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Raychem Corporation
IndustryAerospace, Automotive, Telecommunications
FounderPaul Cook, James B. Meikle, and Richard W. Muchmore
SuccessorTE Connectivity
United States
Area served
ProductsRadiation chemistry, Heat-shrink tubing, Touchscreens

The Raychem Corporation was founded and headquartered in Menlo Park, California, in 1957 by Paul M. Cook, James B. Meikle, and Richard W. Muchmore.[1] Led by Cook and second-in-command Robert M. Halperin, Raychem became a pioneer of commercial products realized through radiation chemistry.


The original name of the company was RayTherm Wire and Cable and later formed a subsidiary named RayClad Tubes. The company changed names to avoid confusion with Raytheon. The company was a spin-off from SRI International, and their founding technology was wire and cable that used radiation cross-linked polymer insulation targeted at military and aerospace applications.[2] This was the first known use of radiation chemistry for commercial products. The company soon invented heat-shrinkable tubing also targeted at electronic applications.[3]

By 1980 the company had expanded to over 30 countries, including a major branch in Swindon, UK and made the Fortune 500 list.[4] It was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States at that time. The company had only three CEOs until the company was acquired by Tyco International in 1999. Those CEOs were Paul Cook (Founder), Bob Saldich (a long-time Raychem executive, who also ran a Raychem subsidiary, RayNet) and Dick Kashnow, who was responsible for the sale of Raychem to Tyco International.

At the time of the sale the company had reached sales exceeding $2 billion and was operating in over 60 countries globally.[citation needed] The company invented many breakthrough technologies, including PolySwitch PPTC circuit protection devices, and the touchscreen, popular today and branded under the name Elo TouchSystems. The company's alumni now populate many CEO and president positions in a variety of industries. The major market segments where Raychem operated were aerospace and defence, automotive, telecommunications, energy networks, consumer electronics and transportation.

Fortune 500 rankings[edit]

Year Fortune 500 Rank
1980 547
1981 490
1982 461
1983 435
1984 413
1985 405
1986 394
1987 359
1988 341
1989 315
1990 326
1991 317
1992 290
1993 295
1994 293


Many products today still carry the Raychem brand; however, confusingly, two different companies sell them: Tyco International split into three companies in 2007: Tyco International, TE Connectivity (Formerly Tyco Electronics) and Covidien. In 2012, Tyco International sold Tyco Thermal Controls to Pentair plc. Renamed Pentair Thermal Management, this group continues to provide customers with the Raychem brand name for industrial, commercial and residential trace heating solutions. TE Connectivity sells the other original Raychem products (shrink tubing, wire and cable, SolderSleeve Devices, etc.) under the Raychem brand name.

The Circuit Protection business unit, maker of PolySwitch devices, was sold to Littelfuse Corp. in 2016. Elotouch was sold to a private equity firm several years prior to that. TE Connectivity has multiple R&D Sites which include China & India. It operates in India through Raychem RPG, a 50:50 JV with 22000Cr + RPG Group. This Joint Venture specialises in Connection technologies up to 1200kV & has also introduced Speciality Low loss Transformers.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "American Chemical Society".
  2. ^ Nielson, Donald (2006). A Heritage of Innovation: SRI's First Half Century. Menlo Park, California: SRI International. pp. 11-6–11-7. ISBN 978-0974520810.
  3. ^ Quality Today. IPC Industrial Press. 1994.
  4. ^ "CNN Money FORTUNE 500".
  5. ^ RPG Group