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Neoprene: Exploring the Benefits and Applications of O-Rings and Gaskets

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Chloroprene was the first synthetic rubber, and was developed commercially in the 1930s by DuPont under the name Neoprene®. Chloroprene rubbers contain Chlorine in the polymer to reduce the reactivity to many oxidizing agents, as well as to oil and flame. The material exhibits generally good ozone, aging, and chemical resistance. Chloroprene compounds also have relatively high tensile strength, as well as good abrasion and tear resistance. Chloroprene compounds are suitable for use in heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC), refrigeration units and numerous dynamic applications. It can be used to make O-rings, cut gaskets, custom molded rubber components, and more. For the rest of this blog, we will refer to this material as its most common name: Neoprene.


Properties of Neoprene Rubber

Neoprene X-ring quad ring


Neoprene rubber has several unique properties that make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications, including:


  1. Excellent Resistance to Oil and Chemicals: Neoprene rubber has excellent resistance to oil, chemicals, and solvents, making it an ideal material for manufacturing products that require resistance to harsh environments. It’s also compatible with paraffin base mineral oil with low DPI, e.g. ASTM oil No. 1, silicone oil and grease

  2. Good Heat Resistance: Neoprene rubber has good heat resistance and can withstand high temperatures without degrading or losing its properties.

  3. Good Flexibility: Neoprene rubber has good flexibility and can be formulated in various hardness levels, ranging from very soft to very hard.

  4. Good Electrical Insulation Properties: Neoprene rubber has good electrical insulation properties, making it an ideal material for manufacturing electrical components.

  5. Relative Low Cost: Compared to most elastomers, Neoprene is comparatively inexpensive.

  6. Good Weathering Resistance: Neoprene is great for outdoor applications, with its excellent resistance to ozone, weathering and aging.

  7. Available in multiple compounds to meet performance and cost requirements.


Limitations of Neoprene Rubber


Like all materials, Neoprene isn’t universally compatible with all applications. Neoprene rubber has several limitations to be aware of.


  1. Poor resistance to aromatic hydrocarbons (benzene), chlorinated hydrocarbons (trichloroethylene)

  2. Poor resistance to polar solvents, ketones, esters, ethers, acetones

  3. Service Temperature Range (varies with application): -65°F to 250°F (-54°C to 121°C)

Applications of Neoprene Rubber


Neoprene rubber has a broad range of applications across various industries, including:


  1. Industrial Industry: Neoprene rubber is widely used in the industrial industry for manufacturing various products, including O-rings, gaskets, seals, and conveyor belts, that require excellent resistance to oil, chemicals, and heat.

  2. Automotive Industry: Neoprene rubber is used in the automotive industry for manufacturing various components, including engine mounts, O-rings, hoses, and seals, that require resistance to oil, heat, and chemicals.

  3. Construction Industry: Neoprene rubber is used in the construction industry for manufacturing various products, including roofing materials, adhesives, and sealants, that require resistance to harsh environments.

  4. Consumer Goods Industry: Neoprene rubber is used in the consumer goods industry for manufacturing various products, including wetsuits, gloves, and boots, that require resistance to water and chemicals.


Conclusion


Neoprene rubber is a highly versatile elastomer material that offers excellent resistance to oil, chemicals, and heat. Its unique properties make it an ideal material for a wide range of applications across various industries, including the industrial, automotive, construction, and consumer goods industries. If you require a material that offers excellent resistance to oil, chemicals, and heat for your industrial application, neoprene rubber may be an excellent choice for you. To learn more, see our Neoprene page.



Where can I get Neoprene parts?


With the request a quote page, you can get directly in contact with our team of specialists who will help get you the parts you need.





Sources:


[1] Neoprene - chemical safety facts. (2022, October 14). Chemical Safety Facts. https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/chemicals/neoprene/


[2] The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Neoprene (CR). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/neoprene


[3] Neoprene Traits and Applications. (2020, October 5). https://www.thomasnet.com/articles/plastics-rubber/traits-applications-neoprene/

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