It’s hard to argue with the simplicity and design of a rubber band. I mean, it has a million uses, but at the end of the day it’s just a small strip of rubber. How much better could it possibly get? Ohio-based Alliance Rubber wants to find out, so they’re partnering with scientists in the field of graphene research in an effort to develop next-generation rubber bands which are not only incredibly strong, but can also last pretty much forever.

Graphene is an incredible material. It’s essentially an incredibly thin sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. This unique structure gives it almost unbelievable strength which puts even the strongest steels to shame. It’s considered the strongest material on Earth, and its potential applications are endless.

Alliance Rubber intends to help determine exactly how this super-material could be used in its products, so the company has teamed up with researchers at the University of Sussex. The partnership will explore potential uses for graphene-infused rubber bands, which might sound like a remarkably thin niche, but there’s actually plenty of options on the table beyond the potential for ultra-durability.

The company will help explore the possibility of graphene-rubber bands which could act as bar codes for produce in grocery stores, as well as heat-sensitive bands which change color depending on the temperature. There’s even potential for protective bands which would be applied to RFID-embedded credit cards to protect them from hackers attempting to scrape information remotely.

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