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

Solving Problems in Rubber Compounding and Processing

Course# Date Time Location
063-1264 06/05/2024 - 06/05/2024 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
063-1265 11/11/2024 - 11/11/2024 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
063-1266 03/18/2025 - 03/18/2025 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
063-1267 06/16/2025 - 06/16/2025 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
063-1268 11/11/2025 - 11/11/2025 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Microsoft Teams
Cost: $1,000 USD
Online Registration
CEU's: 0.8
Instructor: John Dick

Course Overview

This course is crucial for anyone in the rubber compounding field. It provides an in-depth look at processing problems in mixing, extrusion, calendering and molding. Statistics and methodologies for solving factory problems and case studies are covered as well. Participant’s current processing problems can be discussed with the instructor.  The course includes a copy of John Dick's book, How to Improve Rubber Compounds (Hanser Publications).

Course textbook (eBook PDF):

How to Improve Rubber Compounds




How to Improve Rubber Compounds - 2nd Edition (eBook PDF) by John Dick

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.
  • International Students: For virtual (online) courses, an additional fee will be assessed to cover the cost of shipping the professional binder (presentation slides), to your address. The cost of international shipping can be significant.

For more information, visit our Online Course Requirements webpage.

Instructor Biography:

John S. Dick, a senior rubber scientist with Alpha Technologies, has over thirty years of experience in the rubber industry. Mr. Dick has authored over 50 journal and magazine publications and four books on polymer technology. He received the Monsanto Master Technical Service Award in 1994, the ACS Rubber Division Best Paper Award in 1995 and a University of Akron Appreciation Award in 1998 for Teaching Polymer Compounding Courses in their Continuing Education Program. He is a Fellow of ASTM International receiving the Award of Merit in 1990. In addition, he has represented the United States as a delegate to the ISO for the last 20 years. He was appointed in 1992 to be Leader of the U.S. Delegation to ISO TC-45 on Rubber. Mr. Dick teaches rubber technology courses at both University of Akron and University of Wisconsin continuing education departments. He received his B.S. degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1970 and an M.A. from the University of Akron in 1979.


Introduction to Factory Problems

  • Plant receiving area
    • Cold flow
    • Stability of pre-powdered blends


  • Quality of mix
  • Uncured elasticity (nerviness)
  • Viscosity
  • Dispersion
  • Bloom
  • Green strength
  • Tackiness
  • Stickiness
  • Lump-mill bagging
  • Mill back rolling


  • Die swell
  • Extrusion rate
  • Appearance (surface smoothness of extrudate)
  • Shear thinning

Calender Release

  • Blisters
  • Calender release


  • Mold release
  • Mold filling
  • Non-fills
  • Porosity
  • Shrinkage of the cured part
  • Backrinding

Statistics and Methodologies for Solving Factory Problems

  • Basic statistical methods to identify special causes of variation
    • Important principles of Statistical Process Control
    • Random variation vs. special causes
    • Establishing control limits and specification limits
    • Methods to detect special causes of variation

Corrective Actions in the Short Term

  • Develop a SOP for taking corrective actions for short-term problems
  • Develop a strategy for establishing long-term solutions to chronic problems
  • Brainstorming for solutions to problems
  • Cause and effect diagrams

Six Sigma Techniques for Solving Chronic Rubber Factory Problems

  • Methodology
  • Statistical methods
  • Examples of success in the rubber industry

Nature and Techniques for Solving Problems in Rubber and Compounding and Processing

  • Changing one variable at a time techniques for improvement of a rubber compound
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Applying a Design of Experiment
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Interactions
    • Multiple response interactions of compound properties
    • Chemical interactions of compounding ingredients

Case Studies of Rubber Compounding and Processing Problems

Different case studies that include processing and compounding problems will be discussed and reviewed in interactive groups. Then overall discussions will take place to discuss possible solutions and methodologies.

The course textbook, How to Improve Rubber Compounds, will be used throughout the course and during exercises.


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.