Airex Rubber Products Corporation was incorporated in 1943 on the shores of The Connecticut River In Portland, CT, with James O. Hetrick, Sr. as owner and president. Its main customer at the time was The Piper Cub Corporation, which bought shock cord and shock rings from Airex to be used in landing gear on its small prop airplanes. (Shock cord and shock rings are similar to what are known as “bungee cords” today: bunches of small rubber strands with outer coatings of braided thread.) From there, Airex’s operations widened to producing seals and plugs for the local solenoid valve companies. As Airex grew in its expertise and scope, under the guidance of James “Jidge” O. Hetrick, Jr., the customer base expanded to providing rubber masks made out of a variety of different elastomeric polymers to stand up to abrasive blasting and thermal coating procedures for the aerospace industry. Today, Airex Rubber Products is a third-generation family business and a full service design and manufacturing facility servicing customers around the globe in a myriad of different fields, including aerospace, solenoid valve, oil exploration, and orthopedic implants, with an expertise in design work, rubber-to-metal bonding, and precision molding of rubber parts.