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Bruno Salustiano
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Vulkanizasiya: Najnovija dostignuća i izazovi u vulkanizaciji gume


Vulkanizasiya: What Is It and How Does It Work?




Vulkanizasiya is a term that may sound unfamiliar to many people, but it is actually a very common and useful process that affects our everyday lives. Vulkanizasiya is the chemical process of transforming rubber into a more durable and resistant material by creating cross-links between its polymer chains. In this article, we will explore what vulkanizasiya is, why it is important, how it was discovered and developed, what methods are used to perform it, and what applications it has in various industries.


Introduction




What is vulkanizasiya?




Rubber is a natural or synthetic material that consists of long chains of molecules called polymers. Rubber has many desirable properties, such as elasticity, flexibility, and resilience, but it also has some drawbacks, such as low strength, high wear, and poor resistance to heat, chemicals, and weather. To overcome these limitations, rubber can be modified by a process called vulkanizasiya, which involves adding certain substances (called vulcanizing agents) and applying heat and pressure to create cross-links between the polymer chains. Cross-linking makes the rubber more rigid, stable, and durable, as well as changing its color and texture.




vulkanizasiya



Why is vulkanizasiya important?




Vulkanizasiya is important because it enables rubber to be used for a wide range of applications that require high performance and reliability. Vulkanized rubber can withstand higher temperatures, pressures, stresses, and strains than unvulcanized rubber, as well as being more resistant to abrasion, oxidation, corrosion, and aging. Vulkanized rubber also has better electrical and thermal insulation properties than unvulcanized rubber. Vulkanized rubber can be molded into various shapes and sizes to suit different purposes and can be combined with other materials (such as metal, fabric, or plastic) to form composite products.


History of vulkanizasiya




Who discovered vulkanizasiya?




The discovery of vulkanizasiya is attributed to Charles Goodyear, an American inventor who experimented with rubber in the early 19th century. Goodyear was fascinated by the potential of rubber, but frustrated by its poor quality and inconsistency. He tried various methods to improve rubber, such as mixing it with different substances, boiling it in water or acid, or exposing it to sunlight or air. In 1839, he accidentally dropped a mixture of rubber and sulfur on a hot stove and noticed that it formed a hard and elastic material that did not melt or stick. He realized that he had found a way to make rubber more durable and useful.


How did vulkanizasiya evolve over time?




Goodyear patented his process of vulkanizasiya in 1844, but he faced many challenges in commercializing his invention. He had to compete with other inventors who claimed to have discovered similar methods or who infringed on his patent rights. He also had to deal with the high cost and difficulty of obtaining good quality rubber from tropical plants. He died in 1860 without making much profit from his discovery.


After After Goodyear's death, his process of vulkanizasiya was improved and refined by other scientists and engineers, such as Thomas Hancock, Nelson Goodyear, Edward Moulton, and John Dunlop. They experimented with different types and amounts of vulcanizing agents, such as sulfur, peroxides, and metal oxides, as well as different temperatures, pressures, and times of heating. They also developed new methods of molding, shaping, and curing vulcanized rubber to produce various products, such as tires, tubes, belts, hoses, gaskets, and footwear.


Methods of vulkanizasiya




Vulcanization with sulfur




Process and mechanism




The most common and traditional method of vulkanizasiya is to use sulfur as the vulcanizing agent. Sulfur can be added to rubber in various forms, such as powder, flakes, or oil. The mixture is then heated to a temperature of about 140-160C for several minutes to several hours, depending on the desired degree of cross-linking. The heat activates the sulfur atoms, which react with the carbon atoms in the rubber molecules to form bridges or links between them. These links increase the rigidity and stability of the rubber structure and prevent it from flowing or deforming under stress.


Advantages and disadvantages




Vulcanization with sulfur has some advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages are:


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  • It is a simple and cheap process that can be easily performed on a large scale.



  • It produces rubber with good mechanical properties, such as tensile strength, elasticity, hardness, and abrasion resistance.



  • It improves the resistance of rubber to heat, oxidation, and aging.



Some of the disadvantages are:


  • It requires high temperatures and pressures that can damage the rubber or cause safety hazards.



  • It can produce undesirable by-products, such as hydrogen sulfide gas or sulfuric acid, that can cause environmental pollution or health problems.



  • It can reduce the electrical and thermal insulation properties of rubber.



  • It can limit the color and appearance of rubber products.



Vulcanization of other polymers




Polychloroprene




Polychloroprene (also known as neoprene) is a synthetic rubber that can be vulcanized by using metal oxides (such as zinc oxide or magnesium oxide) instead of sulfur. The metal oxides act as catalysts that initiate the cross-linking reaction between the chlorine atoms in the polychloroprene molecules. The advantage of this method is that it does not produce any harmful by-products or affect the color of the rubber. Polychloroprene is used for making products such as wetsuits, gloves, hoses, and gaskets.


Silicone




Silicone (also known as polysiloxane) is a synthetic polymer that can be vulcanized by using peroxides (such as benzoyl peroxide or dicumyl peroxide) instead of sulfur. The peroxides decompose at high temperatures and generate free radicals that react with the silicon atoms in the silicone molecules to form cross-links. The advantage of this method is that it produces rubber with excellent resistance to heat, cold, weathering, and chemicals. Silicone is used for making products such as sealants, adhesives, implants, cookware, and toys.


Applications of vulkanizasiya




Rubber products




Tires




The most common and important application of vulkanizasiya is in the production of tires for vehicles. Tires are made of vulcanized rubber that is reinforced with fabric or steel cords to provide strength and durability. Tires have to withstand high speeds, loads, pressures, temperatures, and friction without losing their shape or performance. Vulkanizasiya makes tires more resistant to wear, puncture, cracking, and deformation. Seals and hoses




Another common application of vulkanizasiya is in the production of seals and hoses for various machines and devices. Seals and hoses are made of vulcanized rubber that is molded or extruded into different shapes and sizes to fit different purposes and specifications. Seals and hoses have to prevent leaks, vibrations, noises, and movements between different parts or fluids. Vulkanizasiya makes seals and hoses more resistant to compression, expansion, bending, and twisting.


Other industries




Medicine




Vulkanizasiya also has some applications in the medical field, where it is used to make products such as gloves, catheters, syringes, implants, and prosthetics. These products have to be safe, sterile, biocompatible, and comfortable for the patients and the medical staff. Vulkanizasiya makes these products more resistant to infection, inflammation, allergy, and irritation.


Aerospace




Vulkanizasiya also has some applications in the aerospace industry, where it is used to make products such as gaskets, o-rings, seals, and insulation for rockets, satellites, and spacecraft. These products have to withstand extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, radiation, and vacuum in outer space. Vulkanizasiya makes thes


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