Ebonite is a brand name for a material generically known as hard rubber, and is obtained via vulcanizing natural rubber for prolonged periods. Ebonite may contain from 25% to 80% sulfur and linseed oil.   Its name comes from its intended use as an artificial substitute for ebony wood. The material has also been called vulcanite,  although that name formally refers to the mineral vulcanite.
Charles Goodyear's brother, Nelson Goodyear, experimented with the chemistry of ebonite composites. In 1851, he used zinc oxide as a filler.  Hugh Silver was responsible for giving it its name. 
The sulfur percentage and the applied temperatures and duration of vulcanizing are the main variables that determine the technical properties of the hard rubber polysulfide elastomer. The occurring reaction is basically addition of sulfur at the double bonds, forming intramolecular ring structures, so a large portion of the sulfur is highly cross-linked in the form of intramolecular addition. As a result of having a maximum sulfur content up to 40%, it may be used to resist swelling and minimize dielectric loss. The strongest mechanical properties and greatest heat resistance is obtained with sulfur contents around 35% while the highest impact strength can be obtained with a lower sulfur content of 30%. The rigidity of hard rubber at room temperature is attributed to the van der Waals forces between the intramolecular sulfur atoms. Raising the temperature gradually increases the molecular vibrations that overcome the van der Waals forces making it elastic. Hard rubber has a content mixture dependent density around 1.1 to 1.2. When reheated hard rubber exhibits shape-memory effect and can be fairly easily reshaped within certain limits. Depending on the sulfur percentage hard rubber has a thermoplastic transition or softening temperature of 70 to 80 °C (158 to 176 °F).
The material is brittle, which produces problems in its use in battery cases for example, where the integrity of the case is vital to prevent leakage of sulfuric acid. It has now been generally replaced by carbon black -filled polypropylene.
Under the influence of the ultraviolet portion of daylight, hard rubber oxidizes. Subsequent exposure to moisture bonds water with free sulfur on the surface, creating sulfates and sulfuric acid at the surface that are very hygroscopic. The sulfates condense water from the air, forming a hydrophilic film with favorable wettability characteristics on the surface.  These aging processes will gradually discolor the surface grayish green to brown and cause rapid deterioration of electric surface resistivity.
Ebonite contamination was problematic when it was used for electronics. The ebonite was rolled between metal foil sheets, which were peeled off, leaving traces of metal behind. For electronic use the surface was ground to remove metal particles. 
Hard rubber was used in early 20th century bowling balls; however, it was phased out in favor of other materials (the Ebonite name remains as a trade name for one of the major manufacturers of polymer balls).  It has been used in electric plugs, tobacco pipe mouthpieces (in competition with Lucite), hockey pucks, fountain pen   bodies and nib feeds, saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces, as well as complete humidity-stable clarinets.[ better source needed ] Hard rubber is often seen as the wheel material in casters. It is also commonly used in physics classrooms to demonstrate static electricity, because it is at or near the negative end of the triboelectric series.[ citation needed ]
Hard rubber was used in the cases of automobile batteries for years, thus establishing black as their traditional colour even long after stronger modern plastics like polypropylene were substituted. It was used for decades in hair combs made by Ace, now part of Newell Rubbermaid, although the current models are known to be produced solely with plastics. 
Ebonite is used as an anticorrosive lining for various (mainly storage) vessels that contain diluted hydrochloric acid. It forms bubbles when storing hydrofluoric acid at temperatures above room temperature, or for prolonged durations. 
A polymer is a substance or material consisting of very large molecules called macromolecules, composed of many repeating subunits. Due to their broad spectrum of properties, both synthetic and natural polymers play essential and ubiquitous roles in everyday life. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene to natural biopolymers such as DNA and proteins that are fundamental to biological structure and function. Polymers, both natural and synthetic, are created via polymerization of many small molecules, known as monomers. Their consequently large molecular mass, relative to small molecule compounds, produces unique physical properties including toughness, high elasticity, viscoelasticity, and a tendency to form amorphous and semicrystalline structures rather than crystals.
Rubber, also called India rubber, latex, Amazonian rubber, caucho, or caoutchouc, as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds. Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are three of the leading rubber producers.
Vulcanization is a range of processes for hardening rubbers. The term originally referred exclusively to the treatment of natural rubber with sulfur, which remains the most common practice. It has also grown to include the hardening of other (synthetic) rubbers via various means. Examples include silicone rubber via room temperature vulcanizing and chloroprene rubber (neoprene) using metal oxides.
The chemical industry comprises the companies that produce industrial chemicals. Central to the modern world economy, it converts raw materials into more than 70,000 different products. The plastics industry contains some overlap, as some chemical companies produce plastics as well as chemicals.
Charles Goodyear was an American self-taught chemist and manufacturing engineer who developed vulcanized rubber, for which he received patent number 3633 from the United States Patent Office on June 15, 1844.
Polymer chemistry is a sub-discipline of chemistry that focuses on the structures of chemicals, chemical synthesis, and chemical and physical properties of polymers and macromolecules. The principles and methods used within polymer chemistry are also applicable through a wide range of other chemistry sub-disciplines like organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. Many materials have polymeric structures, from fully inorganic metals and ceramics to DNA and other biological molecules. However, polymer chemistry is typically related to synthetic and organic compositions. Synthetic polymers are ubiquitous in commercial materials and products in everyday use, such as plastics, and rubbers, and are major components of composite materials. Polymer chemistry can also be included in the broader fields of polymer science or even nanotechnology, both of which can be described as encompassing polymer physics and polymer engineering.
