Outstanding formulator awarded the 2008 de Bruyne Medal

The Society for Adhesion & Adhesives
11 Sep 2008
Barrie Hayes [right] presented with the de Bruyne medal by Dr. Philippe Michaud of Huntsman

Barrie James Hayes [pictured right], formerly of the Bonded Structures Division of Ciba [later Hexcel Composites] and Ciba Speciality Chemicals [later Vantico and currently Huntsman Advanced Materials], both of Duxford, Cambridgeshire in the UK, is the 2008 recipient of the de Bruyne medal. Dr. Philippe Michaud, the Global Technology Director of Huntsman Advanced Materials, presented the award to Mr. Hayes at the major international conference on adhesion and adhesives [Euradh 2008/Adhesion ‘08], which was held at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford on 3rd to 5th September 2008. In response, Mr.  Hayes give an entertaining presentation entitled ‘Edible adhesives – The strongest drink in the world!’ The de Bruyne medal is named in honour of the founder of Aero Research Limited: Norman de Bruyne FREng, FRS [1904 – 1997] and Barrie Hayes is only the fifth recipient of this prestigious award; and the first from the organisation which has direct links to de Bruyne’s original Company. He follows: Stephanie Wellman [Permabond, 1996, Dr. Iain Webster [Smith and Nephew, 1999], Dr. Michael Owen [Dow Corning, 2001] and Dr. Bill Lees [Permabond, 2004]. Norman de Bruyne was a multi-disciplined scientist who had the ability and foresight to translate theoretical science into very practical, commercial applications. Three apposite examples are: the development, in 1936, of the first structural composite [Gordon Aerolite®] for use in aircraft; in 1942 the invention of Redux® – a synthetic heat-curing adhesive - for structural bonding; and patenting, in 1938, the concept of metal honeycomb. All three processes are still widely used in the aerospace industry.  The medal is presented to an individual who displays these characteristics. It is an acknowledgment of the recipient’s personal contribution to innovation in the field of adhesives.  Mr. Hayes has had a long and distinguished career with Ciba, and its various successors – Bonded Structures Division of Ciba [later Hexcel Composites], Ciba-Geigy and Vantico [later Huntsman Advanced Materials]. He moved there in 1961 and he soon made his name as a formulating chemist with the development and sale of a tar/epoxy adhesive for bonding blocks in the road surface of Tower Bridge in London: probably still there today! However, it was this move to Ciba which introduced him to the field of structural adhesives and later, composites, when he was asked to form the Bonded Structures’ R + D team to continue de Bruyne’s work on phenolic adhesives and to pioneer work on the development of high-strength structural adhesives, based on epoxy resins, for the burgeoning aerospace industry.  Barrie Hayes’ achievements at Ciba are numerous, although due to very tight commercial confidentiality, very few are to be found reported in the patent or technical literature. However, he has left several notable legacies, which are well known: a range of novel Redux® film adhesives and Fibredux® prepregs, many of which are still at the core of Hexcel’s adhesive and composite business; paste adhesives and casting resins, within the Ciba/Huntsman portfolio, having controlled rheology; dispersed particulate toughening methods which either directly/indirectly were the fore-runners to core-shell toughening; and, most importantly the discovery of the high-temperature toughening effect achievable by dissolving ‘reactive’ polyethersulphone [PES] in epoxy resins.  His success stems from the fact that he was never happier, at work, than when he was at the laboratory bench: he is an out and out formulator and inventor.  Although he is now supposedly retired, he is passing on his expertise to the next generation through regular lectures to students at about 40 universities throughout the UK and to the many organisations with whom he consults. His significant contribution to the understanding and development of structural adhesives and adhesive matrices for composites is still clear to see, especially as PES-toughening of adhesive matrices is still the main driving forces for future composite development.

The Medal Committee comprises members of the Society for Adhesion and Adhesives [SAA], TWI and the sponsors: Huntsman Advanced Materials [originally Aero Research Limited/Ciba].

Nominations are now being sought for a de Bruyne medallist for 2011. An application form can be found on the SAA Website: http://www.uksaa.org