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All You Need To Know About Vulcanised Rubber


Vulcanisation is a chemical process in which raw rubber is cured; this improves the properties of natural or synthetic rubber, making it stronger and more durable. This discovery has really revolutionised the rubber industry and has aided the development of other industries as well.


  • Although the vulcanisation of rubber is considered as a 19th century invention, the history of cured rubber dates back to prehistoric times. Ancient Mesoamericans, both Olmecs (aka rubber people) and Aztecs, extracted latex from rubber trees. They created processed rubber by mixing a vine juice called Ipomoea Alba with latex in as early as 1600 BC.
  • The process of vulcanisation was named after Vulcan – the Roman God of fire.
  • In 1839, Charles Goodyear, an American manufacturing engineer and self-taught chemist, accidentally discovered the process of vulcanisation; which involves the combination of heating and Sulfur.
  • The US patent for the invention was awarded to Goodyear on June 15, 1844.
  • Goodyear wrote the accounts of this invention in his autobiographical book, Gum-Elastica, in 1853.


  • Sulfur and accelerators are added to liquid rubber, which are then heated at a very high temperature.
  • The polymers of rubber are cross-linked into Sulfur chains. The properties of the final rubber article are heavily influenced by the number of Sulfur atoms in the cross-link.
  • The time allotted for the process depends on the number of Sulfur atoms. Less Sulfur makes the final product more prone to cracking – because it lacks flexibility. On the other hand, more Sulfur gives the product more dynamic properties but less heat resistance.
  • Modern practices employ a temperature of about 140°–180° C. Aside from Sulfur and accelerators, Carbon black and Zinc oxide are also often added to further improve the qualities of this rubber.


  • Has better resistance to damage.
  • Excellent insulator against heat and electricity.
  • Increased flexibility.
  • More rigid and hardwearing.
  • Resistant to water, moisture, chemicals, pressure and sunlight.


Vulcanised rubber is used to make a wide variety of products, including:

  • Tyres
  • Conveyor Belts
  • Shoe Soles
  • Hoses
  • Toys
  • School Supplies


Coruba is the leading UK supplier of all things rubber! If you have any special requirements, why not give us a call on 01702 811 721.


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