Obituary: Optical plastics expert George Galic

Obituary: Optical plastics expert George Galic

Traverse City, Mich. — George Galic, an expert on clear plastics with scratch-resistant hard coatings, died March 25 at age 76 after a four-year battle with prostate cancer.

Galic helped develop hard coatings and manufacturing automation that made modern polycarbonate eyeglass lenses commercially feasible.

Galic was born Sept. 9, 1943, in Chicago and he grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. He joined Dow Corning Corp. in Midland, Mich., in 1966 after earning a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa.

Early assignments included silane coupling agents and silicone resins. In 1975, he took over a newly invented silicone hard coating for clear plastics. Galic licensed GE Plastics and others to apply this very thin liquid coating onto the polycarbonate sheet, which could then substitute for glass in automotive moonroofs, windows and headlamp covers.

For the next 30 years, he worked on hard coatings for prescription lenses. In 1972, less than 5 percent of U.S. lenses were plastic, and they were not hard coated, so they were easily scratched.

Galic licensed the Dow Corning ARC abrasion-resistant coating to four of the world's largest lens manufacturers, and one of them, Gentex Corp. of Carbondale Pa., hired him to run its optics division as general manager. Other career stops included 3M in St. Paul, Minn., and Poly Optics Co. in Minneapolis before he started a technology partnership, Galic Maus Ventures, in 1984.

Galic sold the business in 2001 and he and his wife of 41 years, Mary Ann, retired to Traverse City.

Galic was a frequent speaker and technology presenter for the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Society of Vacuum Coaters, Optical Engineering Society and American Chemical Society.

Funeral services were held April 4. Donations in Galic's name can be made to the Traverse Area District Library at 610 Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City, MI 49686 or to the American Legion Post #35, 1231 Hastings Street, in Traverse City, MI 49686.