BIG RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly 60 students and other industry personnel toured the National Elastomer Center, part of festivities during the sixth annual Focus on Ferris Open House, held recently at Ferris State University's campus at Big Rapids.
Officials from the Michigan Rubber Group, which sponsors the tour of the facility, said it was one of the best attended events in history.
A total of 27 Ferris State students and eight others from the rubber industry attended the ACS Rubber Division course, “Introduction to Rubber Processing,” which was held earlier that day. The objectives of the course were to provide an overview of steps in the processing of a rubber compound, provide an understanding of basic rubber processing tests, troubleshoot common problems with processing elastomers and provide references/contacts for attendees.
The course also examined the effects certain compounding ingredients have on the processing and mixing of a rubber compound on both two-roll and internal mixers and reviewed the different process tests such as rheology, as well as the processing of a compound.
Other topics discussed were molding (compression, injection and transfer) and extrusion/calendaring (and curing of these parts).
William Stahl of Rainbow Mastermixing Inc. served as the course instructor, while Christie Robinson, education and publications manager of the Rubber Division, helped to organize the event.
The Michigan Rubber Group targets three groups for its Focus on Ferris event: Students currently in the Ferris State Rubber Technology program; high school and vocational/technical School students who are considering the rubber industry a career choice; and others who are interested in improving their skills in the rubber industry.
Larry Schult, dean of the College of Engineering Technology at Ferris State, addressed the group at the dinner. Next years event will be held either March 18 or March 25.