I just got a call from Chippy today. I understand that only I and a few select others can call him that. Bob Chilipala. Its been over a year. I first met him deep in the previous century when he worked for King Fiberglass down near Ewing Street, where my tri was often hauled out.
As far as I can tell, Bob is one of the most creative, gifted composite smiths there is. He creates inventive resins of all kinds. He creates fabrics of all kinds. Jus this week he told me about a new cellulose fabric with properties nearly that of E-glass. Ten years ago he created a basalt fabric. Twenty years ago he had 50 companies. And probably as many patents. Funny thing is he refuses to go online, get a website nor even have an email address. He usually visits in a beater Toyota pickup stuffed full of composite samples.
We have arranged to catch up at IBEX. Any time spent with Bob is mind bending with all his projects and inventions. I’m amazed they don’t have him giving lectures. Its possible they don’t even know about him.