Neoprene pads are used widely across a number of industries and applications. They can often be found cushioning heavy-duty industrial machinery, preventing damage to either the concrete floor underneath or the machine itself. That type of application is one in which neoprene vibration isolators are ideal—they dampen the vibrations that the machines generate, protecting both the equipment and the floors. Furthermore, dance studios can use a neoprene rubber pad as a “floating floor” underneath their tile, concrete, or hardwood surfaces. Doing so protects the floors and makes them safer to traverse. Fire doors also utilize neoprene pads in their doorframes’ weather-strippings—this is done for padding and sealing purposes. The list can go on and on.
Is Neoprene Foam or Rubber?
This question may confusion, so we’ll clear things up: Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that can come in the form of neoprene foam, as well as solid neoprene. These are the two types of neoprene that are typically available. Among these two types, neoprene products also vary in terms of durometer and density. As you can see, there are many variants of neoprene, each of which possesses different degrees of neoprene characteristics that make them ideal for different applications. The myriad of uses of a neoprene rubber pad raises questions—similar to the question, “Is neoprene foam or rubber?”: What are neoprene pads used for? What is neoprene bearing pad? Here are three reasons why neoprene is so useful in a variety of applications:
1. Broad Set of Physical Properties: Neoprene is commonly known as the general, all-purpose synthetic elastomer. For the most part, synthetic elastomers are engineered to have very specific qualities designed for particular applications. But, neoprene is an exception. Neoprene possesses many traits that are useful in the widest range of applications but are not specialized to accommodate the more nuanced applications. Nonetheless, neoprene’s strength lies in its balance of characteristics. This is why its designation as an all-purpose elastomer is completely appropriate. For example, sheet neoprene a relatively low density, as well as moderate tear and abrasion resistance.
2. Moderate Resistance to Oils: As mentioned earlier, neoprene vibration isolators are often found under industrial machinery and other pieces of mechanical equipment. The applications for which industries use these machines often deal with oils and greases. Rubbers, like styrene-butadiene and natural rubber, tend to react adversely when exposed to oil. However, neoprene and nitrile are two of the few rubber products that possess resistance to oil. Though nitrile is preferred in most instances that require oil resistance, neoprene is less expensive and more readily available, making it more ideal for application in which oil and grease exposure isn’t the primary concern, but is still an issue heeding consideration.
3. Moderate Resistance to Ozone, Sun, and Weathering: A neoprene rubber pad is used in both indoor and outdoor applications due to its resistance to ozone, UV-rays and other weather variables. It also has a long lifespan, which is one of the reasons for why a high-durometer neoprene pad is so commonly used in the construction of houses and other buildings. Thus, the unique feature of the material in neoprene pads is its combination of resistances to weathering, oil, and degradation through time. Nitrile—the other elastomer that’s resistant to oil—has poor resistance to ozone, UV rays, and most other forms of weathering.
What Are Neoprene Pads Used For?
As we’ve said, neoprene pads are useful for applications such as rubber neoprene sheeting for cushioning machines, neoprene seals and gaskets, and neoprene bearing pads. Because neoprene possesses a versatile range of qualities, it’s well-suited for these applications since, in such environments, different variables tend to be in play—oils, weather, and abrasion are all common factors.
What Is Neoprene Bearing Pad?
In short, a neoprene bearing pad is used in the construction of bridges, supporting the weight of the bridge’s beams, as well as supporting the bridge as it shifts around. While the function of an elastomeric neoprene bearing pad is more complex, we just wanted to give you a quick summary of the concept since we mentioned neoprene bearing pads above Neoprene pads possess a combination of traits that are characteristic to most elastomers—traits such a large neoprene temperature-range and flexibility. And since neoprene is a rubber material, it naturally absorbs shock—making it a great material for neoprene vibration isolation pads. What can’t neoprene do? It’s for good reason that neoprene is the elastomeric “Jack of All Trades.” Its best quality is its moderate balance of all the elastomer properties. So, whenever you want a cost-effective and quick pad to protect parts, consider a neoprene rubber pad.