is now forming carbon fibers and thermoplastic solutions that are critical in friction and wear. Let’s see what other colorful and inventive connections will be added today and tomorrow.

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