Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Owens-Corning Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of fiberglass and related products. It was formed in 1935 as a partnership between two major American glassworks, Corning Glass Works and Owens-Illinois. The company was spun off as a separate entity November 1, 1938. The company achieved major successes after the Second World War, with eventual annual sales of $5 billion (USD). However, major medical liabilities due to the company's use of asbestos as a fireproofing agent led to the company's bankruptcy in 2000. This action led to a major executive reshuffling in 2001-2.
Among the many products of Owens-Corning is its fiberglass insulation. Since 1956, the company's insulation has been dyed pink to provide visual contrast; the company became so associated with its pink insulation product that it even copyrighted the term "PINK" (in capital letters only) to refer to its insulation. The cartoon character of the Pink Panther is used by Owens-Corning as the mascot of its insulation division.
Another major product of Owens-Corning is derived from its use of fiberglass as reinforcement for plastic products. The resulting fiberglass-reinforced plastic is the form of "fiberglass" used in boat hulls, automobile roofs, pipes, etc.
In October 2004, Judge John P. Fullam , of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, ordered the substantive consolidation of various distinct corporate entities using the Owens-Corning name for the purpose of the disposal of their assets within bankruptcy proceedings. That ruling was immediately appealed.
In March 2005, Judge Fullam estimated the company's asbestos related liability at US$7 billion.
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