What Is Neoprene?

Neoprene is one of the most widely used synthetic rubbers that is utilized in industrial, electronic, and household applications. This general-purpose rubber has several advantages over its natural rubber counterparts, but its high price point makes it an unpopular option. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of neoprene, its properties, and applications, allowing you to acquire a better understanding of this versatile product.

Developed in the 1930s by the Wallace Hume Carothers research group at the DuPont Company, neoprene has since been in high demand. In the United States alone, a boom in the automobile industry required the production of tons of rubber for use in tires. During the war, mobilization also required immense quantities of rubber for footwear, clothing, and warships. To meet the growing demand, the US developed a program that worked alongside chemical companies and research laboratories to produce new synthetic rubbers.

Today, more than 70% of the rubber utilized in manufacturing processes is synthetic, and a good portion of that is neoprene. Also referred to as polychloroprene or chloroprene, neoprene is produced through a process of polymerization. Polymerization consists of fastening molecules together to form long chains called polymers. Early versions of neoprene not only produced a putrid smell, but were incredibly expensive. However, the DuPont Company eventually developed new production methods that allowed them to commercialize the product. In just one year, DuPont would produce more than 300,000 tons.

Neoprene has a number of properties that make it an ideal choice for many operations, one being that it is a good general-purpose rubber. More than that, it has high tensile strength, making it a viable option for industrial settings and environments with a lot of movement. Paired with good resistance to chemicals, water, heat, flames, oxygen, and ozone, neoprene can handle many external stressors. When compared to natural rubber, neoprene outperforms such materials with regard to water, solvent, and heat resistance.

As neoprene is found in countless applications, this next section will cover a few of the most common. One of the most popular uses include household products. Due to its elasticity and resistance to distortion or bending, neoprene is even found in sports products such as wrist, knee, and elbow supports, as well as extra padding for insoles. Moreover, it is used in wet suits, dry suits, waders, and safety gloves.

With its high resistance, neoprene finds use in high-stress environments such as construction and automotive industries. In automotive settings, neoprene is utilized in hose coverings, CVJ boots, transmission belts, vibration mounts, and shock absorber seals. In terms of construction, neoprene offers good weather performance, ozone resistance, compression resistance, and more. As such, neoprene can be found in window seals, bridges, washers, window gaskets, deviator pads, and lift door astragals. 

One of the more popular forms that neoprene takes on is tubing. Neoprene tubing offers great resistance to cracking as compared to traditional rubber solutions, making it ideal for the transfer of air and liquids, but not oils. Additionally, it can be used in a wide range of temperatures, including for the transportation of high-temperature liquids. Neoprene also finds use in cable management, providing protective covering for cables and wires. 

If you find yourself in need of neoprene products such as neoprene washers, neoprene sheets, neoprene seals, or neoprene tubes, look no further than Aviation Purchasing Platform. Aviation Purchasing Platform is your one-stop-shop for all that you need to fulfill your parts requirements. With more than 2 billion ready-to-purchase items, all of which have been vetted for quality assurance and authenticity, you are bound to find what you need with ease. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote and see how Aviation Purchasing Platform can serve as your strategic sourcing partner. 


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