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Where can I buy rubber bands that are extremely long-lasting?

I want 'rubber bands' that are highly elastic that I can use to hold random objects together for say 5 or 10+ years. Do such things even exist? What sort of rubbers work best? e.g. Some type of Silicone Rubber? Synthetic rubber?

I am sick of that finding my conventional rubber bands, which I think are made from natural rubber, have gone brittle and/or sticky and now snap/tear with ease.

J

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  • Hi user2240198, Welcome to Lifehacks. We hope you enjoy sharing knowledge and experience. To get the most from our site visit Tour and Help center. For your effort, you'll get your first rep(utation) badge.
    – Stan
    Jul 11 at 2:42
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    You may be on the wrong side of Chemistry 101. The ability of plastics to retain their shape is a temporary feature of the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) used in their manufacture which degrade over time. It is a 'feature' of the material. There are concessions—the more flexible the compound is, the shorter its service life. This is a Good Thing™ as we don't want the stuff to hang around in our environment—complicating things as it does—for as long as it does already. Consider using a hack for your needs instead of the 'stuff' of your dreams which would become a nightmare if it could exist.
    – Stan
    Jul 11 at 14:56
  • Premium product such as a £1000 pair of binoculars have highly flexible rubber fastenings that last for many-many years. How come? Re. the environment, I take issue with your thinking. The big problem for the environment is all this SINGLE USE stuff, particularly plastics. And rubber bands seem to be very nearly "single use" nowadays to. But I say that if I had 10 or 20 rubber bands last lasted me my entire lifetime would be much better for the environment and me getting through hundreds of the damned things. Not to mention all my food going off and being wasted as a result. Jul 19 at 17:43
  • This is true. I have a pair made by Leitz. Flexible is not the same as stretchable. What do you want to do, exactly? There are different ways to accomplish the same things functionally. Remember, this site is Lifehacks not a supermarket of products.
    – Stan
    Jul 20 at 13:56
  • Ultimate "Rubber" Band Hack: You're looking to acquire Graphene™ infused elastic bands which are made by and available from the world's largest rubber band manufacturer, Alliance Rubber Co., Hot Springs, Ak. US. The story from ZMEScience.com about the material which is 200X (times) stronger than steel, pound for pound, can be found [see link] You might find them pricey; but, if your heart is set on one solution and you won't accept another practical lifehack (AKA Plan B); contact them. Good luck. [link]: zmescience.com/research/graphene-bands-rubber
    – Stan
    Aug 26 at 17:48
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HACK: for rubber bands that are extremely long lasting.
Use bands of fabric or metal — using a metal spring to take up any slack against loosening.

The kind (material) and gauge (stiffness) of spring you use will assure a tenacious hold that will not change no matter how long you wish. Springs will not lose their hold unless their elastic limit is exceeded. Spring tension is variable by virtue of their design. Different capacities are reliable and available.

You can modify the appearance to suit your aesthetic sense.

Good luck.

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  • I am aware of metal springs. They do not perform what I required. Jul 19 at 17:45
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Very long-lasting rubber bands can be cut from tire inner-tubes. By cutting on the bias of a bicycle tire tube, for example, any size from the thickness of the tube (a few cm) to the diameter of the tire can be made.

Rather than buy a new tube, even a holey discarded tube suffices.

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  • A) I don't understand how what you mean about cutting on the bias. If I want a rubber band that will lie flat, surely my only option would be to cut radially. B) Very minor point - inner tubes are all black! It would be nice to have some other colours. Surely someone somewhere manufactures something better. (e.g. Those exercise bands seem to last a long time - but they won't lie flat very well if I try to cut a circle out of one...) Jul 11 at 10:42
  • My favourite method for high-quality rubber bands as well. One more trick for the limited length options is to chain rubberbands using cow hitch knots.
    – tanius
    Jul 26 at 16:39
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I suggest trying hobby stores for the high quality rubber bands used with model airplanes. Sig Products or Ben Buckle are two name brands you might look for.

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  • I have already tried those rubber bands that model airplanes use. If you have them under tension that simply don't last. In my experience after about 1 to 1.5 years they become hopeless. Comment: There just HAS to be some better quality materials out there. It's a clear case of built-in redundancy. Much like the light bulb industry for so many years, the rubber band manufacturers don't WANT our rubber bands to last. For that reason I hate rubber bands with a passion. Jul 11 at 10:44
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HACK: for holding random objects together for 10+ years with a sustained ability to clasp:
Use wraps of STRING — using a knot against loosening.

Modifying the kind of knot in the string (such as a bow which slips) will assure its easy removal when you wish to alter the contents of the package.

String is available in different materials, sizes, gauge, and lengths. A flat length of string is called a lace and can be used in the same manner with little modification if 'flat' is an important requirement for you.

Good luck.

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  • I am aware of string. No, I need something that is highly elastic. Jul 19 at 17:44

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