Smithers adds thermal desorption capabilities to material chemistry lab in Akron, OhioSmithers invests in increased capacity and capabilities at material chemistry lab in Akron, Ohio

Smithers has added multiple new capabilities to its material chemistry lab over the last year.

“Growing along with our clients is a top priority for Smithers,” said Christine Domer, General Manager, Akron Laboratories. “We’re very strategic about investing in the instrumentation and expertise our clients need, so we can help them achieve their goals and take great products to market.”

Recent additions to the lab include:

  • Intermesh Mixer. The new lab mixer can handle high-viscosity stocks and compounds containing hard-to-disperse fillers and delivers improved distributive, dispersive, and reactive mixing and can achieve results with fewer passes
  • Colorimeter. This tool monitors color and appearance changes during exposure to accelerated laboratory weathering and aging to better predict color changes brought on by actual exposure of materials in service conditions.
  • Expanded testing for rubber turf infill. Our lab offers analytical services for the testing of infill to ASTM’s new F3188-16 standard.
  • Raw materials assay.  Percent purity analyses available on a wide spectrum of rubber chemicals and additives by precise area normalization calculations taken from HPLC chromatograms.

Future Expansions

The lab will add a thermal desorption unit in the next few months. The unit will be an add-on to the lab’s existing gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) instrumentation.

In simple terms, a thermal desorption unit processes large quantities of air and extracts extremely small amounts – on a scale of parts per billion to parts per trillion – of volatile organic compounds in a tube. The tube is then heated and processed via GCMS so the volatile organic compounds can be detected via mass spectrometry.

“This thermal desorption unit will give us the ability to pinpoint trace amounts of materials so we can assess air quality with extreme accuracy,” said Christine Domer, General Manager, Smithers Rapra Akron Laboratories. “It’s going to be a great addition to our mass spectrometry capabilities.”

To learn more about Smithers’ laboratory testing capabilities or schedule your project, get in touch with Jeremy Elliott at 330-762-7441 or