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Bernie H. Hamling invented a process for making Uranium Oxide Fibers while at the Union Carbide Corporation in the late 1960's. That process was further developed and applied to other ceramic materials. Zirconia fibers were most extensively developed and a small business was started at Union Carbide to sell them. The name ZIRCAR was the winning entry in a "name the new material" contest. H. Craig Hamling joined his father Bernie at Union Carbide in 1974 and learned the fine points of the "ZIRCAR PROCESS". Also in 1974, after several years of sales by Union Carbide, a decision was made to shut down the ZIRCAR line. Bernie H. Hamling bought the business and founded ZIRCAR Products, Inc. and continued sales of these unique materials without interruption. In the quarter century that followed, ZPI was operated as a privately held family business.
For 26 years ZPI continued to use the "ZIRCAR PROCESS" to make Zirconia fiber materials. During this time ZPI's business grew and other materials and processes became important. In 2000, three ZPI factories were making three distinctly different product lines and were run by six of Bernie H. Hamling's children.
On July 1, 2000 ZPI split up into three entirely separate new companies. On that date Zircar Zirconia, Inc. started up. H. Craig Hamling, who had been president of ZPI since 1994 is president of Zircar Zirconia, Inc. Clare Hamling joins him as vice president. Clare had been responsible for quality assurance and inventory control at ZPI.
Zircar Zirconia, Inc. employs the original "ZIRCAR PROCESS" method of manufacturing of Yttria stabilized Zirconia fibers, cloths and felts as the basis of its business.