Chemistry KS3 & GCSE: Goodyear's groundbreaking invention of vulcanised rubber
Mark Miodownik describes Charles Goodyear’s experiments to vulcanise natural rubber into synthetic rubber.
Several years after he was bailed from prison, Goodyear managed to achieve this by adding sulphur and white lead.
Using electron micrographs and computer animations, Mark demonstrates how Goodyear's process of vulcanisation changed the rubber’s properties and structure.
This clip is from Materials: How They Work.
This clip could be used to show how rubber is made and as an example of how man had changed the properties of a material by changing its chemistry.
Students could work in groups to investigate and compare the use of natural rubber, vulcanised rubber and synthetic rubber products, looking at the pros and cons of each.
These clips will be relevant for teaching Chemistry at KS3 and GCSE/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland. The topics discussed will support OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC GCSE in GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 and Higher in Scotland.