Peter Pfaff believes he was destined to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Brandt Goldsworthy, whom he calls the “Godfather of pultrusion.” Goldsworthy hired Pfaff out of college as sales manager at Glastrusions Inc., a company that manufactured pultruded fiberglass products. “Goldsworthy was just so passionate about composites that it made you want to get involved,” says Pfaff. “I enjoyed the pultrusion technology so much that I figured I could sell this stuff myself.”
After five years, Pfaff asked Goldsworthy to sell him a pultrusion machine so he could launch his own business. In April 1978, Pfaff created Glasforms Inc. in San Jose, Calif., and later moved the company to Birmingham, Ala. Through the years, Glasforms grew to be the second largest pultrusion company in North America. Glasforms pioneered the development of several materials and product applications, the most significant being epoxy resin fiberglass high-voltage insulators – best known as polymer insulators. These insulators are much lighter and ballistic resistant. They serve as the biggest export item for the company. Last fall, Pfaff sold Glasforms to PolyOne, but he still serves as president of the company.
According to Pfaff, the biggest change the pultrusion industry will face in the future involves thermoplastic resins with high fiber loading levels. “When fiber loading levels increase, it will cause a massive growth in the demand for composites,” he says. Pfaff enjoys spending time watching the San Francisco Giants play baseball with his two daughters and his grandson.