How are rubber bands made?
Latex is the main raw material required for the production of rubber bands. This is obtained from the sap of the rubber tree. The rubber juice is still harvested manually today. The bark of the tree is scratched and the liquid is collected in containers. The containers are emptied on a weekly basis.
In order to be able to process latex more easily and to make the end product more durable and elastic, additives such as oil rubber (factics), UV stabilizers and color are added to the latex. However, the proportion of these additives is small. In the case of high-quality, naturally transparent rubber rings, its value is less than 2%.
Once the recipe is ready, the latex juice is dried for further processing and packed into bales.
The latex mixture is liquefied with the addition of heat and pressed through an extruder. This creates caoutchouc tubes which - to avoid sticking - are powdered with talcum powder or sprayed with silicone after cooling down. The extruders are available in different diameters from approx. 10 mm to 260 mm. In order to give the tube a certain inherent stability, large tube diameters have a greater wall thickness than smaller ones.
The actual rubber bands are created by cutting the tube into the final rings, as the rubber bands can be also called. This process takes place in cutting systems: the tube is flattened and fed to a cutting chamber with rotating knives. There the tubes are precisely chopped into rings.