Nothing to do with Star Trek, vulcanization is a chemical process for converting natural rubber into hard rubber for use in the many rubber products you rely on today. Without it, you wouldn’t have car tires, rubber hoses, conveyor belts, saxophone mouthpieces, bowling balls or hockey pucks, to name just a few. The process was invented by Charles Goodyear as a vast improvement over the traditional rubber curing process known since prehistoric times.

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