Printer Friendly

IRSHF honors those who have left their mark on the industry.

IRSHF honors those who have left their mark on the industry

The International Rubber Science Hall of Fame recently began its third decade as an institution at The University of Akron. Founded in 1958, the hall (familiarly known as the IRSHF) cannot claim so long a life as Rubber World. However, those persons who guide its activities are justifiably proud of the contribution the hall makes to the scientific community, in providing an effective mechanism for honoring past (deceased) investors and scientists for their important contributions to rubber science. Traditionally, a hall program consists of a scientific symposium, on a topic relating to the chosen candidate's field of endeavor, and a dinner-induction ceremony. Both functions are held on the university campus in the late fall of the year, this year's program, for example, being scheduled November 10.

Rubber World's role is primarily that of communicating with its readership. In its own way, the IRSHF, too, is involved in "communicating" with the rubber science community. Those persons involved in the hall's activities take the task of communicating seriously, as exemplified by the recent publication of a book, entitled "Vignettes from the International Rubber Science Hall of Fame (1958-1988): 36 Major Contributors to Rubber Science." Edited by this writer and published jointly by the Institute of Polymer Science of The University of Akron and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, the book takes for its text biographical material about the lives and works of the hall's members.

Because the IRSHF is so worth-while an endeavor, we would like to believe that it is well-known to everyone in the rubber field. That is not the case, of course, and, for that reason, a moment will be taken here to record some facts about its beginnings, how it functions, etc. The International Rubber Science Hall of Fame came into being on October 3, 1958. It is now housed in Whitby Hall on the University of Akron campus, with more appropriate quarters for it becoming available in 1990, when the university's new polymer science building is completed.

A six-member selection committee was established as the body responsible for determining the suitability of any particular inventors or scientists for candidacy. For most of the hall's 30 years, the Institute of Polymer Science of The University of Akron and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society have worked cooperatively in planning and staging the annual induction activities, and the selection committee has been composed of three representatives from each of the organizations. In addition to a chairman (mentioned later), the present committee members are: James D. D'Ianni, Richard Bauman, and Aubert Coran (Rubber Division, ACS); and Alan N. Gent and Maurice Morton (The University of Akron). Chairing the committee during the hall's first 20 years (1958-1978) was Professor Maurice Morton, who played a major role in its founding and was an important participant in the inaugural ceremony. Understandably, as a professor of rubber chemistry at The University of Akron and as Director of its Institute of Polymer Science, he was deeply involved in the planning for and presentation of the broader event that recognized 50 years of teaching of rubber chemistry at the university.

In 1978, Morton was succeeded as committee chairman by Professor Frank N. Kelley, who was also appointed in that year to succeed Morton as Director of the Institute of Polymer Science. Kelley has continued to serve as the committee chairman to the present time.

The criteria for selection of candidates for membership in the hall were established at the time of its founding. They are:

* Selection would be limited to those who made a substantial contribution to the understanding of rubberlike materials or who were responsible for an outstanding invention; and

* Only past (deceased) contributors would be eligible.

The initial IRSHF ceremony in 1958 honored four scientists and an inventor, who represented the United States, England, France, Germany and Russia. It can quickly be seen that the hall immediately took on the international tone reflected in its name. In no year since has so large a group of inventors or scientists been inducted on a single occasion; however, in a few instances, two scientists or inventors have been inducted simultaneously.

The fiftieth anniversary program was lengthy, the IRSHF induction ceremony representing only a very minor part. Included, for example, were a convocation, scientific lectures and a banquet. As a consequence, the time allotted for the hall ceremony was extremely brief. For that reason, only citations for the first five members were prepared for presentation at the unveiling of the portraits. Therefore, biographies of the first members were not prepared. In 1959, when the IRSHF had the entire stage to itself, as it were, the practice was inaugurated of having selected biographers-scientists research and write material for presentation at the induction ceremonies. G. Stafford Whitby, later (1972) himself deemed worthy of nomination to membership in the hall, was the biographer for the first several candidates. Such is the stature of those scientists who have contributed to the collection The following lists the hall's members.


