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Monday, March 25, 2013

Tire History Lesson

 In 1937 – BFGoodrich introduces the first commercial synthetic rubber tire made of a patented substance called Chemigum. These synthetic rubber tires should not be confused with the every day Pneumatic or inflatable tires that were first developed by a Scottish veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop in 1888. 

What is synthetic rubber?

Synthetic rubber- is any type of artificial elastomer, invariably a polymer.There are more than one dozen major classes of synthetic rubber made of raw material derived from petroleum, coal, oil, natural gas, and acetylene. Yeah it is a rubber material that has the ability to bend and sustain different stress and still return to its original shape in this case a tire.

World War II?
The U.S. government launched a major (and largely secret) effort to improve synthetic rubber production 1939-1945. A principal scientist involved with the effort was Edward Robbins. Edward Robbins is the great-great-grandfather of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. American scientists and technologists were able to replace almost a million tons of natural rubber with a synthetic substitute within 18 months. The U.S. government joined forces with the rubber companies to make this happen...? The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company (now Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.), The B. F. Goodrich Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and United States Rubber Company (now Uniroyal Chemical Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Crompton & Knowles Corporation)
Today 70 percent of the rubber used in manufacturing processes is synthetic and a descendant of the general purpose synthetic GR-S (government rubber-styrene).
Who Really Figured It Out?
B.F. Goodrich Company scientist Waldo Semon genius inventor from Alabama. Developed a new and cheaper version of synthetic rubber known as Ameripol in 1940. Ameripol made synthetic rubber production much more cost effective, helping to meet the country's needs during World War II. Waldo Semon held 116 patents, and was inducted into the Invention Hall of Fame in 1995 at age 97. He did NOT work for the U.S Government synthetic rubber program but his means of producing a cheaper version of synthetic rubber helped B.F. Goodrich, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Semon's invention also helped end the United States' dependence on foreign rubber.
What is Chemigum?
Chemigum® is a registered trademark used for Soles and Heels and owned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Ray P. Dinsmore of Goodyear patented "Chemigum", a synthetic rubber produced in Akron, Ohio in 1940. Chemigum is also the most cost-effective of oil-resistant synthetic rubbers used in a myriad of automotive and industrial applications. A wide range of grades is available to combine the best of oil & fuel resistance, mechanical properties and functional performance with processing needs. It is known for the good mechanical properties and resistance to fuels, fats and oils. 
Synthetic Rubber V.S Natural Rubber?
That looks really good but is actually a paradox. Synthetic rubber and natural rubber are both very important parts to tire manufacturing. It is like reading a food label on a tire. The first ingredient would be natural rubber which is what some cooks would call there main ingredient in cooking. The next ingredient would be to add to the main ingredient. This is were synthetic rubber would be listed on a tire ingredients label. Synthetic rubber often helps keeps the price of manufacturing down based on the raw material costs of natural rubber. Both of these rubbers are still used together in the tire manufacturing process. There is very new exciting tire technology being developed I will write about in a different blog article.

 Fun Synthetic Rubber Fact Information 
Ameripol rubber was and is still used on some ping pong paddles to add English (Curve) to the ball.
The first rubber factory in the world was established near Paris in 1803, the first in England by Thomas Hancock in 1820.