Uses of Neoprene

By Angela James

Neoprene is a type of rubber that does not break down in sun, wind or water. It is also physically tough, resistant to burning, can withstand both hot and cold temperatures and remains unaffected by contact with various oils and chemicals. For these reasons, it has many uses ranging from wetsuits and fly fishing waders to laptop sleeves and iPod holders.

Wet Suits

Neoprene is a well known component in wet suits. Because it provides excellent exposure protection, neoprene is one of the best materials available to make wet suits. To enhance flexibility, wet suit manufacturers recently began adding spandex to the neoprene giving the wet suit a super-flex feel.

Fly Fishing Waders

Neoprene is also used to make fly fishing waders. Because they can withstand extreme cold and wind, neoprene fly fishing waders are more popular than waders made of other less effective materials, such as nylon. On the down side, however, neoprene is not a breathable fabric and can therefore be somewhat uncomfortable to wear.

Professional Diving Suits

By providing compression resistance, neoprene is an excellent component in professional diving suits. With their resistance to the negative effects of ozone and water, neoprene diving suits are perhaps the best professional diving suits available.

Life Jackets

Again because of its resistance to water, temperature changes and sun, neoprene is perfect for use in producing life jackets. Neoprene is also fire retardant, which also makes it an excellent life jacket product.

Home Goods

Neoprene can also be found in many products around the home. In recent years, neoprene has been used to make iPod holders, laptop sleeves and remote controls.

Knee and Elbow Pads

Because of its durability, neoprene is often used to make knee and elbow pads. Due to the spongy, soft texture of neoprene, it provides a comfortable inner lining for knee and elbow pads. The high quality of neoprene knee and elbow pads, however, can make them more expensive than other types.

Industrial Uses

Because it does not break down when in contact with many oils and chemicals, neoprene is used in gaskets, hoses, car fan belts, electrical insulation and weather stripping materials. Neoprene rubber is extremely versatile and is becoming ever more popular in industrial products.

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