Neoprene or polychloroprene is a family of synthetic rubbers. Neoprene has a variety of utile properties, including a good chemical stability, abrasion-resistance, maintaining flexibility over a wide temperature range, as well as being waterproof, lightweight and buoyant. It is incorporated into diverse products from scuba-diving gear to protective coatings.
A foamed neoprene containing gas cells is often used as an insulation material, most notably in wetsuits or as a protective cover for items such as cellular telephones and laptop sleeves.
Outside of the water, neoprene rubber is used in a wide variety of applications, such as orthopedic braces (wrist, knee, etc.), electrical insulation, shock-protection (packing) implementations, liquid and sheet applied elastomeric membranes or flashings, and car fan belts. Neoprene is resistant to many chemicals and oil, making it particularly useful for protective gloves and similar articles. Neoprene can be implanted in some situations where abrasion can be a problem.
Neoprene is also used in a number of industrial applications. Certain types of neoprene rubber are used in conveyer belts, hoses, and seals. It is also often used to protect wiring and cables.
The versatility of neoprene rubber with its insulating and protective properties has made it a popular material in a number of items.
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