Henri Bouasse (1866-1953), French physicist, noted for his outstanding theoretical and experimental studies of the physics of rubber elasticity, and whose work, in 1903-04, laid the basis for modern rubber physics.

Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), American inventor, who made possible the commercial utilization of rubber by his discovery of sulfur vulcanization in 1839, and who developed many new applications for rubber in commerce and industry.

Ivan I. Ostromislensky (1880-1939), Russian-born chemist, noted for his pioneering work in polymerization and synthetic rubber, for his synthesis of butadiene from alcohol, and for his discovery of non-sulfur vulcanizing agents.

Carl O. Weber (1860-1905), German-born chemist, who was the first to carry out a scientific study of vulcanization and of the chemistry of rubber in general, and whose book, "The Chemistry of India Rubber," in 1902, was a landmark in the scientific progress in the field.

C. Greville Williams (1829-1910), English chemist, who, in 1860, carried out a precise analysis of rubber and its decomposition products, during the course of which he discovered and named a new compound "isoprene" and recognized it as the basic unit of rubber and gutta-percha.


Thomas Hancock (1786-1865) (English), manufacturer and inventor, who, because of the important part he played in the establishment of rubber manufacturing, has justly been called the "Father of the Rubber Industry"; who, in the earliest days of the industry, contributed machines and techniques required for the successful fabrication of rubber goods; and who, thanks to his enterprise, energy, and ingenuity, greatly extended the range and variety of manufactured rubber articles.


Henry Nicholas Ridley (1855-1956) (English), botanist, who was the director of Gardens and Forests, Straits Settlements, 1888-1911; who developed effective procedures for extracting latex from Hevea trees, who thus and in other ways contributed more than any other single man to the establishment of the rubber-growing industry, and hence contributed to the rapid development in the early years of this century of rubber manufacturing and the automobile.


Carl Dietrich Harries (1866-1923) (German), provided, by ozonolysis, the first and still the most direct and clear-cut proof of the basic chemical structure of the rubber hydrocarbon; he contributed as well to the early development of synthetic rubber by work on the production of the necessary dienes, their polymerization and the structure of the polymeric products.


Giuseppi Bruni (1873-1946), Italian chemist, for important contributions to the early discovery and development of organic accelerators, including (1) the use of zinc and other metallic salts of disubstituted dithiocarbamic acids; (2) the use of tetrasubstituted thiuram disulfides for "sulfurless" curing; (3) the use of mercaptobenzothiazole as an accelerator; and for other significant contributions to rubber chemistry.


Wallace Hume Carothers (1896-1937), American scientist, whose brilliant fundamental researches on polymers and polymerization had a profound influence on subsequent development of this field; a pioneer whose own efforts resulted in the discovery of Neoprene, the first commercially produced synthetic rubber, and of nylon, the first completely synthetic fiber.


Sir William A. Tilden (1842-1926) (English), a pioneer in the study of the chemistry of the terpenes and a key figure in the history of synthetic polyisoprene (an acrylic polyterpene), he for the first time prepared isoprene from sources (monocyclic terpenes) other than rubber and showed it to be convertible, by the application of suitable reagents or, spontaneously, on storage, to a vulcanizable rubberlike solid.


Johan Rudolph Katz (1880-1938) (Dutch), discoverer of the fact that if rubber is stretched it gives a diffraction pattern when a beam of x-rays is passed through it, thus disclosing a partial alignment of its long molecules into a crystalline lattice. Few if any other discoveries have been of such fundamental importance in explaining the characteristic behavior of rubber and in elucidating the molecular structure of rubberlike materials, including the recent stereospecific polymers.


Hermann Staudinger (1881-1965) (German), who first clearly formulated the idea, of fundamental importance to the development of rubber science, the rubber is composed of macromolecules in which the recurring units are combined by primary valences; and whose work on rubber played a significant part in the founding by him of macromolecular chemistry as a distinctive, vast field of chemistry.


