Plating Pioneer Fred Nobel Passes at 98

Nobel was owner of LeaRonal, Inc. which developed and produced specialty chemical additives and other products used by the connector, printed circuit board, semiconductor, and metal-finishing industries.

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Fred Nobel, a chemical engineer who held dozens of patents and worked to make electroplating processes more environmentally safe, died Aug. 3 at his Roslyn home of natural causes. He was 98.

 

Nobel was owner of LeaRonal, Inc. which developed and produced specialty chemical additives and other products used by the connector, printed circuit board, semiconductor, and metal-finishing industries.

 

Nobel partnered with Barney Ostrow, a boyhood friend who was also a plater and chemist. The two men started working out of a garage, developing an additive that gave copper plating a bright, shiny finish. They set up a lab in downtown Manhattan, and grew to a 30,000-square-foot plant in the Freeport-Hempstead Industrial Park and a spot on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

In 1999, the company sold for more than $460 million to Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas.