AKRON—Alan Roberts, known as a leader in fundamental research in rubber physics, particularly contact phenomena, has been named the 2014 Charles Goodyear Medalist by the ACS Rubber Division.
Roberts—retired deputy director of the Tun Abdul Razak Research Center, formerly the Malaysian Rubber Research Association—has spent his 40-year career examining and explaining the frictional properties of rubber, both vulcanized and unvulcanized. He is known as the world's top expert on rubber adhesion, friction and lubrication, the Rubber Division said.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference, being held through Thursday at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
His work has had an impact on tires on wet and dry roads and at high speeds, on windshield wipers, and on rubber seals and other rubber products.
Roberts began his career at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, researching the friction and lubrication of elastomers.
Later in his career, he analyzed the sliding friction of rubber on wet surfaces or on ice, illustrating the effects of pH and salt concentration, and of minor constituents in the rubber compound, according to the Rubber Division.
Roberts received the Lavosier Medal of the French Society of the Chemical Industry in 1998. He has 105 published papers.
Roberts remains interested in the tribology of rubber articles and components, continuing experiments on the boundary lubrication of elastomers.