Peter J. W. Debye (1884-1966), American, who, with a rich background of successful work by him on the properties of matter and the structure of molecules, made, in his later career, important contributions to the understanding of the molecules of synthetic rubber and of polymers generally, including the determination by light-scattering of chain dimensions, molecular weight and intermolecular forces.


Ernest Harold Farmer (1890-1952) (English), who, after 20 years of significant research on unsaturated, organic compounds, devoted his remaining years to studying the unsaturated, macromolecular substance, rubber, and thereby provided the basis for the fruitful, modern study of its chemical behavior, in particular, by showing the importance of alpha-methylenic reactivity in the oxidation and vulcanization of rubber, and by using in his studies simple, model compounds in place of rubber itself.


Kurt Otto Hans Meyer (1883-1952), German teacher and scientist, who besides making many other contributions to chemistry, especially in the realm of natural products, was among the first to recognize, describe, and confirm experimentally that the principal origin of retractive forces in rubberlike materials is the improbability of extended configurations in thermally-agitated, long flexible molecules. This entropic mechanism of rubberlike elasticity is now generally accepted.

Werner Kuhn (1899-1963), Swiss teacher and scientist, who among many other achievements in physical chemistry, first applied statistical considerations to the properties of macromolecules, and successfully accounted in this way for the elasticity and stress-induced double refraction of rubberlike materials. Statistical methods have since been of paramount importance in the theoretical treatment of the structure, reactions and properties of macromolecular substances.


Melvin Mooney (1893-1968), American industrial scientist who, among other contributions to rubber physics, first proposed a general two-parameter strain energy function to account for the elastic behavior under large deformations. He also developed the Mooney shearing disk viscometer, which is now almost universally employed to characterize the flow properties of unvulcanized rubbers.


George Stafford Whitby (1887-1972), English by birth and American by adoption, who, as teacher, scientist and administrator, introduced the science of chemistry into the growing and utilization of plantation rubber, with special emphasis on the development of organic accelerators of vulcanization; and whose accomplishments in synthetic rubber range from his early pioneering studies of polymerization to his development of the efficient perozamine initiators for modern emulsion polymerization of synthetic elastomers.


Charles Dufraisse (1885-1969), French scientist and educator who, in the course of a prolific research career on the synthesis and structure of organic compounds, carried out extensive pioneering investigations on the action of atmospheric oxygen on rubber, and on the catalytic effects of antioxidants in the production of rubber from deterioration.


Robert William Thomson (1822-1873), Scottish engineer and inventor, who first conceived and reduced to practice the idea of the pneumatic tire as an "Aerial Wheel" encased in rubber, as evidenced by the patent awarded to him in 1845.

John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), Scottish veterinarian and inventor who, apparently independently, conceived, reduced to practice and introduced into commerce, the pneumatic tire for use on the wheels of bicycles, carriages, and eventually automobiles, as evidenced by the patent awarded to him in 1888.


Arthur Victor Tobolsky, American scientist, scholar and teacher, who demonstrated the power of stress relaxation experiments to elucidate chemical changes in rubber networks, and who explored the far reaches of polymer chemistry and physics, particularly polymerization and the equation of state for rubber elasticity.


Misazo Yamamoto (1928-1974), Japanese scientist and educator, who, in the course of a short but prolific research career in the field of rheology and statistical mechanics of high polymers and biological substances, carried out extensive pioneering investigations on the phenomenological theory of viscoelasticity of three-dimensional bodies.


Walter Bock (1895-1948), German chemist who discovered peroxy compounds to be effective initiators in the polymerization of conjugated diolefins, and who developed butadienestyrene copolymer by emulsion polymerization as a synthetic rubber. He identified this copolymer as being especially useful for tire application because of its superiority to natural rubber in its abrasion properties.


Clifford Graham Moore (1924-1968), English chemist, who devoted his scientific career to the study of the chemistry of vulcanization, who conceived and helped to construct the first well-substantiated quantitative relationship between chemical crosslinks and elastic properties, and who realized its use, in combination with chemical reagents, to obtain an almost complete understanding of the course of sulphur vulcanization and of the network structures so resulting.


