Neoprene, also known as chloroprene or CR neoprene rubber, is a synthetic elastomer made from the polymerization of chloroprene molecules. Typically, this type of elastomer possesses a broad range of properties which makes it ideal for many general purpose applications. The sheets of neoprene that are offered at your standard elastomers company are likely to come in a variety of thicknesses, levels of flexibility, and durometer measurements, among other important factors. When you need to buy neoprene, rest assured that you are not limited to just one option. The following information will look to give you a better idea as to which characteristics and options are best for the needs of your project. It is important to know the potential variations amongst neoprene strip or roll products, for the success of your project could depend on one of these variations.
The varying unique qualities of each type of chloroprene rubber roll can help you select which sheets or rolls are best suited for your needs. Thickness is important in elastomers since it can determine the reliability of the sheet or roll as a padding. Durometer measures the hardness of a product from a range of 35 - 75, directly influencing the elasticity and flexibility of the rubber. Also important is a material’s density, for that will also directly influence the other properties of the material, as well as determine a product’s weight. CR Neoprene’s weight will oftentimes influence how much force a specific material can support, and even how much damage can be done to it.
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Are Sheets of Neoprene Available in Different Varieties and Options?
Here is a brief comparison of some of the most common chloroprene products that are offered by rubber manufacturers and suppliers. Having many options is important when you buy neoprene. Should you need a product which is more specific, inquire as to what options your selected company can provide for you:
Soft neoprene is usually engineered from a mixture of neoprene and nitrile materials. This blend of materials will produce different properties than if it was made of chloroprene alone.
Durometer: 40. With a fairly low durometer, soft neoprene has good flexibility and elasticity. This option would be ideal for applications requiring more pliability and movement. This version of the product is more difficult to produce, has higher CR content and therefore is far more expensive, but cannot be substituted, making the costs worthwhile.
Commonly-Available Thicknesses (in inches): 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2
Neoprene (Standard Durometer):
A standard product, this type of chloroprene is made from a blend of nitrile, neoprene and styrene butadiene rubber. This product offers good resistance to gases, grease, and moderate protection against oil and ozone. Since sheets of neoprene does a good job as a sealant this product can be used in sound studios to seal in sound (or seal it out), or as an industrial gasket to seal in wanted chemicals and to keep unwanted solutions out. This is the all around general purpose version of this specific elastomer material. This product is commonly available in a wide variety of widths, gauges and lengths.
Durometer: 55-65. With this durometer, this CR neoprene product has moderate flexibility and pliability, but is likely to be put forth towards applications which require a moderate amount of sturdiness.
Commonly-Available Thicknesses (in inches): 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, and even 1 inch for certain sheets of neoprene.
Hard neoprene strip or sheets are usually produced from a blend of SBR, neoprene, and nitrile materials. The materials used to engineer this elastomer reinforce one another, making for a product that is unmatched in strength when compared with other versions of chloroprene.
Durometer: 65-75. Since the durometer levels are comparatively higher than the other two chloroprene materials, this product offers less pliability and very limited elasticity. This variety of chloroprene should be used in applications that require less flexibility and motion, and where high levels of resilience are enough.
Commonly-Available Thicknesses (in inches): 1/16, 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, 1
The sheets of neoprene that are commonly offered give you many options in regard to flexibility, durometer, and thickness. When you buy neoprene, do not forget to consider the choices before you and the applications you will use chloroprene for. Most neoprene strip perform many duties depending on the grade and variety you select, and are widely used for industrial and commercial applications, so you can be sure that you are investing into a quality product. Be sure to ask your selected rubber provider about all of their available options when it comes to this general-purpose rubber.