Student research improves properties of rubber

August 22, 2000

Virginia Tech research has produced a new family of polydienes, which are components of many rubber products.

The process for creating the material will be presented at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C. August 20-24.

Graduate student David T. Williamson of Stafford, Va., has shown that the material has the highest molecular weights ever reported in the literature," explains chemistry professor Tim Long. "The result is improved thermal and mechanical properties, which translates into better performance.

"The goal is to make rubbery materials with better physical properties -- that stretches better, resists light better, and can withstand higher heat," says Long.

He reports that the new material also has unique optical disk and optical fiber applications because of its high refractive index.
The paper, "Synthesis and catalytic hydrogenation of poly (1,3-cyclohexadiene) star-shaped polymers (POLY 220)," was written by Williamson, undergraduate student Ksenia P. Brazhnik of Blacksburg, Va., James F. Elman of Eastman Kodak Company, graduate student Anthony J. Pasquale of Bloomington-Normal, Ill., and Long. It will be presented at 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, in the JW Marriott Hotel Capitol Salon E as part of the symposium on Macromolecular Synthesis by Selective Chemical Modification.

The research is funded by the Shell Chemical Co. and by the ACS-administered Petroleum Research Fund.

Learn more about Virginia Tech chemistry research at Specific information is available under the faculty member's name.

PR Contact: Susan Trulove

Virginia Tech

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