Kitchen Science Experiments

Heat Shrink! - Why rubber bands get shorter when you heat them.

Sun, 28th Sep 2008

Listen Now    Download as mp3 Part 1,2 from the show Young at Heart - Healthy Ageing

What you Need

A rubber band

An elastic (rubber) band

Hook on crane at Princess Elizabeth Graving Dock, East London, South Africa.

Something to hang it from (you can use something smaller!)

Picture of a heat gun kit

A hot air gun or hair drier

Two dumbells

A weight (you can use something smaller!)

What to do

Hang your rubber band from the hook.

If you stretch a rubber band it starts off quite easily and then it gets more difficult. You want to add weight to the band to stretch it until it starts to get more difficult to stretch.

Watch the weight very carefully, you will probably have to keep your head in one place by putting it on the table and sighting the weight onto something behind.

Heat up the rubber band to see what happens.

What may happen

You should find that as you heat the elastic band the weight lifts up. As the band cools down again it will stretch (lengthen) again.