Although DUPONT was very successful in marketing the material and its uses, HOESCHT remained a valid competitor. They became majority shareholder of a Teflon processor on Long Island, Tri-Point Industries (TPI), who was mass producing Teflon rods and tubing at a very reasonable cost.
Mr. Hardy Von Auenmueller, then in his early 30's, was given the opportunity to move to the USA and manage this company for HOECHST. An account that he had the pleasure of managing was Steinway of Astoria. TPI engineered a teflon bushing and produced the product to Steinway's specifications on their own machinery for use in their piano actions. These bushings, used in Steinway actions, were expected to eleviate many action problems and TPI was the supplier of record throughout the 1960's and early 1970's. During Hardy's tenure there, TPI supplied Steinway with zillions of these bushings.
Unfortunately, the use of teflon in the Steinway action was not terribly successful.
Mr. Von Auenmueller shared his experiences with us recently when he toured our facility. He fully understood the problems that Steinway had with the bushings and explained, "The problem was not with the composite technology at all. As an inert material that was self lubricating,the teflon bushing did everything it promised. It was an ideal solution, but the application was not carefully completed. The engineers involved failed to take into account the fact that the wooden construction around the bushing changed seasonally, even daily."
During his tour, he stopped to closely examine the new Mason & Hamlin that used the nylon fiber/composite action by Wessel, Nickel, and Gross.
Mr. Von Auenmueller commented, "I have been in the field of plastics engineering for over 50 years and the carbon fiber application as Wessel, Nickel, and Gross is using it is just fantastic. Between the intelligent use of the carbon fiber materials and the hard bushings they have come up with a tremendous combination that should perform quite consistently. If I were in their position, this is exactly the direction I would go."
Hardy Von Auenmueller recently posed with Cunningham Piano Company's Milo Morris during a tour of our facilities