verb (used with object), vul·can·ized, vul·can·iz·ing.
- to treat (rubber) with sulfur and heat, thereby imparting strength, greater elasticity, durability, etc.
- to subject (a substance other than rubber) to some analogous process, as to harden it.
- to treat (rubber) with sulphur or sulphur compounds under heat and pressure to improve elasticity and strength or to produce a hard substance such as vulcanite
- to treat (substances other than rubber) by a similar process in order to improve their properties
1827, “to put into flames,” from Vulcan (q.v.), name of the Roman god of fire, + -ize. As a treatment for rubber, first recorded 1846. Related: Vulcanized; vulcanizing.
- To harden rubber by combining it with sulfur or other substances in the presence of heat and pressure. Vulcanization gives rubber strength, resistance, and elasticity.