*** Please note, each row and course# listed below is a separate, complete course. ***

Essentials of Rubber Science & Technology

Course# Date Time Location
159-1233 08/01/2024 - 08/22/2024 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
159-1234 11/28/2024 - 12/19/2024 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
159-1235 05/05/2025 - 05/26/2025 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
159-1236 08/01/2025 - 08/22/2025 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
159-1237 11/28/2025 - 12/19/2025 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
Cost: $1,800 USD
CEU's: 2.4
Instructor: Joseph Walker

Course Overview

PLEASE NOTE: This course is comprised of 4 consecutive one-day-a-week sessions. Each course series will run from 8:30am - 4:00pm, with each meeting on the same day-of-week as the start date.

This course provides the attendee with essential information in rubber science and technology. The course is designed to provide a practical understanding of polymer science and the various rubber polymers. Discussions on where the rubber polymers come from and how they are made and how their architecture determines they basic characteristics. Basic design elements that make rubber a unique engineering material is also presented. Formulation of rubber compounds will be presented by looking into the major constituents of a rubber compound. This topic begins with understanding the importance of the function of the final rubber article and the method that will be used to manufacture it. Construction of the rubber compound follows by way of looking at the compounding ingredients; anti-degradants; fillers; plasticizers, curing agents and processing aids (plasticizers). We will discuss the mixing of the compound with the aim of measuring consistency between batches. Testing of the rubber compound will include in-process testing and then final characteristics with review of appropriate ASTM methods. In depth review of critical measurement techniques such as cure meters and mechanical testing is included. We will discuss longevity tests such as compression stress relaxation. Fabrication discussions surrounding molding and extrusions essentials and how to establish these production methods to give the maximum performance repeatability from the final rubber parts. The course will also present materials important to rubber-to-substrate bonding with particular emphasis on metal substrates and surface preparation. Included in the course is subject matter directed toward writing and interpreting rubber specifications. The course is presented for the hands-on individual who deals with rubber engineering, customer interaction and shop floor consistency issues. It is intentionally designed for practical implementation and reference.

Online Course Requirements

We want you to have a great experience participating in our remote (online) courses, and for that, you’ll need the right equipment and internet connection.

Minimum needs are:

  • A broadband internet connection that has at least a 2 Mbps upload and download speed.
  • A computer (PC or Mac) that can support the latest web browser versions.
  • At least 4 GB of RAM and adequate hard drive space.
  • A microphone and a speaker.

For more information, visit our Online Course Requirements webpage.

Instructor Biography:

walkerJoseph Walker is owner and founder of Elastomer Technologies a firm dedicated to training in elastomer materials and process engineering. Over the last 31 years, Walker has conducted training for major organizations and universities. He has also consulted for various customers in the areas of composites, testing, materials and shop-floor problem solving. His focus is a heightened awareness on the science behind rubber technology and improving the overall image of the rubber industry toward one of science-bases decision making through increased educational outreach.

Walker is also the global technology director for materials and laboratories for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies and Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies (FNST). In this position, he is globally responsible for overseeing all advanced materials technology development and management of the FNST/FST laboratories. He is also the regional NAFTA leader for Chemical Regulatory Compliance for FNST. He is located in the Plymouth, MI Corporate R&D headquarters of Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies.

Prior to joining Freudenberg, Walker served as silicone rubber business team leader for Wacker Silicones Corp. There, he was responsible for research, development, and sales and marketing. Previously, he was an engineering fellow for Alliant Techsystems (formally Honeywell Defense and Marine Systems), where he focused on material design, processing and application for various U.S. Department of Defense programs.

Walker also held positions at Stauffer Chemical, Phillips Petroleum and Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. He continues to conduct numerous trainings at various industry workshops, universities and events.

