Why Neoprene Rubber is So Widely Used in Industry
Whilst we supply and manufacture an extensive range of rubbers and polymers, one of the most frequently requested materials is Neoprene rubber.
Neoprene Is the trade name for Polychloroprene rubber or Chloroprene. It is a synthetic rubber material, initially developed as a cost-effective substitute for natural rubber, and is a highly versatile material that is extensively used in various industries. With its impressive array of use properties, Neoprene has proved to be an indispensable choice for a wide range of applications.
Dating back to the 1920s, Neoprene was developed by Arnold Collins, an American Chemist working for the DuPont research group. Following the considerably increased demand for natural rubber following the First World War, Collins worked to create a cheaper alternative to meet this demand, which led to the discovery that the polymerisation of chloroprene resulted in a strong, versatile material providing the same useful characteristics of natural rubber.
Like all polymer materials, there are a range of advantages and disadvantages of using Neoprene, but the pros much outweigh the cons column, which explains why it is used for so many different applications that we see every day.
Why choose Neoprene?
Neoprene is one of the most popular materials for industries such as Automotive, Construction, Electrical, Manufacturing and Sportswear due to its exceptional properties and versatility. Here are some of the most important reasons why Neoprene is widely used and the applications it is utilised for:
- Chemical Resistance: Neoprene rubber exhibits excellent resistance to oils, chemicals, and acids, making it suitable for applications in industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and construction.
- Weather Resistance: Neoprene rubber is highly resistant to weathering, ozone, and UV radiation. It can withstand extreme temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor applications and environments with varying weather conditions.
- Waterproofing: Neoprene rubber has inherent water-resistant properties, making it a preferred choice for applications that require sealing, gaskets, or waterproofing, such as in marine equipment, wetsuits, construction and electrical enclosures.
- Durability: Neoprene is known for its durability and long lifespan. It can withstand physical abrasion, tearing, and flexing, making it suitable for heavy-duty applications that require resilience and longevity. It provides an effective gasket material for many manufacturing processes that require strength and durability to withstand constant use and exposure to extreme environments.
- Flexibility and Elasticity: Neoprene maintains its flexibility and elasticity over a wide temperature range, allowing it to conform to irregular shapes and provide excellent sealing capabilities.
- Shock Absorption: Neoprene rubber has good shock-absorbing properties, making it useful in applications that require vibration isolation or cushioning, such as in sports equipment, footwear, and automotive components.
- Flame Resistance: Neoprene rubber exhibits self-extinguishing properties and resists the spread of flames, making it a preferred material in industries that prioritise fire safety, such as aerospace and electrical.
- Adhesive Compatibility: Neoprene rubber has good compatibility with various adhesives, allowing for easy bonding to different substrates, including metals, plastics, and fabrics. Neoprene is well suited for Neoprene rubber strips, cut from Neoprene rubber sheet, which can be adhesive backed to suit a wide range of sealing, vibration isolation and gasketing applications.
These are just a few examples of the many applications and industries where Neoprene is extensively used. This versatility also makes it a preferred material in a range of other sectors, including aerospace, mining and even medical.
Manufacturing with Neoprene Rubber
At CB Frost, we supply black Neoprene rubber in a roll stock material of thicknesses ranging from 1mm to 12mm. We can supply a number of different grades, including commercial, flame retardant and British Standard (BS2752) specifications, depending on your specific needs.
At our premises in Birmingham, we have the manufacturing facilities and expertise to convert Neoprene rubber sheet or roll material into a range of useful products, including:
- Neoprene gaskets
- Neoprene rubber strips
If you are looking for a Neoprene manufacturing partner, or require assistance in choosing the right material or grade of Neoprene for your application, please contact our sales team by calling +44 (0)121 773 8494 or get in touch here.