AKRON, Ohio — Seeking to understand the science and innovation of tires formulation, the crew of the Emmy-nominated Science Channel show “Tomorrow’s World Today” find exactly what they are looking for when they visit the Eastman research and development facility for tires additives, located in Akron.
That journey to Eastman’s innovation center in the “Rubber Capital of the World” is captured in the latest episode, which airs on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, on the Science Channel at 8 a.m. EDT, Saturday, and 8:30 a.m., Sunday.
TWT’s discovery reporter, Tamara Krinsky, interviews several Eastman team members in the Akron R&D lab where the company researches and advances the Eastman additive technologies renowned for making tires better.
She learns about the history of tire formulations and how Eastman has established a track record of success in collaborating with tire manufacturers around the world on materials that enhance efficiency of tire production, make tires more durable, handle more securely and grip the road better.
Krinsky also gets some hands-on experience in Eastman’s Akron lab. Processing rubber samples to be tested for their durability and grip, Krinsky works in the lab with flattened, stretched samples of rubber that bring another process to mind for Eastman’s Fred Ignatz-Hoover, a scientist who is renowned for his work in tire additives and tires additives chemistry — and, she finds, is a scientist with a sense of humor.
“It won’t taste as good,” Ignatz-Hoover says, “but it’s like making pizza.”
Viewers will also learn about the high-tech equipment Eastman uses to tune rubber compound formulations, so performance continues to improve, as well as the future of transportation and tires — such as embedded tire sensors that could communicate a blowout to cloud-based computers in order to initiate quicker emergency responses.
The focus on tires technology is TWT’s second of three episodes that illuminate Eastman innovations.
“Our team is dedicated to discovering new and exciting technologies that are promoting sustainability and innovation,” said Julian Taylor, the TWT executive producer whose research led the show to Eastman. “We’re very excited to work with Eastman on this series to show how their innovation and commitment to sustainability is helping our environment today and tomorrow.”
In early May, TWT learned about advances in coatings technology in a visit to Eastman’s global headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn.
Another TWT episode that features the people behind Eastman Tritan airs Saturday, May 25, at 8 a.m. TWT again visits Kingsport, home to Eastman’s largest manufacturing facility, to tell the story of the company’s innovations in specialty plastics.
“Eastman has countless stories that are worth telling, and we’re excited to be featured on a show so clearly focused on companies and people who make a difference through innovation,” said Steve Crawford, Eastman senior vice president and chief technology officer. “The ‘Tomorrow’s World Today’ episodes illustrate a few of our innovative products and the team members who are responsible for them, people who work in diverse areas that range from our testing labs to our innovation centers to our manufacturing facilities.”
Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2018 revenues of approximately $10 billion.