Project based on the theme rubber

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Hello,
i'm currently doing a project based on the theme rubber, specifically the friction/texture of rubber.
so i'm just wondering, what gives rubber the "rubbery" texture that it has (chemically, structurally, etc.)?
any links to good sites would be helpful!
thx,
jen.:rolleyes:
 
Hi there!
Rubber's 'rubbery' texture comes from the fact that the positions and orientations of rubber molecules are not entirely static, as one might expect in normal solids like chalk or sugar crystals.

You can think of rubber as long chains of molecules. Here's a rough illustration of what's going on: In its relaxed state, the molecules are randomly oriented:

\―/|\\\/―\|―||/|―|\―\/―\|―||/\\

Each line segment represents a single rubber molecule. When force is applied at its ends, you 'strech' it. You can imagine a bunch of these molecules reorienting in a direction so as to minimize the strain (measured in units of energy) on the system.

――/|――――――\――――――――――|―――――\――

In fact, using statistical mechanics and a simple model like the one I described above, you can model a piece of rubber band. If you have a strong background in mathematics, this might not be a bad topic to consider.
 

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