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U.S. Department of Commerce levies import duties on truck, bus tires from China
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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has handed down final countervailing and antidumping duty orders on truck and bus tires from China, two weeks after the International Trade...
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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has handed down final countervailing and antidumping duty orders on truck and bus tires from China, two weeks after the International Trade Commission reversed its original determination on the issue. WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has handed down final countervailing and antidumping duty orders on truck and bus tires from China, two weeks after the International Trade Commission reversed its original determination on the issue. $WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has handed down final countervailing and antidumping duty orders on truck and bus tires from China, two weeks after the International Trade Commission reversed its original determination on the issue.
Tenneco spinoff to be named Driv Inc.
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LAKE FOREST, Ill.—The $6 billion-plus spinoff of last year's merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul will be called Driv Inc., the company said Feb. 14. Known for the past few months as Spinco, ...
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LAKE FOREST, Ill.—The $6 billion-plus spinoff of last year's merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul will be called Driv Inc. LAKE FOREST, Ill.—The $6 billion-plus spinoff of last year's merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul will be called Driv Inc. $LAKE FOREST, Ill.—The $6 billion-plus spinoff of last year's merger of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul will be called Driv Inc.
Goodyear, Local Motors partner for autonomous vehicle tire tests
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AKRON—Goodyear has expanded opportunities to gain insight into future tire development now that it has shored up a pair of partnerships with autonomous shuttle makers. Mostly recently, the...
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AKRON—Goodyear has expanded opportunities to gain insight into future tire development now that it has shored up a pair of partnerships with autonomous shuttle makers. AKRON—Goodyear has expanded opportunities to gain insight into future tire development now that it has shored up a pair of partnerships with autonomous shuttle makers. $AKRON—Goodyear has expanded opportunities to gain insight into future tire development now that it has shored up a pair of partnerships with autonomous shuttle makers.
Wacky World of Rubber: Where were these a week earlier?
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Have you ever come upon a product that you wish you had known about earlier? That's was my feeling when I received my Stabil-Icers Walk-brand shoe attachment designed to make walking in wintry...
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Have you ever come upon a product that you wish you had known about earlier? That's was my feeling when I received my Stabil-Icers Walk-brand shoe attachment designed to make walking in wintry conditions safer. Have you ever come upon a product that you wish you had known about earlier? That's was my feeling when I received my Stabil-Icers Walk-brand shoe attachment designed to make walking in wintry conditions safer. $Have you ever come upon a product that you wish you had known about earlier? That's was my feeling when I received my Stabil-Icers Walk-brand shoe attachment designed to make walking in wintry conditions safer.
Commerce issues final orders against Chinese rubber bands
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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued final orders establishing countervailing and antidumping duties against rubber bands imported from China. The Feb. 19 Federal Register...
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WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued final orders establishing countervailing and antidumping duties against rubber bands imported from China. WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued final orders establishing countervailing and antidumping duties against rubber bands imported from China. $WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued final orders establishing countervailing and antidumping duties against rubber bands imported from China.
SEC filing: 'In reality, Lucent's actual "secret sauce" was fraud'
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WASHINGTON—The alleged fraud that led to the Feb. 12 arrests of two former Lucent executives is detailed in a colorful filing made that same day by the U.S. Securities and Exchange...
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WASHINGTON—The alleged fraud that led to the Feb. 12 arrests of two former Lucent executives is detailed in a colorful filing made that same day by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. WASHINGTON—The alleged fraud that led to the Feb. 12 arrests of two former Lucent executives is detailed in a colorful filing made that same day by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. $WASHINGTON—The alleged fraud that led to the Feb. 12 arrests of two former Lucent executives is detailed in a colorful filing made that same day by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Preparing for future mobility means staying 'ahead' of the challenges
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NOVI, Mich.—If there is one aspect of the automotive industry that is consistent, it is that "change is unavoidable."That's what Eugenio Toccalino, global marketing director of...
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NOVI, Mich.—If there is one aspect of the automotive industry that is consistent, it is that "change is unavoidable," according to a speaker at the recent Plastics and Rubber in Automotive conference. NOVI, Mich.—If there is one aspect of the automotive industry that is consistent, it is that "change is unavoidable," according to a speaker at the recent Plastics and Rubber in Automotive conference. $NOVI, Mich.—If there is one aspect of the automotive industry that is consistent, it is that "change is unavoidable," according to a speaker at the recent Plastics and Rubber in Automotive conference.
Paper deadline approaching for IRC 2019
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LONDON—The deadline is March 1 to submit an abstract for consideration to be included in the International Rubber Conference 2019, to be held Sept. 3-5 in London. The IRC 2019 International ...
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LONDON—The deadline is March 1 to submit an abstract for consideration to be included in the International Rubber Conference 2019, to be held Sept. 3-5 in London. LONDON—The deadline is March 1 to submit an abstract for consideration to be included in the International Rubber Conference 2019, to be held Sept. 3-5 in London. $LONDON—The deadline is March 1 to submit an abstract for consideration to be included in the International Rubber Conference 2019, to be held Sept. 3-5 in London.
Labor Secretary Acosta visits Continental training center in Mississippi
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CLINTON, Miss.—U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta visited Continental Tire the Americas' Clinton employee training center in early February.Secretary Acosta toured the center, which...
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CLINTON, Miss.—U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta visited Continental Tire the Americas' Clinton employee training center in early February. CLINTON, Miss.—U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta visited Continental Tire the Americas' Clinton employee training center in early February. $CLINTON, Miss.—U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta visited Continental Tire the Americas' Clinton employee training center in early February.
Finzer adds roller capabilities with Carolina deal
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SALISBURY, N.C.—When opportunity came calling, Finzer Roller Inc. moved quickly. The rubber roller producer acquired the business and certain assets of Carolina Rubber Rolls, a subsidiary...
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SALISBURY, N.C.—Finzer Roller has acquired the business and certain assets of Carolina Rubber Rolls, a subsidiary of HBD/Thermoid. SALISBURY, N.C.—Finzer Roller has acquired the business and certain assets of Carolina Rubber Rolls, a subsidiary of HBD/Thermoid. $ SALISBURY, N.C.—Finzer Roller has acquired the business and certain assets of Carolina Rubber Rolls, a subsidiary of HBD/Thermoid.
Digital Edition
Digital Edition
Published on January 16, 2019

