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vulcanized fiber[′vəl·kə‚nīzd ′fī·bər]
a material made by saturating several layers of paper base in a concentrated solution of zinc chloride (less often, a solution of sulfuric acid and calcium thiocyanate) and then pressing the layers together. The paper used has a weight of 65 to 90 g/m2 and is made from bleached rag, sometimes with cellulose added, or cellulose. The paper swells and partially dissolves when treated with zinc chloride; the mass made from the gluey fibers is pressed, then rinsed and dried. Vulcanized fiber is produced in the form of sheets ranging in thickness from 0.1 to 76 mm, tubes, and rods. It is easily machined and does not dissolve in kerosine, gasoline, alcohol, or acetone; however, it is soluble in strong acids, such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and hydrochloric acid. Vulcanized fiber is used as electrical and thermal insulation, as a lining material, and as a leather substitute. It may be embossed, stamped, or varnished, depending upon its use.