Goodyear Dedicates Research Laboratory

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  • Goodyear Dedicates Research Laboratory

    Goodyear's new research laboratory. Completion o f the building was delayed b y a tornado which r ipped off the roof and caused other damage

    N E W laboratory, one of the finest in ~^^ the world devoted to rubber research, was dedicated late in June a t Akron, Ohio, by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. The opening of the laboratory was celebrated with a, three-day dedication program which entailed a symposium o n rubber problems and the announcement of several n e w technical developments. Built and equipped at a cost of SI,325,000, the new facilities give t o the Goodyear scientists some of the finest and most complete equipment ever assembled for rubber investigations.

    As though signaling the developments t o come from th i s laboratory, the company announced and demonstrated five new technically important items. First of these was a supersonic sound machine which is used to detect flaws in tires for retreading which, x-rays cannot show; second was the announcement of Plioflex, a vinyl-vinylidiene chloride copolymer which is serving as a rubber substitute; the third development, removed from the field of chemistry, concerns a new radio static neutralizes which wil l eliminate static due t o atmospheric or man-made machines; fourth was a new process d e veloped jointly with t h e Chrysler Corp. for joining together structural members with a new adhesive, stronger bonds re sulting than are obtainable with welding

    By F. J. V A N ANTWERPEN Associate Editor

    o r riveting; andl lastly Resinfoam, a n e w plastic insulation material.

    Cycleweld Process The currently outstanding deve lop

    ment was the Cycleweld process a n d little was permitted said b y Army officials. The composition of the material was n o t revealed but it is a plastic c e ment. T h e Cycleweld is sprayed o r painted on w o o d or metal and t h e t w o treated surfaces are pressed together under heat and pressure. T h i s causes tfaie films t o adhere, probably through polymerization, and the resulting bond is considerably stronger than joints made fcy conventional methods.

    Cycleweld is a thick, v iscous , black solution and it i s set by temperatures of 325 F - I t i s a l s o used to bond synthet ic rubber to m e t a l s and plastics.

    In t h e case o f metal-to-metal bond, t n e cement has b e e n developed in t h e form of a film or t a p e . I t is merely necessaxy t o place th is t a p e between t h e parts to >e bonded toge ther and apply hea t a n d pressure.

    Tests of stremgth show n o t on ly t h a t the bond is stronger than -the riveted or

    welded joint, b u t that; the wood or metal g ive way before the Cycleweld Sieam.

    T h e process o f bonding m e t a l to naetal lends itself particularly to the production of l ight sheet alloy parts such as small parts made from aluminum o r magn-s ium.

    Stat ic Eliminator

    Spectacular, too, w a s the static elimina-tor developed by Goodyear through their interest in blimps and other air-craft and proper radio reception. The demonstration given to t f ie press repre-sentatives consisted of impinging apon the antenna of a conventional radio re-ceiver a spark from a co i l wich gave stat ic currents several thousand times as powerful a s the normal radio signal. The resulting stat ic was deafening. When the eliminator was connected, however, the distortion caused by the spark was barely audible. T h e details are again voider secrecy, b u t the allowable information was as follows:

    T h e neutralizer makes use of ssmail electronic tubes in such a way that "they are automatically adjusted to each zradio signal, whether weak or strong. T h e y serve to discriminate between stat ic and the desired signal and automatically con-trol the a m o u n t of s ta t i c energy \*rhich can pass through the radio.

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  • A detect ion control circuit eliminates s tat ic which is louder than the incoming signal, even in cases where the static is s o loud aa to obliterate t h e incoming signal entirely under ordinary circumstances.

    I n tests a t the Goodyear company, the device eliminated extreme static of high recurrent pulse frequency such as that caused by t h e ignition system of an air-plane engine or an electric razor.

    I n one tes t , a 25,000 volt spark from the ignition s y s t e m of an engine was pro-jected directly upon the antenna of a re-ceiving set. The neutralizer eliminated this so effectively that it was possible t o tune in a short-wave radio program from Europe.

    I n addition; the neutralizer also gets rid of s ta t i c that is on the same frequency as the incoming signal. This is done b y means of a circuit which uses the energy of t h e static t o build up an electronic cur-rent of opposite electrical sign. This cur-rent then neutralizes the static so that i t has no effect upon the signal.

    T h e device is expected to improve the performance of radar and find immediate application b y the armed forces in fighter planes, warships, and tanks.

    Supersonic Tire Tester T h e other device to come from Good-

    year physics research was the supersonic tire tester. This was developed t o sup-plement x-rays in the inspection of tires for retreading. Often tires have ply sepa-rations and a short t ime after retreading the tire fails, causing a waste of rubber. X-rays ? because of their nature, do not reveal such defects .

