22 | Composites Manufacturing | www.cmmagazine.org | March 2008
etween the 1950s and the mid-1980s,
pultrusion underwent a remarkable
evolution—or more accurately, a revolution.
The growth and development of the pultru-
sion process hinged on improvements in equipment,
raw materials, products and markets, and the early
visionaries and companies that led the industry’s
transformation. Though not all industry segments
developed at the same pace, during this time excep-
tional leaders and products emerged.
Processing Presents Challenges
The reinforcements, matrix systems and processing
equipment in the 1950s were not yet designed for
pultrusion, but were taken from what was available
and designed for other labor-intensive processes, such
as hand lay up, vacuum bag forming and pressure bag
forming. There was no continuous strand mat,
stitched fabrics, surface veils, low shrink/low profile
systems or even the equipment to manufacture com-
posite parts on a production scale. It took the vision
During five decades, the pultrusion industry was revolutionized
by visionaries who spearheaded improvements in equipment,
materials and products.
The Glastruder™ pultrusion machine was the most complete
“turn-key” pultrusion system at the time.
Brandt Goldsworthy (left) and Fred Landgraf (right) with
first pultrusion machine.
By Terry S. McQuarrie, Ph.D. and Michael Winterhalter
of an Industry
Official Magazine of the American Composites Manufacturers Association | 23
of the pioneers to develop equipment that could use
the raw materials available at that time. Continuous
fiber in its earliest form was used to manufacture the
unidirectional fiberglass fishing rod.
However, these fishing rods did not originally use
the pultrusion process. Instead, the glass fibers were
longitudinally wrapped on a tapered mandrel, cov-
ered with a tape and then run through an oven, after
which the film was removed.1 Tru-Temper, which was
later sold to Shakespeare, originally used a process
that passed the resin/glass mass through thr