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Author Topic: 1980s rubber bands vs 2000s rubber bands  (Read 1355 times)

kstuart

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1980s rubber bands vs 2000s rubber bands
« on: June 11, 2013, 09:20:32 pm »

Here is a weird one.

I've been going through all my accumulated papers for the last 30 years, burning anything that might lead to identity theft, and tossing everything else.

One strange thing I've discovered is that all the rubber bands from the 1980s papers work perfectly, while all the ones from 5 to 10 years ago have hardened and disintegrated.

Apparently, the formula for rubber bands changed to something that has no longevity...

astromo

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Re: 1980s rubber bands vs 2000s rubber bands
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 11:01:41 pm »

I would expect that the rubber bands from the 80s were very probably vulcanised latex (natural rubber) and the bands from the noughties could be a synthetic material or latex.

All polymers suffer from oxidation, which is why vehicle tyres (typically made of styrene-butadiene rubbers these days) are coated in an impervious protective layer for storage. Motorcyclists are aware of the dangers of this preservative. New tyres on a moto are generally treated with caution for the first 50-100kms until the tyres are "scrubbed in".

Apparently latex is less susceptible to perishing via oxidation when it has been correctly vulcanised:
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Rubber#Reason_for_vulcanizing

In either case, UV light is a killer. So, if your old papers were kept in the dark and the new ones on a shelf in the sun then that would explain the performance difference.

So, I'd expect that latex will perish over time if you wait long enough. However, you might be witnessing a better production standard dating back to the 80s.
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InflatableMouse

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Re: 1980s rubber bands vs 2000s rubber bands
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 01:11:46 am »

I've not heard of the rubber bands movement. What kind of music was that?  ;D
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