He was the 2012 chairman of the American Chemical Society, Rubber Division; a member of the Rubber Industry Advisory Board for Ferris State University; board member of the Association of Rubber Product Manufacturers and is past-chair and board member of the Detroit Rubber Group. Additionally, he is a member of Society of Automotive Engineers, Society of Plastics Engineers, Original Equipment Suppliers Association, Automotive Industry Action Group, and the Americas Tech Team of the American Chemistry Council.

A graduate of Lawrence Technological University, he holds more than 20 patents and has authored and edited various chapters in text and industry publications. He is celebrating his 42nd year in the rubber industry.

Module 1

  • Introduction to rubber
    • What is rubber
      • Essential polymer science
        • Polar vs. Non-polar
        • Saturated vs. Unsaturated
        • Heat resistance
      • Basic trends/characteristics of rubbers
        • What makes it unique and useful
      • How is rubber different from plastics
      • Where does rubber polymers come from & how are they made
      • How is rubber classified and named

Module 2

  • Characteristics of various rubber polymers
    • Detailed discussions
      • EPDM
      • NBR & HNBR
      • Silicone
      • Fluorocarbon

Module 3

  • Building the compound
    • Voice of the Customer
    • Expectations of field performance
    • Influence of part geometry on compound design
    • Influence of fabrication methods on compound design
    • Fillers
      • Carbon black fillers
        • Manufacturing method
        • Types
        • Selection
      • Non-black fillers
        • Natural
        • Synthetic
        • Selection
      • Anti-degradants
        • Function
        • Types
        • Selection
      • Plasticizers
        • Types
        • Selection
      • Cure Systems
        • Sulfur system differences
          • Semi-EV
          • EV
        • Peroxide systems
          • Type of peroxides
          • Selection

Module 4

  • Mixing
    • Mixer types
    • Setting up a mixing process
      • Batch to Batch Consistency
    • Types of mixing techniques
      • Upside down
      • Right side up
      • Layered mix
    • Influence of mixing parameters on properties

Module 5

  • Testing Rubber
    • Types of rubber testing
      • In-process
      • Batch
    • Most common rubber methods
      • Specific details on variations in
        • Hardness
        • Cure meter
        • State of cure
      • Specifications
        • What is a specification
        • Reading an ASTM D2000 line call-out
        • How to write a rubber specification
        • Robustness

Module 6

  • Fabrication
    • Molding
      • Understanding viscosity and flow
        • Shear rate
        • Temperature effects
      • Types of flow testing
        • Interdependency of flow and polymer architecture
      • Impact of cure system
      • Hot properties
      • Cause & Effect relationship of crosslink density and properties
      • Mold temperature importance
        • How to improve temperature distribution
      • Mold release basics
      • Backrinding
        • Beerbower’s equation
      • Thermal diffusivity
        • Calculating of in-mold cure time
      • Mold filling models & methods
    • Essentials of extrusion
      • Screw design
      • In-line curing
    • Storage life of rubber articles

Module 7

  • Bonding
  • Metal finish
    • Phosphate differences and controls
      • Zinc
      • Iron
    • Bonding to Plastics
      • Heat deflection temperature
      • Surface preparation
    • Selection of adhesives
      • Matching cure rates
      • Testing adhesive strength
    • Handling of treated inserts
    • Storage of treated inserts


If you have any questions or need more information about this course, please contact:

Penelope Pinkston


Online Registration


Registration Form

Registration information: Registration shall remain open until posted as closed on the course listing on this site.

Registrations must be guaranteed by check, a purchase order number or a credit card, otherwise the registration will not be processed. Checks should be made payable to "The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center" and must include a copy of your completed registration form. Course fees are due before attending.

All registrations—whether by online, phone, fax or mail—will be confirmed and considered binding and subject to all cancellation policies. If you do not receive a confirmation prior to the class, please call The Akron Polymer Technology Services Training Center to verify your registration.

Course fee includes classroom instruction, instructional materials, parking permits, continental breakfast, lunch, beverages and refreshment breaks. Travel and hotel accommodations are not included.


Visit our registration webpage to view our cancellation/withdrawal policy.