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What is Neoprene? – Is It WaterProof? Great For Seat Covers?

Neoprene Facts

Neoprene was the first ever successful synthetic rubber created, dating back to 1930. Natural rubber was in such high demand during the 1920’s that the prices kept rising. The demand leads to a search for a comparable synthetic rubber. It was during 1930, that a chemist from DuPont, produced a rubber-like substance that became Neoprene.

Neoprene is a type of polymer.  A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. It is produced by the polymerization of chloroprene. The chloroprene binds all the molecules of the chemical reaction which creates polychloroprene chips. The chips are then melted and then mixed with various foaming agents and carbon pigments. This mixture is then baked until it expands. The end result is sheets of neoprene. Neoprene is sold either as solid rubber or in latex form.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Neoprene is

“also called polychloroprene or chloroprene rubber, synthetic rubber produced by the polymerization (or linking together of single molecules into giant, multiple-unit molecules) of chloroprene.”

The process of treating crude or synthetic rubber is known as vulcanization.

Is Neoprene Waterproof?
Neoprene foam can be produced in either closed-cell or open-cell form. The closed-cell form is waterproof because it contains gas (nitrogen) cells. By manufacturing neoprene with nitrogen gas, the material becomes more insulated and makes the material very buoyant.

What Is Neoprene Fabric?
Neoprene can be produced into sheets at any thickness desired. Neoprene sheets are commonly found placed between pieces of other fabrics, such as polyester or spandex.Neoprene fabric is flexible, but mixing elastic fabrics (such as spandex) with the neoprene increases the flexibility. The additional flexibility has made neoprene fabric popular with designers. Neoprene fabrics are also scratch-resistant and weather-resistant, which makes it ideal for outerwear.

What Is Neoprene Used For?
Wet Suits
Neoprene Seat Covers
Face Masks
Laptop Sleeves
Mouse Pads
Weather stripping
Fire doors

Neoprene is extremely versatile and is used in many different products. Neoprene does not degrade as quickly as natural rubber, so it is used for gaskets or hoses. Neoprene also resists burning, so the material is used in weather stripping for fire doors or in gloves and face masks. Neoprene is most commonly used in scuba gear or wetsuits since it insulates so well and is waterproof. It can also be found in laptop sleeves, tablet holders, remote controls, mouse pads, lunch bags, can coolers or koozies, tires, car seats, car sweat covers and even Halloween masks.

Finished Products
Finished Products