    I n operation of the supersonic device the tire is hung o n two rollers in such a w a y tha t the bottom portion of the tire passes through a shallow tank of water. Sound waves of supersonic frequency are generated in this tank of water b y the vibration of a nickel rod. This rod is

    Dr. L. B. Sebrell, manager of research and new products, was deluged with ques-tions at the dedication press conference.

    set in vibration by means of a high fre-quency electric current which passes through a coil of wire surrounding the rod.

    The vibrations so generated are picked up b y a microphone which is mounted so as t o be a lways inside the portion of the tire which is immersed in the water. The microphone in turn operates a relay box equipped with a red and green light.

    A s long as the tire is solid, the super-sonic vibrations pass through with full intensity to the microphone and the green light stays lit. However, if there is separation in the tire, the supersonic waves do not pass through with full in-tensity as they are reflected back b y the air gap. This causes the green light to be extinguished and the red light to glow. In this way the operator of the machine is able to determine whether or not the tire is suitable for retreading and in ad-dition knows the location of the defect.

    Plastic Foam Plastic Foam is Goodyear'"s wartime

    replacement for Airfoam, spoage rubber insulator widely used by thie aircraft manufacturers a s a wing filler. The shortage of natural latex maJces i t im-possible to continue t h e irtanufacture of the sponge rubber and a subst i tute has been worked out by t b e Goodyear chem-ists.

    The production steps i n making the resins are a s follows: the resin, a urea formaldehyde, i s mixed with a foaming agent, a condensing agen-t, and water. The mixture passes to a, reactor, or foaming unit, where it is frothed, presum-ably b y mixing and air incorporation. The frothy mixture i s then s e t by heat and dried i n a further operation by high-frequency radio drying. Tl ie Plastic Foam is then c u t into blocks ajnd, where greater rigidity i s needed, imtpregnated. Alone the Plastic Foam is not very strong. Reinforced with fabric the plain type product is sufficiently strong for handling, but i s somewhat susceptible t o shock. The resilience o f t l ie impreg-nated type is increased and fragility de-creased by adding a flexible substance.

    Plastic Foam i s now beixig -turned out i n limited quantities for Arnxy airplane insulation. It i s highly resistant t o the transfer of heat and i s in addition non-flammable and waterproof. It weighs 0.65 pound per cubic foot and is l ighter than balsa, Airfoam, o r any other known insulation.


    The new Goodyear rubber substitute, Plioflex, owes i t s importance -to the fact that i t can be vulcanized lilce rubber-I n this respect i t thereby becomes su-perior to many o f the plastics now used i n rubber replacement. Most of the plastic rubber substitutes are thermo-

    i e f f . G i lber t J. C- Andresin demonstrates the static eliminator Right. Goodyear's supersonic t i re tester is demonstrated by W . E. developed as an a id to airplane radio reception. I t has possi- Morris of the research laboratory. This device, supplementing x-rays and bilities in improving radar and radio transmission of pictures, visual inspection, wil l determine t h e suitability of a tire for retreading.

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  • Goodyear's home of the future. Postwar may see homes such as shown here, produced by assembly line methods. Less than 2 tons, they may easily be loaded on trucks or fiat cars. The sides, for moving, will b e telescoped to the interior, makins a packas
  • rings for heavy Army tanks. The com-pany subsidiary, Goodyear Aircraft Corp., which manages "the air activities now em-ploys about 31,000 persons. It produces in addition to t b e Corsair: wings and tail surfaces for medium bombers; tail surfaces for torpedo planes; outer-wing panels; floats and flight decks for flying boats; wings and tail surfaces for pursuit ships and scout bombers; U-boat-hunting K-ships; blimps for coastal patrol; and many other aircraft products vital to the needs of a nation at war.

    Well known t o the chemical fraternity are Pliofilm, Airf oam, Pliolite, Chemigum, and Captaxall products of Goodyear chemical interests.

    Captax was developed in 1920 by L. B. Sebrell, present manager of the Research and N e w Products Division.

    Early in the present century, there was a widespread search for rubber accelerators t o speed the rate of vulcanization. One of the most successful to come into use was a heterogeneous mixture made by distilling thiocarbanilide, aniline, and sulfur. No one knew the exact chemical composition. Sebrell succeeded in breaking this mixture down into i t s component parts and isolat-ing the active ingredient, which was mer-captobenzothiazole or Captax as Goodyear markets it.

    Goodyear has made, used, and sold as much a s 10,000,000 pounds of Captax in one year.

