You might be surprised by how often you use neoprene every day – especially if you don’t know what it is exactly. This article explains all. Neoprene is a refined version of rubber. Tougher and more durable in high heats, this substance can be hard and dense, or rubber-like and easy to shape. Either way, the addition of this substance to household items over the years has led to significantly easing our lives.
Here is what you need to know to choose between neoprene and rubber.
What is Neoprene?
Let’s start with a quick definition for those who don’t know what neoprene is. First invented in 1930, this material wasn’t used for wetsuits until the 1950s. It can be a hard almost plastic-like substance. It can also be infused into material, making it flexible enough for any task. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber made by polymerization. This process joins molecules together to create chips of the original ingredient, polychloroprene. These chips are melted into neoprene sheets, which manufacturers can use for multiple purposes. The primary use of neoprene is in aquatics, as fabric for wet and dry suits. It can be fire retardant, especially when used to design furniture for care homes or hospitals.
The Pros and Cons of Neoprene at Home
Neoprene is such a useful material that you can use it throughout your house. Here are the pros and cons to help you decide.
The Pros of Neoprene
- High tensile strength
- Resistant to sunlight
- Resistant to oxidization
- Resistant to ozone
- Resistant to most petroleum
The Cons of Neoprene
- It costs more than rubber.
- Over time it will eventually soak up water, even though water resistance is high.
- It is not resistant to acids.
The Pros and Cons of Rubber for Household Goods
Assuming that everyone is familiar with rubber (it is what your car tires are made from), here are the pros and cons of using it as opposed to neoprene.
The Pros of Rubber
- Natural rubber has high tensile strength.
- Great resilience
- Tear resistance
- It dampens vibrations.
- It stretches.
- It’s cheap.
The Cons of Rubber
- Sun exposure will degrade it over time.
- Chemical exposure can weaken rubber.
- It stretches.
- Grease and fatty compounds will degrade it.
Items in Your Home Already Made from Neoprene
Neoprene is so popular that it is already in some of the items of your home. Some examples of this include:
- Your television remote
- Neoprene in fabric form makes your laptop cases, your mobile phone covers, and cases for your camera or tablet.
- If you have braces, they may well be neoprene braces.
- Waterproof gloves and shoes.
- Your car’s seat covers.
- Flip Flops.
- Cabling and tubing.
- Camera lenses, and more.
Of course, not everyone has a wetsuit or waterproof clothing. Most people have a TV remote, though, and that’s a good place to start.
The Future for Neoprene
Thanks to its flexible nature, it has an exciting future in the manufacturing industry. It’s not just about wet and dry suits. It’s about making life easier, one item at a time.