NEWS | July 4, 2011

NRL's Dr. Michael Roland Authors Book on Behavior of Rubbery Materials

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Michael Roland, a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory, has authored a book titled Viscoelastic Behavior of Rubbery Materials, published by Oxford University Press.

In the book, Roland describes how the enormous size of polymer molecules causes their molecular motions to span a broad range of length scales and give rise to viscoelastic behavior. This rate-dependence of the properties is a predominant characteristic of soft materials (rubbers, liquid crystals, biopolymers, lubricants, adhesives, etc.). Improving the performance and developing new applications for soft materials require an understanding of the basic principles of how molecular motions underlie physical properties.

Roland explains that, Rubber is the polymeric material most amenable to fundamental study, and this text is intended to provide grounding in basic aspects of the dynamic behavior of rubbery materials, adopting a molecular perspective in its treatment to emphasize how microscopic processes are connected to the observed macroscopic behavior. The latest discoveries and advances in the science and technology of rubbery materials are described and critically analyzed.

Roland is head of the Polymer Physics Section in the Chemistry Division at NRL. After earning his doctorate at Pennsylvania State University, he worked as a researcher at The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. before joining NRL in 1986. He has over 370 peer-reviewed publications and holds 13 patents. Roland has won various awards for his research, including the Sparks-Thomas and Melvin Mooney Awards from the American Chemical Society and the Pure Science Award from the NRL Edison Chapter of Sigma Xi. He has served in editorial and advisory capacities on several journals, including technical editor of Rubber Chemistry & Technology. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (UK).