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The purpose of this paper is to trace the development of chemical testing of synthetic elastomers during recent years and to discuss the present status of these analytical methods. As the synthetic rubber industry expanded rapidly, it became necessary to find chemical as well as physical methods to control the product within specification limits. It was also necessary to provide chemical methods for the identification of synthetic elastomers and for chemical analysis of compounded synthetic stocks. It is only fair to state that even as late as 1942 the available information regarding such chemical methods was negligible. Furthermore, even after this critical initial period, there was disagreement as to what specifications and chemical tests were necessary. It is true that several rubber and petroleum manufacturers had made synthetic elastomers before this time, but no concerted effort to standardize on process or methods of testing was made prior to the inception of the Government synthetic rubber program. The synthetic rubbers—more properly called synthetic elastomers—to be discussed in this paper are, for the most part, the three elastomers known to the industry by Rubber Reserve Co. names of GR-S, GR-M, and GR-I, and the oil-resistant butadiene-acrylonitrile copolymers. GR-S is the large tonnage general purpose elastomer, a copolymer of butadiene and styrene; GR-M is a polymer of 2-chlorbutadiene-1,3 having special uses; GR-I is a nearly saturated copolymer of isobutylene and isoprene, particularly useful for inner tubes. The greater part of this paper will be devoted to GR-S since the cooperative work sponsored by the Rubber Reserve Co. dealt largely with this elastomer with the result that more information is available concerning it than about any of the others.
Tyler, Willard P.
The B. F. Goodrich Co., Akron, Ohio
University of Akron, Akron, Ohio