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Long development journey pays off for Tweel, Michelin
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AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the ...
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AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel. AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel. $AKRON—For the record, Michelin's Steve Cron isn't a big fan of the name given to the product that has defined much of his 30-year career in the tire industry. That product is the Tweel, the tire maker's easily recognizable product that combines a non-pneumatic tire with a polyurethane spoked wheel.
Evonik opens tire silicas plant in South Carolina
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry.The $120 million investment comes in...
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry. GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry. $GOOSE CREEK, S.C.—Evonik Industries has inaugurated a precipitated silica plant in South Carolina, aimed at better serving the U.S. tire industry.
Old Dana taps the fountain of youth
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MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. Dana Inc. has made two key...
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MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future. $MAUMEE, Ohio—With little fanfare this year, one of the global auto industry's oldest suppliers began repositioning itself for a business of the future.
Kent Elastomer to expand headquarters
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KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products Inc. is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force.The firm broke ground on an extension to the office area of its Kent facility,...
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KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force. KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force. $KENT, Ohio—Kent Elastomer Products is expanding its headquarters to accommodate its growing work force.
Private equity firm KKR set to acquire Minnesota Rubber & Plastics
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MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion L.L.C., which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR & Co. L.P. Terms of the...
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MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR. MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR. $ MINNEAPOLIS—Norwest Equity Partners has agreed to sell Quadion, which does business as Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, to global investment firm KKR.
Video: Miller calls Louisville Rubber Division meeting a success LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—This week's ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference has been a success on all levels, according to Executive Director Ed Miller.
Video: Chair Jerry McCall holds court during International Elastomer Conference LOUISVILLE, Ky.—For every chair of the ACS Rubber Division, all the years of moving up through the ranks culminates by playing host during the fall International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—For every chair of the ACS Rubber Division, all the years of moving up through the ranks culminates by playing host during the fall International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—For every chair of the ACS Rubber Division, all the years of moving up through the ranks culminates by playing host during the fall International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo.
University of Akron professor emeritus to receive 2019 Charles Goodyear Medal
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A professor emeritus at the University of Akron will be the next recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the ACS Rubber Division. Roderic Quirk,...
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Roderic Quirk, a professor emeritus at the University of Akron, will be the next recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the ACS Rubber Division. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Roderic Quirk, a professor emeritus at the University of Akron, will be the next recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the ACS Rubber Division. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Roderic Quirk, a professor emeritus at the University of Akron, will be the next recipient of the Charles Goodyear Medal, the highest honor given by the ACS Rubber Division.
Video: Auto industry, global population are driving elastomer industry innovation
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Techniques such as high-throughput catalyst research, enhanced analytical science and 3D imaging are accelerating innovation in the elastomer industry, according to the...
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LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Techniques such as high-throughput catalyst research, enhanced analytical science and 3D imaging are accelerating innovation in the elastomer industry, according to the keynote speaker at the International Elastomer Conference in Louisville. LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Techniques such as high-throughput catalyst research, enhanced analytical science and 3D imaging are accelerating innovation in the elastomer industry, according to the keynote speaker at the International Elastomer Conference in Louisville. $LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Techniques such as high-throughput catalyst research, enhanced analytical science and 3D imaging are accelerating innovation in the elastomer industry, according to the keynote speaker at the International Elastomer Conference in Louisville.
Video: Keynoter Schattenmann talks innovations in polymer development Florian Schattenmann, vice president of performance materials & coatings R&D at Dow Chemical Co., delivered the keynote address at the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference in Louisville Oct. 9. Schattenmann spoke of the innovations in polymer development at Dow that were dictated by the needs of auto makers and a growing world population. Florian Schattenmann, vice president of performance materials & coatings R&D at Dow Chemical Co., delivered the keynote address at the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference in Louisville Oct. 9. Schattenmann spoke of the innovations in polymer development at Dow that were dictated by the needs of auto makers and a growing world population. $Florian Schattenmann, vice president of performance materials & coatings R&D at Dow Chemical Co., delivered the keynote address at the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference in Louisville Oct. 9. Schattenmann spoke of the innovations in polymer development at Dow that were dictated by the needs of auto makers and a growing world population.
Digital Edition
Digital Edition
Published on July 11, 2018

Wacky World of Rubber: Hollywood gives tires no respect!

"First Reformed" is the most critically praised movie of the summer. In one of its most striking scenes, stars Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, playing radical environmentalists, have an out-of-body experience in which they fly over the horrible pollution of the world, including acres and acres and acres of ugly, noisome scrap tires.

This is the problem tires face as far as Hollywood is concerned. Sure, we've all heard them roaring and screeching through thousands of movies. They are prominent in every car chase movie—"Bullitt," "Baby Driver," the whole "Fast and the Furious" franchise.

They are an integral part of every auto racing movie—"Grand Prix," "Les Mans," "Rush," "Days of Thunder," even "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." James Bond would be nowhere without the custom Dunlops on his Aston Martin. Same with Keanu Reeves and the bus tires in "Speed," or Michael J. Fox and the time-traveling DeLorean's tires in "Back to the Future." War epics set during World War II and beyond? You name the movie—those military trucks keep rolling along.

Some lovable vehicular cartoon characters—Lightning McQueen and pals in "Cars," Benny the Cab in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"—are pneumatically attired throughout their adventures. Tires also play an important role in the occasional heist movie ("The Italian Job," both the Michael Caine and Mark Wahlberg versions) and romantic comedy ("Two for the Road," with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney as a couple bickering through successive car trips in France).

But there's a hitch, and it's the same hitch tires have everywhere else. Viewers pay attention to the cars, not the tires. If a tire could be a movie star, it would be Rodney Dangerfield. Sure, there are tire executives and retailers who are dying to know what kind of tires Ryan Gosling is using to flee from his enemies in "Drive." However, if they dare to yell "Michelin!" or "Pirelli!" they're lucky if the people sitting next to them merely move to the next row, as opposed to running to the manager.

No, when Sean Connery triggers the ejector seat or Steve McQueen sends his Mustang flying over the hills of San Francisco, the last thing moviegoers are thinking is whether those tires are Goodyears or Bridgestones. The only times they notice tires are in movies like "A Christmas Story," in which Darren McGavin gets a flat and Peter Billingsley says, "Oh fudge," except of course he doesn't really say, "fudge."

Otherwise, environmentally minded Hollywood movie makers tend to portray tires as eyesores—acres and acres and acres of eyesores. In one movie—Quentin Dupieux's "Rubber"—a scrap tire is a serial killer. (Trust me, it is much less interesting than it sounds.)

Have tire companies' ad and marketing departments done a great job in stressing the safety, excitement and outstanding value of tires? Of course they have. But tires deserve a little something more—they deserve to be movie heroes in their own right. When Christian Bale roars through Gotham in his Batmobile, we should all realize that Batman has four round, black, polymeric co-pilots, more reliable than Robin will ever be.

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