Vulcanization is a process in which a substance (commonly rubber, but I have also worked with vulcanized plastics) is treated with sulphur or sulphur compounds, heat, and pressure. This hardens the substance and can increase elasticity and strength as well.
Vulcanization is a chemical process in which the physical properties of crude or synthetic rubber are treated and improved. The process, in its simplest form, occurs when rubber is heated with sulfur. The sulfur is not dissvolved in the rubber, but rather chemically combined in the form of cross-links between the molecules. Other substances, known as accelerators, are used to make the process of vulcanization occur more rapidly. Temperatues of about 140°–180° C are retained, and carbon black or zinc oxide is used to improve the finished quality of the rubber. Additionally, anti-oxidants are often used to delay deterioration. Through vulcanization, rubber is improved to have greater strenth, elasticity, and durability.
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