Barium sulfate (or sulphate) is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula BaSO4. It is a white crystalline solid that is odorless and insoluble in water. It occurs as the mineral barite, which is the main commercial source of barium and materials prepared from it. The white opaque appearance and its high density are exploited in its main applications.
A calender is a series of hard pressure rollers used to finish or smooth a sheet of material such as paper, textiles, rubber, or plastics. Calender rolls are also used to form some types of plastic films and to apply coatings. Some calender rolls are heated or cooled as needed. Calenders are sometimes misspelled calendars.
EPDM rubber is a type of synthetic rubber that is used in many applications. Dienes used in the manufacture of EPDM rubbers are ethylidene norbornene (ENB), dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), and vinyl norbornene (VNB). 4-8% of these monomers are typically used.
Spin casting, also known as centrifugal rubber mold casting (CRMC), is a method of utilizing inertia to produce castings from a rubber mold. Typically, a disc-shaped mold is spun along its central axis at a set speed. The casting material, usually molten metal or liquid thermoset plastic, is then poured in through an opening at the top-center of the mold. The filled mold then continues to spin as the metal solidifies.
An acrylate polymer is any of a group of polymers prepared from acrylate monomers. These plastics are noted for their transparency, resistance to breakage, and elasticity.
Polymer engineering is generally an engineering field that designs, analyses, and modifies polymer materials. Polymer engineering covers aspects of the petrochemical industry, polymerization, structure and characterization of polymers, properties of polymers, compounding and processing of polymers and description of major polymers, structure property relations and applications.
Forensic materials engineering, a branch of forensic engineering, focuses on the material evidence from crime or accident scenes, seeking defects in those materials which might explain why an accident occurred, or the source of a specific material to identify a criminal. Many analytical methods used for material identification may be used in investigations, the exact set being determined by the nature of the material in question, be it metal, glass, ceramic, polymer or composite. An important aspect is the analysis of trace evidence such as skid marks on exposed surfaces, where contact between dissimilar materials leaves material traces of one left on the other. Provided the traces can be analysed successfully, then an accident or crime can often be reconstructed. Another aim will be to determine the cause of a broken component using the technique of fractography.
Forensic polymer engineering is the study of failure in polymeric products. The topic includes the fracture of plastic products, or any other reason why such a product fails in service, or fails to meet its specification. The subject focuses on the material evidence from crime or accident scenes, seeking defects in those materials that might explain why an accident occurred, or the source of a specific material to identify a criminal. Many analytical methods used for polymer identification may be used in investigations, the exact set being determined by the nature of the polymer in question, be it thermoset, thermoplastic, elastomeric or composite in nature.
Hydroxylammonium sulfate (NH3OH)2SO4, is the sulfuric acid salt of hydroxylamine. It is primarily used as an easily handled form of hydroxylamine, which is explosive when pure.
Plastics are a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic materials that use polymers as a main ingredient. Their plasticity makes it possible for plastics to be moulded, extruded or pressed into solid objects of various shapes. This adaptability, plus a wide range of other properties, such as being lightweight, durable, flexible, and inexpensive to produce, has led to its widespread use. Plastics typically are made through human industrial systems. Most modern plastics are derived from fossil fuel-based chemicals like natural gas or petroleum; however, recent industrial methods use variants made from renewable materials, such as corn or cotton derivatives.
RTV silicone is a type of silicone rubber that cures at room temperature. It is available as a one-component product, or mixed from two-components. Manufacturers provide it in a range of hardnesses from very soft to medium—usually from 15 to 40 Shore A. RTV silicones can be cured with a catalyst consisting of either platinum or a tin compound such as dibutyltin dilaurate. Applications include low-temperature over-molding, making molds for reproducing, and lens applications for some optically clear grades. It is also used widely in the automotive industry as an adhesive/sealant, for example to create gaskets in-place.
Sulfur concrete, sometimes named thioconcrete or sulfurcrete, is a composite construction material, composed mainly of sulfur and aggregate. Cement and water, important compounds in normal concrete, are not part of sulfur concrete. The concrete is heated above the melting point of elemental sulfur at ca. 140 °C (284 °F) in a ratio of between 12% and 25% sulfur, the rest being aggregate.
The Charles Goodyear Medal is the highest honor conferred by the American Chemical Society, Rubber Division. Established in 1941, the award is named after Charles Goodyear, the discoverer of vulcanization, and consists of a gold medal, a framed certificate and prize money. The medal honors individuals for "outstanding invention, innovation, or development which has resulted in a significant change or contribution to the nature of the rubber industry". Awardees give a lecture at an ACS Rubber Division meeting, and publish a review of their work in the society's scientific journal Rubber Chemistry and Technology.
Sulfur vulcanization is a chemical process for converting natural rubber or related polymers into materials of varying hardness, elasticity, and mechanical durability by heating them with sulfur or sulfur-containing compounds. Sulfur forms cross-linking bridges between sections of polymer chains which affects the mechanical and electronic properties. Many products are made with vulcanized rubber, including tires, shoe soles, hoses, and conveyor belts. The term vulcanization is derived from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.