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Technical Glossary Crosslinking


Crosslinking generally refers to the creation of a network among polymers. Reactions that result in crosslinking include additive reactions with double bonds and condensation reactions in which water or alcohol groups split off. As crosslinking progresses, polymers normally harden, and the substance becomes less soluble. In 1839, Charles Goodyear laid the foundation of modern rubber, when he discovered that soft, hard to use natural rubber could be hardened by adding sulfur, which achieves crosslinking within the material. Crosslinking in rubber caused by sulfur is called vulcanization.

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