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07/03/2016

Rubber vulcanization, a technological breakthrough

In Guzman Global we hold a leading position in the rubber and latex industry, due to having more than 50 years of experience as an elastomer distributor and due to our range of products, which includes natural and synthetic rubber and latex.

In this post we want to mention that although a fact is not widely known it does not cease to be a technological breakthrough in the industry, marking a turning point, as was the discovery of rubber vulcanization. It was the North American Charles Goodyear who, in 1839, accidently spilled a container of sulfur and rubber onto a hot stove. Charles Goodyear noticed that the mixture became more resistant, stable, hard and waterproof, although it retained its natural elasticity.

Goodyear named this “accident” vulcanization where, in addition, the rubber changes from a sticky material to a material with a smooth surface that does not adhere to any other material. Vulcanization is generally irreversible. Although this crosslinking is usually done with sulfur, there are other technologies that include systems based on organic peroxide.

In the crosslinking of the vulcanization, the number of the sulfur’s atoms will influence the properties of the final rubber article. A short crosslink gives the rubber greater resistance to heat. Whereas, crosslinks with more sulfur atoms result in a more dynamic rubber but with less resistance to heat.  The dynamic properties are very important at the time of bending the rubber article and the fact is that, without good bending properties, the rubber article can crack, and may even break.

It was a great technological breakthrough because, with vulcanized rubber, the manufacture began of countless articles for the automotive sector: tyres, waterproof profiles, boots and shock absorbers among others, thanks to its elasticity and resistance. The most outstanding advance is the emergence of tyres with an air chamber. This meant a revolution in transport.

In rubber production, at Guzman Global, distributor of raw materials, we are aware of technological developments and we make a careful selection of materials and an exhaustive control in each of our processes, to thus ensure an optimum service and to continue to be in a leading position in the industry as we are today.