As a synthetic elastomer, neoprene sheeting is considered to be heavy-duty. Neoprene is well-known for its excellent resistance to chemicals and oils and is popularly used in industrial settings. The chemical resistance of neoprene allows for the use of both solid and foam neoprene in highly chemically abrasive environments. Furthermore, neoprene is a versatile material and can be used indoors and outdoors interchangeably. These properties of neoprene sheeting allow them to be used for protective applications that will increase the safety of work environments.
What are the Protective Qualities of Neoprene?
Neoprene sheeting offers protective qualities against sunlight, chemicals and oils, heat, moisture and impact absorption. As a synthetic elastomer, neoprene rubber has enhanced strength and chemical resistance compared to natural rubber, meaning they can better protect items or materials from these damaging forces and solvents. These enhanced protective qualities allow heavy-duty neoprene to be a versatile material that can be used for both general-purpose and highly abrasive applications. Neoprene sheeting can also be used both indoors and outdoors without worry of deterioration. Heavy-duty neoprene provides superior protective qualities that allows for the versatile use of neoprene products in both industrial and residential applications.
Does Neoprene Protect Against the Sun?
Neoprene sheeting has a high degree of UV resistance and will provide protection against the sun. Compared to natural rubber, synthetic neoprene holds up well against damage that can be caused by sunlight, ozone, and weathering. When rubber becomes damaged by direct sunlight, it loses its flexibility and the overall structure of the material will be weakened. Its resistance against sunlight and UV rays also helps give neoprene a longer life which is why heavy-duty neoprene is often used in the construction of houses and buildings. Both neoprene foam sheets and solid neoprene sheeting are able to protect against the sun and are popularly used in the outdoors for protective purposes.
Is Neoprene Chemical Resistant?
The chemical resistance of neoprene outmatches those of natural rubber making them ideal for chemical intensive applications. Heavy-duty neoprene is able to withstand harsh chemicals and solvents, such as hydrogen gas, natural gas, ammonium salts, oils and greases, and petroleum-based solvents. The higher the Chloroprene content in the rubber, the more chemical resistance the Neoprene sheet will offer. Both solid and cellular forms of neoprene are highly resistant to the effects of harsh chemicals and solvents. Due to their high level of chemical-resistance, both neoprene foam sheets and solid heavy-duty neoprene are widely used in industrial settings. Seals and gaskets or other rubber products made from heavy-duty neoprene are especially important to have in industrial settings because they are made with a resilient and reliable material that will slow down wear on individual parts.
What Temperature Can Neoprene Withstand?
Neoprene sheeting has and extremely high and low operating temperature ranging from as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The operating temperature range for neoprene foam sheets are slightly lower with a range of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its wide operating temperature range, heavy-duty neoprene is popularly used for electrical applications in industrial settings. Heavy-duty neoprene can provide protection in case of a malfunction of electricity operated machinery or equipment. Other materials may not be equipped to handle high temperature applications and may break or melt when temperatures get too high which can lead to workplace hazards. When exposed to heat, heavy-duty neoprene will become hard and brittle rather than melting, which is what is normally expected of rubber. Heavy-duty neoprene will not melt or break down when exposed to heat and will offer a reliable application in heavy-duty industrial applications.
Is Neoprene Moisture Resistant?
Heavy-duty neoprene is a highly moisture-resistant material, even when in closed cell format. Both solid and close cell neoprene foam sheets are popular materials used in marine applications. Heavy-duty neoprene is not 100% waterproof, but it will resist the permeation of moisture to a high degree; however, cellular forms of neoprene will be more prone to the permeation of moisture. Closed cell neoprene foam sheets are slightly less resistant to the permeation of moisture, but its tight closed cell structure creates a semi-permeable material with an absorption rate of less than 5%. Furthermore, neoprene will not degrade when coming into contact with sea water. Due to this, solid heavy-duty neoprene is popularly used as protective bumpers in ocean docks to help protect boats and the docks themselves from damage upon collision.
Does Neoprene Absorb Impact?
