The American Chemical Society designated the development of high performance
carbon fibers at Union Carbide in Parma, Ohio, as a National Historic
Chemical Landmark on September 17, 2003. The plaque commemorating the
Scientists at the Parma Technical Center of Union Carbide Corporation
(now GrafTech International) performed pioneering research on carbon
fibers, for their weight the strongest and stiffest material known at
the present time. In 1958 Roger Bacon demonstrated the ultrahigh strength
of graphite in a filamentary form. Seven years later continuously processed
high performance carbon yarn, from a rayon precursor, was commercialized.
In 1970 Leonard Singer produced truly graphitic fibers, leading to the
commercialization of carbon yarn derived from liquid crystalline pitch.
Carbon fibers are used in aerospace and sports applications.