Inadvertently vulcanized rubber

- Dec 04, 2018-

Since the beginning of rubber discovery, Westerners have continued to develop its use. Germany's Frederick made a pair of riding boots with rubber dissolved in ether. Rubber can erase pencil marks, so people make it into rubber. But rubber has a fatal flaw, which is too sensitive to temperature. When the temperature is slightly higher, it will become soft and sticky, and it will smell bad; when the temperature is low, it will become brittle and hard. This shortcoming makes rubber products have no market.

In the summer of 1834, Goodyear visited New York's Indian Rubber Company. He learned that this kind of rubber plagued the entire rubber industry, but the rubber has a series of excellent properties such as high elasticity, plasticity, durability, waterproofness and insulation. Goodyear is determined to study the modification of rubber.

Goodyear is neither a chemist nor a scientist. In the factory, he works like a worker, constantly putting various materials to test with rubber. In 1837, Goodyear treated the rubber sheet with nitric acid and obtained the patent for the "acid gas process". In January 1839, Goodyear's experiment made a major breakthrough. He accidentally put rubber, lead oxide and sulfur together and heated it, and got a leather-like substance. This material does not decompose at higher temperatures than the commonly known elastic rubber. After a series of improvements, Goodyear was convinced that the material he prepared would not decompose at any temperature below the boiling point, and rubber vulcanization technology was born.