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Rubber Curing otherwise known as vulcanising is a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into more solid and durable materials by the addition of sulphur or other equivalent curatives. These additives modify the rubber by forming crosslink’s between individual polymer chains. Cured or vulcanised material is more stable, less sticky and has more superior mechanical properties. A vast amount of products are manufactured from cured rubber including tyres which are the largest user of this material, shoes, hoses, sports goods, clothing and the automotive trade. It can be used to produce products as soft as sponge, to products such as bowling balls which are extremely hard. Although vulcanisation is a 19th century invention it actually dates back to prehistoric times. The original process dating back to 1600bc in which the Aztecs mixed latex with the juice of a local vine and processed it as rubber.
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