Hd-1 The Rubber Band Heat Engine
Published: Monday 13 March 2006 - Updated: Monday 28 March 2011
To demonstrate that rubber contracts on heating and to illustrate this with a simple rubber band heat engine.
- Rubber band heat engine as shown
Click on pictures to enlarge.
The engine consists of a bicycle wheel with rubber bands for spokes. Rubber contracts on heating so lamps placed on one side of the wheel shift the center of gravity resulting in rotation. Cooler spokes move into the irradiated region to repeat the process. To achieve a smoother rotation the wheel is balanced using small pieces of plasticene placed around the rim.