This article is about the common household item. For other meanings, see Rubber band (disambiguation).
"Elastic band" redirects here. For the band and orchestra, see The Elastic Band. For the first aid bandage, see elastic bandage.
A rubber band, also known as a binder, elastic band, lackey band, laggy band, or elastic, is a short length of rubber and latex, elastic in nature and formed in the shape of a circle which is commonly used to hold multiple objects together. The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845 by Stephen Perry.Mesoamericans (such as Aztecs and Mayans) were using natural rubber products by 1600 B.C.; they mixed latex with other materials to get desired propeties. In 1839, Charles Goodyear developed vulcanization which is used to make rubber today. Most rubber bands are manufactured out of natural rubber. Rubber bands come in a variety of sizes.
3 Rubber band sizes
3.2 Rubber band size numbers,
5 Red rubber bands,
6 Ranger bands,
8 Model use,
9 See also,
11 External links,
Rubber bands are made by extruding the rubber into a long tube to provide its general shape, putting the tubes on mandrels, curing the rubber with heat, and then slicing it across the width of the tube into little bands.This causes the tube to split into multiple sections, creating a rubber band.
While other rubber products may use synthetic rubber, most rubber bands are primarily manufactured using natural rubber because of its superior elasticity.
Natural rubber originates from the latex of the rubber tree. Natural rubber is made from latex which is acquired by tapping into the bark layers of the rubber tree. Rubber trees belong to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) and live in warm, tropical areas. Once the latex has been "tapped" and is exposed to the air it begins to harden and become elastic, or "rubbery". Rubber trees only survive in hot, humid climates near the equator and so the majority of latex is produced in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Rubber band sizes:
A rubber band has three basic dimensions: length, width, and thickness. (See picture.)
A rubber band's length is half its circumference. Its thickness is the distance from the inner circle to the outer circle, and its width is the distance from one edge to the other.
If one imagines a rubber band in manufacture, that is, a long tube of rubber on a mandrel, before it is sliced into rubber bands, the band's width is decided by how far apart the slices are cut.
Rubber band size numbers:
A rubber band is given a quasi-standard number based on its dimensions.
Generally, rubber bands are numbered from smallest to largest, width first. Thus, rubber bands numbered 8-19 are all 1/16 inch wide, with length going from 7/8 inch to 3⁄2 inches. Rubber band numbers 30-34 are for width of 1/8 inch, going again from shorter to longer. For even longer bands, the numbering starts over for numbers above 100, again starting at width 1/16 inch.
The origin of these size numbers is not clear and there appears to be some conflict in the "standard" numbers. For example, one distributor has a size 117 being 1/16 inch wide and a size 127 being 1/8 inch wide. However, an OfficeMax size 117 is 1/8 inch wide. A manufacturer has a size 117A (1/16 inch wide) and a 117B (1/8 inch wide). Another distributor calls them 7AA (1/16 inch wide) and 7A (1/8 inch wide) (but labels them as specialty bands).
Rubber Band Sizes
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_elasticity
Temperature affects the elasticity of a rubber band in an unusual way. Heating causes the rubber band to contract, and cooling causes expansion. One can observe this: stretching a rubber band will cause it to release heat (press it against your lips to notice this), while releasing it after it has been stretched will make it absorb heat, causing its surroundings to become cooler. This effect is due to the higher entropy of the unstressed state, which is more entangled, and therefore has more states available. The result is that a rubber band behaves somewhat like an ideal monatomic gas, inasmuch as (to good approximation) elastic polymers do not store any potential energy in stretched chemical bonds or elastic work done in stretching molecules, when work is done upon them. Instead, all work done on the rubber is "released" (not stored) and appears immediately in the polymer as thermal energy.
Red rubber bands:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail_rubber_band
In 2004 in the UK, following complaints from the public about postal carriers creating litter by discarding the rubber bands which they used to keep their mail together, the Royal Mail introduced red bands for their workers to use: it was hoped that, as the bands were easier to spot than the traditional brown ones and since only the Royal Mail used them, employees would see (and feel compelled to pick up) any red bands which they had inadvertently dropped. Currently, some 342 million red bands are used every year.
This type of rubber band was popularized by use in the military. Ranger bands are essentially sections of tire inner tubing cut into various sizes. They have the advantage of being versatile, durable, and resistant to weather and abrasion. They are commonly used for lashings, and can also be used for makeshift handle grips, providing a strong high-friction surface with excellent shock absorption.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastration
In animal husbandry, rubber bands are used for docking and the male castration of livestock. The procedure involves banding the body part with a tight latex (rubber) band to restrict blood flow. The part eventually drops off.
Rubber bands have long been one of the methods of powering small free-flight model aeroplanes, the rubber band being anchored at the rear of the fuselage and connected to the propeller at the front. To 'wind up' the 'engine', the propeller is repeatedly turned, twisting the rubber band. When the propeller has had enough turns, the propeller is released and the model launched, the rubber band then turning the propeller rapidly until it has unwound.
One of the first to use this method was pioneer aerodynamicist George Cayley, who used rubber band driven motors for powering his small experimental models. These 'rubber motors' have also been used for powering small model boats.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license