What is the Effect of Storage Temperature on the Elasticity of a Rubber Band?

Researched by Andy E.



The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of temperature on the elasticity of a rubber band.

I became interested in this experiment when I was doing a report on Charles Goodyear in school. He invented vulcanized rubber. I have also noticed that rubber bands that had been in cold temperatures would break easily and I wanted to know what would happen if they were in warm temperature. 

The information gained from this experiment may help companies or people that are going to store rubber bands in warm or cold temperatures. It could also help companies or stores that sell things that are made of rubber such as tires.


My hypothesis was that the rubber bands stored in 0 degrees celsius temperature would not be as elastic as the ones stored in 20 degrees celsius or 75 degrees celsius temperature.

I based my hypothesis on my research, observations, and an Internet site I visited. It stated that rubber bands stored in cold temperatures would not be as elastic as ones stored in room temperature or warm temperature.


The constants in this study were:
         - The brand of rubber bands.
         - The scale I will use.
         - The size of the rubber bands.
         - The amount of time the rubber bands are stored in the temperatures before testing.
         - The oven.
         - The freezer.
         - The color of the rubber bands.

The manipulated variable was the temperature the rubber bands were stored in before the tests.

The responding variable was how much force the rubber bands could take before they broke.

To measure the responding variable I used a spring scale and I measured the elasticity in kilograms.

75 Rubber Bands
1 Spring Scale
1 Oven
1 Freezer
1 Glove


 1.  Gather all materials.
 2.  Separate 3 groups with 25 rubber bands in each group.
 3.  Put 1 group of 25 rubber bands in a freezer at 0 degrees celsius temperature.
 4.  Store it there for 3 hours.
 5.  Take all of the rubber bands in that group out.
 6.  Take 1 of the rubber bands and put it on the spring scale and pull it down.
 7.  Right before it breaks read what it says on the scale.
 8.  Record your data.
 9.  Do this with every rubber band. 
10. Put another group of 25 rubber bands in room temperature set at 20 degrees celsius temperature.
11. Repeat steps 4 through 9.
12. Put another group of 25 rubber bands in an oven at 75 degrees celsius temperature.
13. Repeat steps 4 through 9.


The original purpose of this experiment was to determine if temperature affected the elasticity of a rubber band. 

The results of the experiment were that the rubber bands stored at the coldest temperature were the most elastic. The rubber bands stored at room temperature were the second most elastic. And the rubber bands stored at the warmest temperature were the least elastic.

See the table and graph


My hypothesis was that rubber bands stored in 0 degrees celsius temperature will not be as elastic as the ones stored in 20 degrees celsius and in 75 degrees celsius temperature. The results indicate that this hypothesis should be rejected. The rubber bands in the warmest temperatures were not as elastic as the other ones. The most elastic ones were in the coldest temperature.

These findings should be useful to companies, stores, or people that are going to store rubber bands. 

Because of this experiment, I wonder if all things made of rubber are effected by temperature? If this were true then companies that store tires and other important things would be able to use this information. 

If I were to conduct this experiment again I would test the rubber bands in the temperature instead of storing them in it before the test. That would be a more useful experiment.



This research will include information about rubber bands, such as what are they are made of and how are they made. It will have information about rubber, such as how rubber is used and how it used to be made. It will have information about temperature and heat, such as how it is measured and how to convert units of temperature into other units of temperature. It will also include information about elasticity.

Rubber Bands

 A rubber band is made of natural rubber, calcium carbonate, carbon black, clay, sulfur, stearic acid, zinc oxide, wax, and oil.
 Rubber bands are made by mixing all of the ingredients together. Then it is put into a machine called a "extruder" to make it into a tube. Then it is put into a pressurized steam tank. This gives the rubber band its round shape and great strength. This process is called "vulcanization." Then the long round tube is cut into tiny rings.
 Rubber bands are measured in three dimensions. The are measured by length, width, and thickness. The distance from end to end when laid flat is the length. The width of the band is measures how wide it is, perpendicular to the length. The thickness measures the wall of the rubber band.


 In the United States about three-fifths of the rubber we have is used for automobiles, airplanes, busses, tractors, and construction machinery. Rubber is used for a lot of household products too. Manufacturers use it make things waterproof. It can be used as an insulator if it was made into foam. It is also used to make rubber cement. Rubber is grown on plantations, usually in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The world’s rubber production is about nine million metric tons. 
 Rubber, long ago, did not work very well. That was before people knew how to vulcanize it. It became sticky in hot weather, and stiff and brittle in cold weather. But in 1839 Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber. Tires that used the early rubber would last 300 to 500 miles but now tires last a lot longer usually 30,000 to 50,000 miles or more.


 Temperature is how hot or cold something is as measured on a particular scale. The two most common ways of measuring temperature are Celsius and Fahrenheit. Another way to measure temperature is Kelvin. Instruments that measure temperature are called thermometers. The formula for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius is °C=(°F-32)/1.8. The formula for converting Celsius to Kelvin is °K=°C+273.


 People use heat in many ways. People use it in their homes to make them more comfortable. It also allows people to have hot water.
 There are a lot of sources of heat. The most common ones are the sun, the earth, chemical reactions, electricity, and friction. 
 Heat is the most important form of energy. Heat and energy cannot be seen, but the work they do can. Everything is made up of atoms or molecules, which are always moving. The motion gives the object internal energy. The level of an object’s internal energy depends n how rapidly it’s atoms or molecules move. If they move slowly, the object has a low level of internal energy. If they move violently, it has a high level of internal energy. If an object has a high internal energy it is hot, but if it has a low internal energy it is cold.


 Elasticity is the ability to return to an original shape after being deformed by a force. All solids have elasticity. If the stress applied to a solid exceeds its elastic limit it will not return to its original shape. Stress is related to strain. Strain measures how much a given dimension of a solid changes under stress. The greater the stress, the greater the strain. The ratio of stress to strain is called the elastic modulus. Object with a high elastic modulus, such as steel, has a stronger resistance to stress than an object with a low elastic modulus, such as rubber. The equation of the elasticity of a rubber band is  (delta L)= (FL)/(EA) where (delta L)= length change, F= force, L= length, E= elastic modulus, and A= cross-sectional area.


 Rubber is a very useful substance, made better by vulcanization. Elasticity is what makes rubber a perfect material for making rubber bands, tires, and bumpers.


Barmby, Pauline. "Elasticity." http://madsci.org/posts/archives/feb98/886465170.Ph.r.html  10/31/00.

Big Wig Bands. "Rubber Bands." http://www.bigwigbands.com/rubberbands.html 1/10/01.

Central Elastic Corporation. "Rubber Bands." http://cec.com.my/faq.htm 10/24/00.

Cezairliyan, Ared. "Heat." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.

Cosner, Sharon. "Rubber." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences. "Units of Temperature." http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/%28G1%29/guides/maps/ctof.rxml 11/14/00.

Materials Science and Technology. "Recent Developments." http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?ti=0464F000 1/10/01.

Plumb, Harmon. "Temperature." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.

Rolfe, Stanley T.   "Elasticity." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1999.

University of Akron. "Polymers." http://www.polymer.uakron.edu/pubweb.html 

University of California. "College of Chemistry." http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/ChemResources/temperature.html 1/9/01.


I would like to thank the following people for their help in making my project possible and successful.

  • I would like to thank my parents for getting the materials need to conduct my experiment.
  • I would also like to thank my teachers Mr. Newkirk, Mr. Arambul, and Mrs. Pasckvale for correcting the writing part of my project.
  • I would also like to thank my classmates for support throughout my project.

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