There is a large amount of variance amongst synthetic elastomers. The reason for this is that man-made rubbers are engineered to have very specific trait—traits engineered for certain applications. For example, EPDM rubber excels in outdoor conditions because of its all-weather characteristics. Some synthetic rubbers need to be more heat resistant; some need to be able to resist the ozone; some need to be able to withstand abrasion or be resilient to oils and greases. Chloroprene rubber performs all these functions well! This is a type of synthetic rubber that is meant to be used in everyday applications. In other words, it has lots of good qualities, so it can be used across many different industries and applications. In this article, we’ll dive into what defines sheet neoprene. As well, we’ll answer a few of your related questions:
• What is neoprene rubber sheet?
• What is better neoprene or rubber?
• What are neoprene sheets used for?
What Is Neoprene Rubber Sheet?
Sheet neoprene, also called chloroprene rubber, is commonly known as the general-purpose rubber. It is the “Jack of all Trades” of rubbers, and the qualities it possesses are strong all around. A sheet of neoprene has a long shelf-life, so manufacturers of neoprene tend to maintain a sizeable inventory of neoprene products—stocked with a wide range of widths and thicknesses. Sheet neoprene is a very popular material in the rubber market. Neoprene properties include a low neoprene compression set. And neoprene resistance to oils and weathering is moderate. Neoprene rubber is even available with flame-retardant properties. In a word, if you’re wondering: What is neoprene rubber sheet? Just know that neoprene is a highly versatile, general-purpose synthetic elastomer.
So, how does chloroprene rubber stack up against the other types of synthetic elastomers? Let’s explore the significant similarities and differences between each of the more commonly used rubbers:
Sheet Neoprene vs. Natural Rubber: During the World-War-II era, chemists set out to create a synthetic compound that possessed characteristics similar to those of natural rubber. Chloroprene rubber was one of the first synthetic compounds to mirror the valuable traits of natural rubber. These traits include a low compression set, high tensile strength, and resilience to abrasion. However, the man-made rubber outdid its natural counterpart with its additional moderate resistance to oil, grease, and weathering. Not to mention, neoprene could withstand a larger temperature range. For these benefits, neoprene is generally preferred over natural rubber.
Sheet Neoprene vs. SBR: SBR is used heavily in applications that require high levels of abrasion-resistance. SBR is less expensive than neoprene. For this reason, it is an abundantly-used rubber in consumer applications requiring wear-parts. The growing availability of reclaimed rubber, an eco-friendly version of SBR, is another reason this product has lower costs.
Sheet Neoprene vs. Nitrile: Both of the rubbers behave essentially the same, with few exceptions. Nitrile possesses an excellent resistance to petroleum-based fluids when compared to neoprene. Neoprene, however, can withstand ozone and weathering better than nitrile.
Sheet Neoprene vs. EPDM: The weathering-resistance of EPDM is better than that of neoprene. EPDM has a tolerance for a larger range of temperatures and a better resistance to water, too. It can also resist mild acids, detergents, and alkalis—unlike neoprene. But, it does poorly when exposed to oils and solvents, whereas neoprene resistance to these substances is moderate.
Sheet Neoprene vs. Silicone Rubber: Silicone is the ultimate rubber for resisting extreme temperatures. Silicone can perform in a larger range of temperatures than any of its elastomer counterparts. Remarkably, it’s also known for its mild odor when compared to other rubbers. But, silicone’s ability to perform in a broad range of temperatures comes at a cost: its tensile strength. Another thing worth noting is that sheet neoprene in the U.S. market is mostly imported, while there are many successful small- and medium-sized firms in the U.S. that produce silicone.
What Is Better Neoprene or Rubber?
Whether neoprene is better than rubber depends on the type of rubber you compare it to and the problem you’re trying to solve. For example, neoprene rubber is better than nitrile rubber if your application demands ozone resistance. And silicone rubber is better than sheet neoprene if your application demands high-temperature resistance. All in all, when it comes to the question of “what is better neoprene or rubber?” know that it depends on the type of rubber you’re comparing neoprene to and the application you’re using it for.
What Are Neoprene Sheets Used For?
Neoprene sheets are used for applications such producing a neoprene gasket, neoprene bumpers, and a neoprene foam roll. Contrary to many of the other elastomers, chloroprene rubber much more versatile, balancing features that are helpful in a broader range of uses. Indeed, neoprene is a general-purpose rubber, for it performs well in applications where a combination of traits that aren’t present in other rubbers is needed. Among other things, neoprene properties include resistances to a host of conditions, making it generally applicable for your needs—whether you need new outdoor flooring or indoor play-matting. Simply put, while other rubbers can be rather unidimensional, to buy neoprene sheets is a good compromise. It’s versatile, and sometimes, that’s all you need.