Manufacturing of glass fibres

Professor Reinkober of the University in Greifswald discovered that the tensile strength of glass fibres under 5 µm diameter exponentially grows with a decreasing diameter. Hermann Papst tried to find a procedure for the manufacturing of these extremely thin glass fibres. The solution lies in a process in which the fibres are exposed to high temperatures in a gas atmosphere and are pulled/stretched to a diameter of a few µm by letting the gas stream with semi finished fibre relax in a so-called laval nozzle.

He cannot verify experimentally though, that the procedure of his invention works. He is in contact with the German glass industry. After the Second World War he finds out that his registered patent is being used abroad. As a result of that he sues an international corporation in the 1950s. He makes a very typical experience for a single inventor even though he is already a successful entrepreneur: First the infringer of the patent denies the infringement, later on the other side presents Patent Registrations in Japanese and English. But in the end Hermann Papst wins the law suit.

With a payment of 210 000 DM (back then a lot of money), the argument between the successful, small business entrepreneur and the European corporate group is resolved.