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vulcanize

definition


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 15, 2021 is:

vulcanize • VUL-kuh-nyze  • verb

: to treat crude or synthetic rubber or similar plastic material with chemicals to give it useful properties (such as elasticity, strength, and stability)

Examples:

“In 1939 [Charles] Cornell invented a safer and more efficient way of patching holes in tires. Previously people put a piece of rubber on the tire and put heat on it as part of the vulcanization process. Cornell discovered a way to use chemicals to vulcanize the patch to the tire without heat, revolutionizing the industry, [Mike] Murray said.” — Maria DeVito, The Newark (Ohio) Advocate, 18 Mar. 2017

“The station was known for the service it provided vulcanizing tires. This type of repair involves external tire damage, such as sidewall cuts, chipped lugs, cracks in the shoulder, and bead damage.” — Scott Mall, FreightWaves.com, 20 Nov. 2020

Did you know?

Vulcanize might sound like something Spock from Star Trek might do, but the explanation behind this word has more to do with ancient mythology than it does with science fiction. Vulcanization in its simplest form consists of heating rubber with sulfur in order to improve the rubber’s qualities. The Roman god Vulcan (whose Greek counterpart is Hephaestus) was the god of fire and of skills that used fire, such as metalworking. So when Charles Goodyear discovered that high heat would result in stronger rubber, he called the process “vulcanization” after the god of fire. Goodyear developed the idea in 1839 and acquired a patent for it in 1844.

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Ken Saunders

Freelancer, Gadget collector, Biohacker

Ken Saunders is a freelance writer, gadget collector and Biohacker. Kens’ professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Technology, Food, and all things Freelancing. His articles have appeared in many online sites, including Lifehack.media, Andrew Christian, Alltherooms.com and Vocal.media.You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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