RDAbbott was founded on December 14, 1948, by Robert David Abbott, after retiring from The C.P. Hall Company, the forerunner of Hallstar.

While Mr. Abbott started the business by representing CP Hall’s product line, it was his passion for the rubber industry and The Los Angeles Rubber Group, Inc. (TLARGI) that truly drew him back.

To support the booming industry, he later teamed up with fellow members of The Los Angeles Rubber Group, Inc. (TLARGI) to develop a rubber technology curriculum at the University of Southern California (USC). The curriculum supported Bachelor of Science and master’s degree programs. Unfortunately, Mr. Abbott passed away during the curriculum’s inaugural year in 1958.

When USC discontinued the curriculum in the 80’s, TLARGI modified its content into a “Basic Rubber Technology” course. Not only is this course still being taught today, but RDAbbott had the privilege of hosting and teaching it for over two decades.

After Mr. Abbott’s passing, six additional leaders helped to transform RDAbbott into the company it is today. Those leaders include:

  • Carl Hoglund from 1958 to 1979,
  • Johnny Arensmeyer from 1966 to 1979,
  • Bob and Eloise Baatz, together with Johnny Arensmeyer, from 1979 to 1992,
  • Jerry Wicker from 1992 to 2001, and lastly
  • RDAbbott’s current CEO Keith Thomas who started in 2001.

Carl Hoglund, Mr. Abbott’s right-hand man, was instrumental in commercializing Chemlok®, a novel adhesive technology patented by Dr. Donald Alstadt, Mr. Hoglund’s former schoolmate and chemist at LORD Corporation (now Parker Lord).

When Johnny Arensmeyer joined RDAbbott, he merged his company, Veraco Die, and its unique engineering capabilities.

When Mr. Hoglund retired in 1979, Mr. Arensmeyer extended ownership to Bob and Eloise Baatz—two long-time employees. Bob was instrumental in growing sales for the company and Eloise was the heart of office operations.

In the 90‘s, Jerry Wicker expanded RDAbbott’s product lines to include dispersions, additives, modifiers, colors, and fillers.

In the early 2000’s, Keith Thomas sought to expand RDAbbott into various high-value polymers, as well as geographically across North America.

In 2017, RDAbbott took another big step in purchasing Novation Solutions, an Ohio-based dispersions manufacturer. Novation Solutions, known in the market now as NovationSi, is the manufacturing subsidiary of RDAbbott. NovationSi specializes in modifiers, additives, and colors for silicone; custom liquid silicone rubber (LSR) compounds; and highly specialized elastomer products.

In California, RDAbbott’s headquarters have moved from Temple City to Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs, Cerritos, and now Garden Grove. With the addition of NovationSi, RDAbbott built a second Service Center that also serves as its hub for the Eastern United States.

As a continent-wide enterprise, companies under the RDAbbott brand include R.D. Abbott Co., Inc.; R.D. Abbott de México S. de R.L. de C.V.; RDAbbott Canada, Ltd.; RDA Holdings; and Novation Solutions, LLC (NovationSi). During its tenure, some of the enterprise’s largest investments have been in IT infrastructure, technical services, and a network of strategically located warehouses ready to meet customer needs.

Today, RDAbbott is accelerating into a multi-faceted supplier that innovates across distribution, materials science, process engineering, and product customization.

A few of its collaborative innovations over the years, include:

  • Patented moving-die technology for extruding tire treads,
  • LSR characterizations for dynamic mold flow analysis,
  • Novel lightweight silicone elastomers for aerospace sealing,
  • Revolutionary methods for in-mold bonding of LSR to various substrates,
  • Architectural sealing advancements,
  • Novel elastomeric sealing compounds for hydrogen fuel cells, and
  • Patented electrically conductive silicone compounds.

While RDAbbott is continuously adapting and evolving, there are a few attributes the company hopes will NEVER change. Such as,

  • Maintaining the best team in the rubber industry by putting people ahead of profit,
  • Providing a diverse portfolio of premium elastomer products,
  • Providing exceptional technical, engineering, and customer support,
  • Helping to develop the next generation of rubber professionals, and
  • Giving back to the rubber community at large.

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