Wacky World of Rubber: Goodbye to Le Grand K

Deep in a vault just outside of Paris, a hunk of metal sits vacuum-sealed under three jars. This was arguably the most important piece of metal in the world.

Now, it's just another rock.

Officially known as the International Prototype Kilogram, or "Le Grand K," this piece of metal has been the universal definition of a kilogram since it was forged 1889. The cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy has served as the benchmark for all other weights are compared.

Le Grand K was so important that it was only removed from its enclosure once every 40 years so that its mass can be checked against sister copies housed in other locations across the globe. The process is cumbersome because even hydrocarbons on fingertips or moisture in the air could contaminate the original's surface, which would change the world's definition of the kilo.

That is exactly why scientists have become concerned. Obviously, the mass of a kilogram cannot change even if its benchmark did. And despite their best efforts to keep Le Grand K preserved, it has been losing weight. At its last weigh in 20 years ago, it was found to be 0.05 milligrams lighter than its replicas.

Experts had varying theories, that its replicas were gaining weight since they were handled more often or that Le Grand K was outgassing—air gradually escaping the metal. Granted the difference amounted to basically a grain of sand, but when we're talking about every single scale worldwide, even the smallest change could lead to a massive (pun intended) problem.

The world needed a better way or else a kilogram in Europe wouldn't be the same as the U.S., Asia, South America or Africa. With several different definitions, different countries would need to adjust prices for, say, metric tons of rubber depending on what regional scale is used to determine the amount. A company in the U.S. weighs it and charges Price A, but once shipped and checked in Europe it turns out it was only worth Price B. This is starting to sound like something a James Bond villain would think up.

Scientists had to do something, so they turned to…science, of course. In November, hundreds of scientists gathered for the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures and voted to replace Le Grand K with a universal formula that defines the kilogram with the quantum laws of nature. Instead of being linked to the mass of one object, the kilogram will be defined by the Planck constant—the ratio of quantum energy a frequency of light can carry to that same frequency.

But while the pressure is off Le Grand K, it's still not getting a vacation. Scientists will keep it and its six official copies locked up in the same conditions and continue to study just how their masses decay over time. With 130 years of data in the books, why stop now?

Though maybe it will get out a little more now that it's not literally carrying the weight of the world.

Chris Sweeney definitely gets more vacation days than Le Grand K. Follow him on Twitter @CSweeneyRPN.

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