verb (used with object), vulcanized, vulcanizing.
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.
Also, especially British, vulcanise.

1820–30; Vulcan + -ize

vulcanizable, adjective
vulcanization, noun
vulcanizer, noun
nonvulcanized, adjective
self-vulcanizing, adjective
semivulcanized, adjective
unvulcanized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vulcanize or vulcanise (ˈvʌlkəˌnaɪz)
1.  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
2.  to treat (substances other than rubber) by a similar process in order to improve their properties
vulcanise or vulcanise
'vulcanizable or vulcanise
'vulcanisable or vulcanise
vulcani'zation or vulcanise
vulcani'sation or vulcanise
'vulcanizer or vulcanise
'vulcaniser or vulcanise

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vulcanize   (vŭl'kə-nīz')  Pronunciation Key 
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Vulcanize or heat-seal field splice joints to provide watertight joints using manufacturer's recommended procedures.
Knowledge and skill to use plastic bead welders and to vulcanize plastic or synthetic materials.
These compounds reduce the time to vulcanize rubber from several hours to a few minutes.
Fully vulcanize steel reinforced elastomeric bearing pads to steel plates at the manufacturer.
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