Joseph Cecil Patrick (1892-1965), American scientist and pioneer in synthetic rubber, who discovered the synthesis of the polysulfide elastomer, the first non-hydrocarbon synthetic elastomer; who devised the first method for suspension polymerization, techniques for vulcanizing, and chemically plasticizing polysulfide polymers; and who, in the course of his research on cleavage and reformation of disulfide linkages, produced the first liquid rubber.


George Oenslager (1873-1956), American scientist who discovered the use of organic accelerators that substantially reduced the cure time of natural rubber and obtained good physical properties from mixtures containing low grade rubbers in commercial tire treads; who showed that zinc oxide is essential to activate most organic accelerators; who pioneered the use of reinforcing carbon blacks in tire treads; and who introduced masterbatches to the rubber industry.


Karl Ziegler (1898-1973), German scientist, teacher, director of the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research at Mulheim/Ruhr, Germany, pioneer in the field of organic metallic chemistry, who discovered new catalyst systems formed from transition metal compounds and organometallics, which catalyze the polymerization of olefins and diolefins to new thermoplastic and elastomeric products. Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1963.

Giulio Natta (1903-1979), Italian scientist, Emeritus Professor at the Politecnico-Milano, whose discoveries on the synthesis of steroregular polymers from olefins and diolefins marked a revolution in macromolecular chemistry. The polymer structure regularity was formerly a characteristic of natural products only. The plastics, fibers and rubbers he studied are nowadays produced in many countries on a large scale. In his discoveries he found support and cooperation in Montedison, the leading Italian chemical company. He was co-winner with Karl Ziegler of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In the laudation for him it was given that "his discoveries got to a series of developments which led to nature losing one of its monopolies."


Sidney Charles Mote (1867-1944), English scientist, who led a team which, in about 1904, examined the effect of numerous compounding ingredients, and discovered the outstanding physical properties which were imparted to rubber by substantial amounts of carbon black. This discovery, combined with the development of cord reinforcement at Silvertown, led the way to the production of cord tires as known ever since. Prior to his discovery, tires had a shor and unsatisfactory life.

William Bryan Wiegand (1889-1976), American scientist, who was undoubtedly the first scientist to propose a mechanism for the remarkable effect of fine fillers, such as carbon black, in toughening and reinforcing strength of rubber vulcanizates, and whose concept of stored energy laid the basis for future research in this field.


William Draper Harkins (1873-1951), American chemist, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago who, towards the close of a pioneering and productive research career in the physical chemistry of surfaces and in the structure and reactions of atomic nuclei, rose to his country's wartime needs to pioneer the study of the mechanism of emulsion polymerization of synthetic rubber and of the related structure and equilibria of micelles.


Paul John Flory (1910-1985), American chemist, truly the "founder of polymer science," who, in his wide-ranging investigations, both theoretical and experimental, laid the foundation for the science of macromolecules, including major contributions to the theory of rubber elasticity.


Leslie Ronald George Treloar (1906-1985), British physicist and educator, who carried out the first general studies of the elastic deformation and swelling equilibrium of rubber, clarifying in this way the mechanical, thermodynamic and optical properties, and stimulated generations of students with his masterly review: "The Physics of Rubber Elasticity."


Edward M. Bevilacqua (1920-1968), American polymer scientist, who elucidated the thermal oxidative degradation mechanism of natural rubber by combining measurement of oxygen absorption, stress relaxation, swelling, and isolation of oxidation products. Bevilacqua served as editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology from 1965 until his death.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Lippincott & Peto, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Rubber World 100th anniversary; International Rubber Science Hall of Fame
Author:Zimmerman, Barbara Nute
Publication:Rubber World
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Previous Article:Rubber education: a short history, a long future.
Next Article:Associations, societies push rubber industry progress.

Related Articles
RW's evolution mirrored industry's needs.
Rubber education: a short history, a long future.
Associations, societies push rubber industry progress.
Hall of Fame selects Studebaker.
Rubber Division presents awards.
Rubber Products.
People in the News.
People in the News.
IISRP presents 2002 general awards. (Meeting).
Schremp and Graves to receive IISRP awards.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |