The Low Tolerance Spec

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Neoprene Gaskets 101

Posted by Virgil Alonso on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 @ 10:10 AM
Neoprene Gaskets

Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber created by polymerization of chloroprene. Because of its polychloroprene factor, neoprene can resist extreme temperatures. Neoprene shows good chemical stability, high tensile strength, resilience to oil, flame resistance, and has the ability to maintain elasticity over a wide temperature range.

This material was invented in the 1930s, and since then, neoprene has been incorporated into a variety of products & applications that we use in daily life, such as laptop sleeves, orthopedic braces (wrist, knee, etc.), electrical insulation, liquid and sheet applied elastomeric membranes or flashings, and automotive fan belts. Due to a high demand in gasket-making for applications, outside of Russia and China, about 300,000 tons of neoprene is produced annually.

Neoprene is formed by free-radical polymerization of 2-chlorobutadiene. Chloroprene is a colorless, toxic, and flammable liquid. In today’s production chloroprene is obtained by chlorinating butadiene or isoprene. Turning chloroprene into rubber involves a process called emulsion polymerization. It is emulsified in water and then polymerized by free-radical initiators.

The material has several other interesting and useful qualities such as:

●     Resist degradation from sunlight, ozone, and weather

●     Good resistance to oils and chemicals

●     Functions in a wide range of temperatures

●     Excellent physical strength

●     Good flame resistant

●     Good flex resistance and elasticity

Neoprene’s inert quality makes it well suited for demanding applications such as gaskets, hoses, and corrosion-resistant coatings. It can be used as a base for adhesives, noise isolation in power transformer installations, and as padding in external metal cases to protect the contents while allowing a snug fit. It resists burning better than exclusively hydrocarbon based rubbers, resulting in its appearance in weather stripping for fire doors and in combat related attire such as gloves and face masks. Because of its tolerance of extreme conditions, neoprene is used to line landfills.

Tags: Specification Tips