With the progress of science and technology, we constantly see new advances coming out.
From sophisticated devices to innovative materials, these new inventions impress us with their incredible functionality and aim to make our lives easier.
A recent advance of this kind is graphene-infused rubber which is said to be 200 times tougher than steel!
Alliance Rubber Co, one of the largest rubber manufacturers around the globe, has teamed up with British researchers to improve the durability of the rubber bands it produces.
All they have to do is to infuse the rubber with graphene – one of the toughest substances in the world. In fact, it is known to be over 200 times stronger than steel.
To make you better understand how tough it actually is, consider this: in 2008, James Hone, an engineer from the Columbia University, said that if you wanted to break through a sheet of graphene with the thickness of plastic wrap, you would need an elephant standing on a pencil!
However, the trick is to add the right amount of graphene in order to boost rubber’s durability along with maintaining its elasticity. The company is currently working with a research team from the University of Sussex to achieve just that.
Once the perfect formula for graphene-infused rubber is found, the company plans to sell it to different industries.
Jason Risner, Alliance Rubber’s director of business strategy, told the Business Insider that the innovative rubber could revolutionize the way products are stored and transported. For example, thanks to the anti-static properties of graphene, this material would make the transportation of electronic devices safer and easier.
“An anti-static band could be used in all of those settings around electronics and not be a danger to ruining the equipment.”
Another great use would be to embed RFID tags into graphene-infused rubber bands so that they change their color according to the time or temperature. This would benefit both food producers and the customers as it would be really easy to track the freshness of the goods.
“The grocery store would know that that produce went above the temperature that was promised to be deliver in, and that it’s going to spoil faster. They could reject it at the store because it has changed color based on temperature.”
While all this is about something as trivial as a rubber band, we are glad to see that some companies work on developing more durable products. In the consumerist society we live in, it’s a rare thing to see as most of the products available in the market are designed to have a very limited lifespan. Otherwise, why would we constantly buy new stuff?
Let’s hope that more companies will follow Alliance Rubber’s example and will put their resources into creating something that lasts, instead of selling stuff that ends up in the trash too soon.