John Delmonte, both as an individual and through the two companies that he founded, was one of the leading pioneers in composites and adhesives. His book, Technology of Adhesives, was the “bible” on adhesives for many engineers during the 1950s, encouraging their application in aircraft. In all, Delmonte wrote nine technical books relating to materials and processes each of which provided vital information in applying these materials to aircraft and space systems.
Delmonte was the holder of over 20 patents in these areas. His Technology of Carbon and Graphite Fiber Composites was published in 1981, containing important information on carbon fibers and their use in composites, including aircraft and space applications. Other books he wrote were: Plastics in Engineering, Metal Filled Plastics, Metal/Polymer Composites, Plastics Molding, and Origins of Materials and Processes.
He was the founder of Furane Plastics, a Los Angeles based company that developed epoxy and polyurethane adhesives, sealants, potting compounds, and other thermosetting m
aterials widely used in aircraft and space systems’ electronic hardware and various structural members. Recognizing the need for expertise in testing of compos
ites, adhesives, and other materials, Delmonte founded Delsen Testing Laboratories in Glendale, CA in 1957. Today, many years after its founding, Delsen continues to serve the aircraft and space industries conduc
ting mechanical, electrical, and flammability tests of composites and other materials.
Early in his career, Delmonte was a pioneer in plastics education, starting as an instructor at Illinois Institute of Technology. During that time, he wrote his first book, Plastics in Engineering. Shortly after, he was appointed the director of the newly established Plastics Industries Technical Institute in Los Angeles. During World War II, the institute educated many people who went on to become contributors to the aircraft and space industries.
Always willing to contribute to our industry, Delmonte held key elective offices and was active in many professional organizations, including the SAMPE, Society of Plastics Engineers, the Society of the Plastics Industry, the American Chemical Society, ASTM, the California Institute of Technology Associates, and Plastics Pioneers. He earned many honors from these organizations, including being one of the first people to be elected as a SAMPE Fellow. In 1982, he funded a special award administered by SAMPE to encourage outstanding contributions in materials and process technologies, the Delmonte Award for Excellence.