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Experience with Rubber tubing

Hi Everyone,

I use black rubber tubing from Rio (#681-304) over memory wire and
silver in my jewelry line. Recently I got back two pieces (bracelets
with the black rubber over memory wire with silver glued over the
rubber). I was alarmed. The rubber had disintigrated so badly, it
had almost fallen apart. These pieces were a least a couple of years

Has anyone had an experience with this material? Or does anyone know
of an alternative black material that could be used over memory wire
that is longer lasting.

Thanks in advance for any replies,


I haven’t purchased black rubber cord or tubing from Rio, though I
have purchased a lot of it from Rings & Things. Their rubber cord is
made in Germany. When I first got it I put it through it’s paces - I
secured the end of a piece in a vice and checked how far I could
stretch it before it snapped; I soaked a piece of it (that had been
tightly coiled and had gotten “bent” in boiling water and watched in
relax and become straight again. I’ve used it over memory wire and
softflex with no problem - some I’ve had for at least 2 years and
worn it myself-and no deterioration has taken place.

I tried several super glues with it to find which held the best. Rio
does have a wonderful adhesive, called Rio JetSet Adhesive which is
used with rubber cording and tubing. This superglue never gets
brittle and is incredible. BUT it does have a very short life, so
don’t buy more than a bottle of it at a time. I currently own two
bottles both of which have solidified (but aren’t hard, just
compressible solid) and they are slightly under 2 years old. I
believe their shelf life is 1 year. I just purchased more than I

I would call Rio and go through their tech department and find out
what experience others may have had or they may know of and see what
they have to say. Rio is generally very willing to work with you -
I’d ask who their manufacturer is and if you could go directly to
the manufacturer with your problem. Sometimes they are helpful. I do
know that rubber cord which lies in hot sun for a long period will
shrink somewhat but just general usage should not cause any problem.

We all know it won’t last forever, and yet such neoprene tubing is
used in lots of machines - obviously made somewhat differently, but
doubt it is all that different.

Sorry to hear of your problems and hope you find a solution to them.


I would suggest you look for O ring cord rather than buy “pig in a
poke” material from jewelry suppliers.

Goggle “O ring materials” and also “rubber tubing”

you can also get guidance and material here look for both rubber
tubing and rubber cord:

You probably need a material with the highest resistance to ozone
and UV light… you can find just the cord and adhesives to join the


Hi Suzanne,

You might try going to an Electronics supplier such as a Radio Shack
or an independent and see if the have any black heat shrink tubing
that is of the color that would be appropriate.

I have used it in my electronic technician and automotive technician
days and a good quality type holds up well in all kinds of

Ken Moore

Hi Suzanne.

Presumably something in the glue reacted with the rubber or, more
probably, its owner had been spraying it with perfume. Have you
considered trying heat-shrink tubing? You can get it from places that
supply electronic components among others.

Best wishes,
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK