Member Spotlight: James Chantler

James Chantler, Ph.D.
Professional Member
Fort Mill, SC

Dr. James Chantler is a Business Manager in the Fiber Glass Division for Nippon Electric Glass (NEG). In this capacity, he has P&L responsibility for glass fibers sold to the construction industry, as well as sales and technical duties.

Dr. Chantler has always enjoyed working with a variety of materials, many of which are glass reinforced. He knew glass fibers were a versatile component of light-weight and strong industrial materials, but the details of the glass were always proprietary. This piqued his curiosity and he wanted to learn more about the many ways glass properties could be manipulated.

TAPPI has played an important role in helping Dr. Chantler broaden his knowledge and perspective through networking with members, helping him understand the fiber glass user markets better and providing a good picture of where the technology fits in, both now and into the future. According to Dr. Chantler, the machines used to manufacture fiberglass mat are essentially modified paper machines. So, networking with TAPPI members whose companies make the paper machines is a logical fit and strong tie-in with his work.

“I have always been amazed at the ingenuity of people who work with mat manufacturing machines, as well as the continuous improvement of mat quality over the years as production orders increased in magnitude,” observed Dr. Chantler. “I’m also amazed by the sizing chemistry in that such a small amount of coating on the fiberglass surface can essentially make or break an entire mat operation using many truckloads of glass every day.”

Dr. Chantler has been a TAPPI member for 13 years and is currently involved with TAPPI’s Nonwovens, Engineers & Technologists (NET) Division, serving as the President of the Fiberglass Mat Technology Committee since 2016. The Division is made up of technical professionals who assess and promote the broad nonwoven industry through the work of its volunteers. New members are always welcome.

“Serving on the Committee provides an opportunity to meet a large portion of the leading technical and commercial people at one time,” said Dr. Chantler.

Within the last couple of years, the Committee decided to focus on everyday mat manufacturing issues from a wide variety of perspectives during their annual Fiberglass Mat Technology Committee meetings. This change has increased attendance by attracting an audience who sees the meetings as offering tangible benefits that help with their daily work. Previously, the meetings were perceived as more conventional for sales and marketing people.

The Fiberglass Mat Technology Committee is currently working on the logistics for their annual fall meeting in Charleston on September 19-21, 2018. During that meeting, industry experts will discuss production from different viewpoints such as engineering, chemistry, and the mat customer’s point of view. There will be opportunities to receive practical advice, explore ways to increase production and reduce quality issues, as well as network with other industry professionals.

Q. How has TAPPI membership helped you in your career pursuits?

A. TAPPI membership offers great opportunities for networking within the industry. It also provides education into existing technology and insight into future technologies.

Q. Are there any future technologies on the horizon you’d like to bring to the reader’s attention?

A. There are a lot of new technologies out there with small but growing segments in the roofing market. Awareness of this is essential to keep glass mat manufacturers constantly striving for improvements in quality, throughput and economics.

Q, Please provide a few thoughts on what you believe have been the most significant contributions/breakthroughs in areas of our industry. Also, what is your favorite paper or packaging product?

A. I am biased towards the glass fiber area, so I would have to say the development of very lightweight glass mats/veils manufactured on modified paper machines for a variety of applications. Also the development of glass mat-based roofing shingles 40 years ago.

Q. Tell us about some of your interests outside of TAPPI and your professional life.

A. I enjoy powerlifting (see Dr. Chantler competing in photo to the right). I have always had the build for strength sports but not the athleticism required for mainstream sports.

Over 10 years ago, I competed in a Strongman Contest with four-time Worlds’ Strongman winner Brian Shaw. Brian finished first and I was 30th out of 60 competitors. The other strength sports competitors were just a little crazy, which made it fun!

Dr. Chantler is pictured to the right with his wife, Danielle.
James Chantler and wife final

Q. What are your closing sentiments?

A. TAPPI membership has helped my career through networking and conferences. I have had many opportunities to meet great people and educate myself on a variety of topics. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve as President of the Fiber Glass Mat Technology Committee and enjoy working with both TAPPI personnel and members.

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