Due to neoprene’s density, neoprene sheeting is often used to absorb impact in protective applications. As an elastomer, neoprene is able to stretch out to extreme lengths and, due to its high tensile strength and low compression set, will not break or tear upon contact with heavy impacts. Solid neoprene mats are often used as bumpers and protective padding to prevent two objects from colliding against one another and causing damage. Depending on the abrasiveness of the application, neoprene sheeting is offered in durometers ranging from as soft as 45A to as hard as 80A. Additionally, although porous, neoprene foam sheets are also used to absorb the force of impact to reduce the amount of noise produced by a moving object. Their airy structure allows closed cell neoprene foam to better dissipate energy brought on by vibrations. Closed cell neoprene foam is often used as anti-vibration pads placed under vibration objects or used to line entire rooms for all-around sound dampening.
How Well Does Neoprene Insulate?
Neoprene sheeting is an excellent insulator for sound, heat, and electricity. Insulation applications are better suited for neoprene foam sheets rather than solid neoprene sheeting due to the different in composition and density between the two forms. Neoprene foam sheets are produced when air is introduced to the material during its production process, creating air-filled pockets. Overall, this makes for a light and airy material that is best suited for insulation. Neoprene’s other resistant qualities, such as moisture-resistance and resistance to heat, will allow neoprene sheeting to be used for protective purposes that will increase the safety of an industrial workplace.
Will Neoprene Insulation Help with Noise?
Heavy-duty neoprene is one of the most popular materials used for noise reduction applications. Solid neoprene mats can be used to provide padding under or around vibrating objects to reduce the noise created when two hard surfaces rattle against each other. These neoprene mats will disperse vibrations which will ultimately reduce the intensity of the vibrations. They essentially act as a barrier between moving objects and hard surfaces to dampen the noise created. When it comes to insulation, closed cell neoprene foam sheets are better of the two heavy-duty neoprene forms. Neoprene foam sheets are known for their characteristically light and air-filled composition which consists of numerous air pockets. This airy composition of this material allows it to disperse the energy of sound within its structure better than solid neoprene mats.
Is Neoprene a Good Thermal Insulator?
Heavy-duty neoprene is an excellent thermal insulator due to its heat and moisture-resistance properties. Neoprene’s heat resistance makes them ideal for use as seals or gaskets in industrial settings where heat and static-resistance is necessary. Neoprene sheeting has the R-value of 4 for every one inch while the R-value of neoprene foam sheets is 0.30 (findanyanswer.com). R-value refers to “An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measure or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value – the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density” (energy.gov). While solid neoprene retains a higher R-value than its foam counterpart, neoprene foam sheets are still ideal for insulation due to its air-filled matrix. Neoprene foam is able to insulate heat so well because it contains air pockets of nitrogen that creates a protective barrier against cold temperatures. With a high working temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit for solid neoprene and 200 degrees Fahrenheit for closed cell neoprene foam, heavy-duty neoprene is able to insulate extreme heat without physically degrading.
Is Neoprene a Good Electrical Insulator?
Due to neoprene’s heat and moisture-resistance, it is an excellent electrical insulator. Heavy-duty neoprene can be used as a protective covering for electrical appliances or livewires. For instance, “Due to its fire - and static - resistance properties, neoprene can be used as an insulator in power transformers, light bulbs and other electrical applications. Neoprene is also used in sealing gaskets for electricity to provide waterproof sealing, heat and static resistance and keep dust and contaminants out” (chemicalsafetyfacts.org). Heavy-duty neoprene has an extremely high operating temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit and will not be affected by the heat generated by the electrical currents. Having a reliable electrical insulator is extremely important for the safety of those working in industrial settings. Damage to protective electrical coverings can create serious electrocution hazards, especially in busy industrial workplaces. Furthermore, since water is a conductor of electricity, it is extremely important to keep moisture away from open electrical appliances or open wires. Neoprene’s moisture-resistance protects the appliance or wires from coming into contact with moisture.
Heavy-duty neoprene retains excellent resistance against outdoor damaging factors, heat, chemicals and oils, and moisture. Additionally, neoprene sheeting can be used for insulation purposes whether it be noise insulation, heat insulation, or electrical insulation. Because it is a synthetic elastomer, neoprene is stronger and more chemically resistant than natural rubber and can be used in harsh environments for heavy-duty applications. Additionally, neoprene sheeting is resistant to UV rays, ozone, and oxygen allowing them to be used indoors and outdoors without degrading or fading in color. These properties of heavy-duty neoprene make it a reliable and long-lasting material, even when used in setting with abrasive chemicals and temperatures.