Editorial Feature

The Graphene Rubber Band

Alliance Rubber Company was founded in 1923 by William H. Spencer, an American Innovator who looked to transform the way in which the average household, as well as agricultural and industrial professionals, “holds their world together.”

Since its introduction into the marketplace, Alliance has developed over 2,000 products and tools such as FotoFlex BandsTM, Cable Wrapz TM, waterproof UPC-imprinted ProTap ® and much more1. In their effort to continue their work as innovators within this industry, the Arkansas-based Alliance Rubber Co. has joined their efforts with a group of British Researchers from the University of Sussex to develop their strongest rubber band.

To do this, this Alliance collaboration has infused graphene, the “wonder material” whose strength is 200 times greater than that of steel despite its extremely lightweight nature, into their traditional rubber bands.

The inherent strength of graphene occurs as a result of its 0.142 Nm-long carbon bonds, which measure at a final tensile strength of 130,000,000,000 Pascals, or 130 gigapascals. To put this number into perspective, the tensile strength of structural steel measures at 400,000,000 Pascals2.

In addition to this superior strength, which is incomparable to any other material known to man, graphene also exhibits exceptional elastic properties, which is clearly shown by its ability to retain its initial size after strain without inducing any type of imperfection or deformation to the material after its recoil.

These specific properties of graphene allow this material to find its useful application in a wide variety of industries, some of which include optical electronics, biological engineering, ultrafiltration systems, composite materials, photovoltaic cells, energy storage systems and much more3.

So how could the integration of graphene into a rubber band be of use for the average household, let alone on a large scale industrial production level? Alliance believes that by determining the perfect ratio of graphene to rubber within a band, they will be able to successfully generate the strongest rubber band to be completely unbreakable.

Outside of traditional uses for rubber bands, Alliance is hopeful that this graphene rubber band can revolutionize almost every industry that requires an immortal material to hold their products together. For example, within the electronics industry, Jason Risner, the Director of Business Strategy at Alliance, claims that the highly durable and anti-static charge associated with the graphene rubber band could be integrated into motherboards and circuit boards.

Additionally, Risner believes that Farmers and Grocers will find the graphene rubber band particularly useful for radio-frquency identification (RFID) tags4, which are typically used in the agriculture and farming industry to track the weight, feeding and disease states of livestock. Further applications of the graphene-infused rubber band include, but are not limited to, medical bracelets capable of sensing important clinical motions such as breathing rates, pulse and joint movements, as well as color changing bands for produce that detect temperature, and even invisible bar coding for any consumer use.

While the graphene rubber band is expected to drastically improve its function in daily home and office life, its potential outside of these traditional uses for this material are innumerable. As the graphene to rubber ratio continues to undergo development processes until it finally reaches its peak in functionality, Alliance hopes to eventually transition each of their rubber bands into the graphene rubber band material.

Not only does the graphene rubber band eliminate the hassle of constantly needing to replace rubber bands that continually snap and break at any sudden movement, but its development has been able to lead to a variety of potential uses and applications that could revolutionize the way in which many of these previously mentioned common products function.

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References:

  1. “About Alliance Rubber Company” – Alliance Rubber Company
  2. “Publications” – Graphenea
  3. “Applications and Uses” – Graphenea
  4. “Unbreakable rubber bands that are 200 times stronger than steel are coming soon” – Business Insider

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Benedette Cuffari

Written by

Benedette Cuffari

After completing her Bachelor of Science in Toxicology with two minors in Spanish and Chemistry in 2016, Benedette continued her studies to complete her Master of Science in Toxicology in May of 2018. During graduate school, Benedette investigated the dermatotoxicity of mechlorethamine and bendamustine, which are two nitrogen mustard alkylating agents that are currently used in anticancer therapy.

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