Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. (ARDL) has completed the transition of its Mixing and Compounding Department from the former Kenmore Boulevard location to its new home at ARDL’s Barberton Campus. In conjunction with the move, ARDL has also added an extrusion line to its capabilities for lab sample preparation and prototyping.
The Mixing and Compounding Department at ARDL collaborates with customers to develop highly technical rubber compounds through extensive formula review/reconstruction, backed by complete in-house testing services, or by adapting one of the more than 30,000 compounds in the company’s recipe library. Laboratory capabilities include rubber calendering, compound and process development, mixing, compounding, curing, molding, processability testing, Mooney Viscosity, Mooney Scorch, Rheometer testing and troubleshooting. The move took place over the course of a month to limit disruption to current testing. All of the equipment, including the Instrumented Banbury® Lab Mixer, two MonTech MDR and ODR Rheometers, MonTech Mooney Viscometer, a 4-roll inverted-L laboratory calender capable of skim coating fabric and calendering rubber or plastic sheets, multiple compression molding presses, transfer molding press, hand press, curing ovens, freezers, steam cure autoclaves, rubber cutter and chemical inventory were moved, installed and calibrated in ARDL’s newly designated lab area at 75 Robinson Ave. in Barberton. This move is a continuation of activities to compile ARDL’s services under one roof.
Additionally, ARDL’s Mixing and Compounding Department expanded extrusion capabilities with a Davis Standard® 2-inch extruder line including LCM curing, microwave curing and hot air curing equipment. These additional capabilities provide laboratory scale extrusion services to complement molding and processability testing. With this wide range of equipment ARDL can extrude elastomer material according to specified requirements, evaluate processing performance and then evaluate the properties of the extruded material.
ARDL also added a new REP/Tung Yu vertical injection molding machine providing the company with the ability to mimic processing and molding performed at client facilities. The injection molding machine maintains pressure up to 450 tons at temperatures up to 400°F and a shot capacity of 8500 cc. This new capability allows ARDL to provide clients with proven processing techniques and injection molded lab samples for testing using custom or standard molds. ARDL will also be able to provide small-run specialized manufacturing services which are often unavailable from large molding companies.