    Pliolite i s made by reacting rubber with t in chloride or chlorostannic acid. Used originally a s a cement for joining rubber to metal, its uses were subsequently extended t o the making o f a satisfactory corrosion-resistant coating for metal. It is used too for the insulation of -wire and the coating of paper, as i t renders paper moisture-proof and heat-sealing, and in the manu-facture of bullet-sealing fuel tanks.

    Pliofilm Packaged Motors Pliofilm is a transparent film which

    found peacetime outlets in the packaging of food and other products. A dramatic use today is in the packaging of aircraft engines. Formerly these engines were covered with grease t o prevent corrosion, and i t took from 50 to 75 man-hours of work t o grease a n engine for shipment and then t o degrease it after it reached its destination.

    Today only a light coating of oil is used and t h e engine i s packed in a bag of Plio-film. An engine can be put into service almost as quickly as i t is removed from the bag.

    In t h e synthetic rubber field Goodyear is operating i t s own plant at Akron in making a n oil-resistant rubber, Chemigum. In addition, i t will operate for the Rubber Reserve Company, government-owned plants in Akron, California, Texas, and Canada.

    Laboratory Detai ls The new laboratory contains the latest

    and m o s t powerful instriunents available

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    for research, in rubber, synthetic rubber, plastics, aircraft, and allied fields.

    A wide flight of stone steps leads to the central entrance which is in the clock tower. Along the edges of the tower and the other walls, there is a series of stone symbols taken from ancient alchemy.

    The structure is in the form of a "U", the front section being 225 feet long and 50 feet wide. Architecturally this front section is divided into two sections by the central clock tower.

    The arms of the "U" extend backward, one arm. being 140 feet long and 72 feet wide, and the other 200 feet long and 72 feet wide. There is a total of 74,000 square feet, of floor space, distributed on three floors.

    The farther end of the longer arm of the " U " constitutes a single room three stories high. This room is 6 0 feet long and 72 feet wide and can be used for large-scale equipment or pilot plants.

    On t h e ground floor are five large labo-ratories suitable for heavy machinery. These, for the present, will be used for studies of rubber processing, plastics processing, film casting, and allied tests. This floor also contains a machine and workshop, a room for building services, and a series of smaller rooms that can be used flexibly as shops or laboratories.

    Managerial executives are provided with a suite of eleven offices on the sec-ond floor. There is also a conference room opening from the manager's office, and rooms for stenographic and clerical work. A group of laboratories devoted t o physics, x-ray studies, and micro-scopic research are located on this floor.

    A dozen laboratories devoted to ana-lytical and organic chemistry, including one bombproof laboratory, are on the third floor which also contains the library.

    The equipment of the various labora-tories includes many of the latest research instruments available. Among them are an RCA electron microscope and a Bausch and Lomb analytical spectro-graph. The Goodyear chemists are con-structing their own infrared spectrometer.

    Other devices include x-ray machines of various types, optical microscopes, and the vast array of apparatus needed for physical and chemical investigations, including implements for microanalysis and electrochemographs.

    Dedication ceremonies lasted three days, the last two being given over to four symposia. Speakers at the first session on synthetic rubber were : Dr. Per K. Frolich, A. C. S. president and director of the Chemical Division, Standard Oil Co. of N . J.; Dr. N. A. Shepardr chemical director, American Cyanamid Corp.; Dr. L . B. Sebrell, manager, Re-search and New Products, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

    The second symposium covered plas-tics. Speakers were: Dr . T. S. Carswell, research director, Monsanto Plastics Co.; D r . D . S. Frederick, Rohm and Haas; and D r . A. M. Howald, Research Division, Plaskon Division, Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co.

    Wednesday morning, June 23, was given over to a symposium on the Present and Future of the Chemical Industry. Speakers were: Mr. Leland I . Doan, vice president in charge of sales, D o w Chemical Co . ; Dr. E. R. Weidlein, Director, Mellon Institute; Dr . G. P. Hoff, technical director. Nylon Division, du Pont Co.

    The concluding session covered the Present and Future of Transportation. Speakers were: Dr. Jerome C. Hunsaker, National Chairman, Advisory Committee

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    for Aeronautics; Dr. A. B. Culbertson, manager, Product Application Dept., Shell Oil Corp.; and .Mr.,P. W. Litch-field, Chairman of the Board, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

    Right. The combination living-dining room of the house of the future. Kitchen is in the rear. Below. O n e

    of the bedrooms.

    Goodyear Dedicates Research LaboratoryCycleweld ProcessStatic EliminatorSupersonic Tire TesterPlastic FoamPlioflexVersatile GoodyearPliofilm Packaged MotorsLaboratory Details