Rubber Bands FAQ
Rubber bands are used extensively by florists to hold bouquets together. More specifically, they are used extensively by flower growers to bunch flowers and produce. They are also used by florists to bunch bouquets or even as a delicate band used around the petals of flowers, especially tulips to keep them from opening during transit.
How do I measure a rubber band?
A rubber band has three basic dimensions: length, width and thickness. The 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.
Rubber Bands Available at Koch
|Size Chart for Koch Rubber Bands|
|Size Band||Length (mm)||Width (mm)||Item Code||Number of bands per 500g bag (approx)|
What are rubber bands made from?
Rubber derives from plants that grow best in an equatorial climate. Rubber bands are made from organic rubber because of its superior elasticity. Natural rubber comes from latex, a milky fluid composed primarily of water with a small amount of rubber and small amounts of resin, protein, sugar and mineral water. An interesting note is most non-synthetic industrial latex derives from the rubber tree. Various equatorial trees, shrubs and vines also product the substance.
What does the manufacturing process consist?
There are 4 processes in making rubber bands. Below is the process broken up into 8 steps to help better understand each of the main processes.
- Processing the natural latex
1. The rubber is collected from rubber trees on the rubber plantation and the first step is purifying the latex. It entails straining the latex to remove other constituent elements apart from rubber and to filter out impurities such as tree sap and debris.
2. Once the rubber is purified, it gets collected in large vats and is combined with acetic or formic acid. The rubber particles will then cling together to form slabs.
3. Each slab is squeezed between rollers to remove excess water and pressed into bales or blocks, ready to be shipped to factories.
- Mixing and milling
4. Rubber is shipped to a rubber factory. The slabs are machine cut into small pieces and using a Banbury Mixer, mix the rubber with other ingredients to increase or decrease the elasticity of the resulting rubber bands.
5. Milling is the next phase where the rubber is heated and squeezed flat in a milling machine.
6. Now, the flattened rubber is cut into strips and while it’s still hot, fed into an extruding machines to force the rubber out in long, hollow tubes. Any excess that builds up around the head of the extruding machine is cut off, collected and placed back with the rubber in the milling machine.
7. Tubes of rubber are forced over aluminium poles and because it’s brittle at this point, the rubber needs to be “cured” before it is elastic and usable. Poles are loaded onto racks that are steamed and heated to achieve this.
8. Finally, the rubber is removed from the poles and washed. Each tube is fed into another machine that slices them into finished rubber bands. Since they tend to clump together, only small quantities can be weighed accurately by machines.