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Thread: How Does Rubber Work?

  1. #1 How Does Rubber Work? 
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    Hi, I am looking for a substance that is similar to rubber, but which works a bit like like playdough in that it will deform and keep its shape when put under pressure - when for example massaged in the hand. It must not however break up like playdough, nor must it be sticky, again like playdo (you shouldn't for example, be able to tear it and then stick the seperate pieces together again by just using the pressure of your hands. It should preferably be able to be produced with different 'stiffness' qualities', ranging from the consistancy (and stiffer) of playdough, to a very loose (almost watery) consistancy ( a bit like the flubber stuff that is being discussed here: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/extras/Gak.htm) and preferably would have the same (or very similar) surface texture to to soft latex.it should also be able to regain it's own natural moulded shape if left alone and untouched for long enough. (Perhaps after an hour or two).

    What are the most likely candidates for a material with these properties? Is it possible to produce a single material with all of these properties, or would it take two two different substances? Basically I initially interested in looking at substances such as this because I wanted to make some inner ear moulds for my specialised Ipod earphones that would adjust to the the shape of my ear and provide a tight seal from external noise - but which could also deform and grow as my ears changed and grew through the years. But then I thought of a few other interesting applications that a substance/s like this might have.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    GJ


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  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore vslayer's Avatar
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    you could try putting small flexibles fibres inside so that they eventuaully remold the substance as it slowly gives way


    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  4. #3  
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    also, cornflour inside a rubber tube that was joined at the end would slowly regain the shape of the tube, but mold in your ear to be comfortable
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Kind of like my Tempurpedic pillow It molds to my head without resistance yet regains most of it's shape slowly. Kind of like a rubberized sand bag.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Kind of like my Tempurpedic pillow It molds to my head without resistance yet regains most of it's shape slowly. Kind of like a rubberized sand bag.
    That is sort of what I was thinking of yes - although it would need to be a bit more maliable for ear moulds/earphones. The Idea would be for a tough wearing substance that moulded naturally to the inner shape of your ear, but which due to body heat and natural expansion would swell slightly (but not so vastly so as to become firmly lodged in your ears).

    The problem I have is that I have used in ear earphones (even ones that fit right inside your ear canal) before - but it is almost impossible to maintain a good seal - and it is exactly that seal that is important in allowing you to hear the full audio range.

    But then I thought, what if you could make a rubber type substance with the same consistancy of jelly (I don't know the american term for this - but it's basically just pectin and water) but which was solid and stretchable - but which also (unlike my original idea) was able to hold it's shape - a bit like a baloon filed with water. The only difference is that it would be a solid and would hold no water at all and would be very durable as well as soft and maliable. (In that you could squeeze it etc - but it would nonethelessalways return to it's original shape).

    The question is could you do that with one substance, or would it require two - and what would be the most likely candidates to produce a suitable substance/s of this nature?

    GJ
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