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Spring Technical Meeting – 2024

April 16 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm



5:00 – Event Ticket / Membership Sales

5:30 – Technical Presentations

7:00 – Social Hour, Hors D’oeuvres, and Student Poster Session


This event will be held at The University of Akron, in the Goodyear Polymer Center.

The Social Hour and Student Poster Session will be held in the 3rd Floor Atrium.

The Technical Sessions will be held in the Goodyear Auditorium.

Advanced Reservations:  $35 each     ***Without prior reservation:  $40 each (limited number available)

FREE to Students, but you must make a reservation in advance.

Email reservations to Denise Kotz at denisekotz@strategicrealm.consulting OR mail to Ohio Rubber Group, PO Box 553, Hudson, OH 44236.

Spring Technical Meeting Reservation Form

Pay in Advance for this meeting!  

Note:  This is now the Preferred Method of Payment!

Please note that although we are using PayPal to make the transaction, you do not need to have a PayPal account.  Simply just enter your Credit Card information.

Click here to pay in advance with PayPal

**Please note that your PayPal receipt will be from ACESS (Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies).  This is correct.


Parking at The University of Akron:  ORG will pay for your parking, but you must follow these instructions:

In advance:  Download the App called “Parking.com”.  Fill out your personal information, car details, and credit card information.  All of this is required, even though the Ohio Rubber Group will pay for your parking.

Day of Event:  Park in ANY parking lot on the Campus.  Do not scan the signs for the lot you are in. Open the “Parking.com” app.  Everyone will use Zone # 93957, regardless of which lot you are in.  Confirm your car details, and select the time needed for the event.  Be sure to apply your validation code:  4100.

Detailed instructions can be found in this Instruction Sheet


Technical Presentations:

“A Supramolecular Voyage on Elastomers

Li Jia, Professor of Polymer Science and Chemistry, The University of Akron

B-Alanine oligomers with a precise length possess an extraordinary propensity to form B-sheets, and the B-sheets stack to form three-dimensional crystals. In this presentation, B-alanine as a highly effective reinforcing element of thermoplastic elastomers will be first discussed. The reinforcement is attributable to the hierarchically assembled supramolecular structure composed of the B-sheet crystal and a brush layer of hydrocarbon polymer covalently connected be the surface of the B-sheet crystal. The morphology of the B-sheet-based supramolecular assembly can be tailored to range from fibrous with the longest dimension on the order of hundreds of nanometers to particulate with all three dimensions within twenty nanometers. The fibrous and particulate assemblies reinforce the elastomer in similar manners and only differ in small details. Application of the supramolecular reinforcement strategy to thermoset rubbers has also been explored and will be discussed. Next, an application of B-alanine additives for recycling of ground rubber particles will be presented. The B-alanine additive engenders surface devulcanization of ground rubber particles (GRPs) and a spatially resolved acceleration of vulcanization of GRP-virgin rubber blends. The combination of such surface activity and reactivity improves the adhesion and eliminates the modulus contrast between GRPs and virgin rubber while keeping the necessary scorch time of vulcanization. The toughness of the resultant GRP-virgin rubber blend is significantly improved by a very small amount of the reactive B-alanine additive.


“Very High Structure Carbon Blacks to Address Challenges in Tire Compound Performance”

Lewis B. Tunnicliffe, Rubber Carbon Black R&D Director, Birla Carbon

One of the fundamental properties of carbon black is its degree of structure. Structure of carbon black plays an important role in controlling many rubber compound properties by screening or occluding significant amounts of rubber matrix. These structure-property relationships will be briefly reviewed along with their implications for rubber compound design. Birla Carbon’s range of very high structure (VHS) carbon blacks will be discussed, and their in-rubber performance in model truck tread formulations will be reviewed with a focus on improved abrasion resistance and hysteresis versus conventional carbon blacks. Benefits in terms of hysteresis and total tire rolling resistance are explored further using finite element analyses of truck tires at steady rolling conditions.


PANEL DISCUSSION “Career Pathways”

Masoud Rasavi, Senior Materials Scientist, Bridgestone Americas

Jacob Spoolstra, Manufacturing Process Engineer, The Kong Company

MD Bhuiyan, Sr. Principal Engineer, Collins Aerospace, Raytheon Technologies

Lewis B. Tunnicliffe, Rubber Carbon Black R&D Director, Birla Carbon

The panel will be focused on Career Pathways.  They will discuss how they ended up in their current roles and the paths they took to get there. There will be tips for the students trying to enter the industry as well as for industry professionals looking to advance or change roles.   The panelists may also touch on some hurdles they’ve faced and how they overcame them.


****Please turn off cell phones during the presentations****


April 16
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Ohio Rubber Group


Goodyear Polymer Center, The University of Akron
170 University Ave.
Akron, OH 44325
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