What is the Difference Between Rubber and Neoprene?

Rubbers are obtained through natural sources from a rubber tree. It is widely utilized in manufacturing processes and the transit industry. If you want to learn more about rubber and its types, keep reading.

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While Neoprene belongs to synthetic rubber material constructed from chloroprene polymerization, neoprene rubber is used for chemical stability and exhibits good resistance to temperature. It is used widely in seals, jackets, gaskets, wetsuits, o-rings, etc. Let’s dig deep to know the difference between Neoprene and rubber.

What is Rubber?

According to Collins, rubber is an elastic material used to manufacture erasers, electrical insulation, elastic bands, crepe soles, toys, water hoses, tires, and many more. It’s considered one of the essential polymers for human society. It can be produced naturally and synthetically.

Natural Rubber Tree

Rubber can be obtained naturally from a rubber tree. From natural sources, nearly 200 plants, including dandelions, could produce latex which rubbers are made of

Importance of Rubber

Rubbers are valued for their elastic property, nonconduction of electricity, shock absorption, and capability of resisting moisture. It can be synthetically produced by treating petrochemicals and toughening other substances to produce the same purpose.

Rubber’s Primary Usage

Rubber is used in medical devices, gloves, aircraft, tires, pacifiers, clothes, toys, and many more. People may be creating synthetic rubbers nowadays, but natural rubbers still cannot be replaced in some applications. That is why it’s still important to society and is still looking for ways to produce it naturally.

What is Nitrile?

Nitrile is shortened for Nitrile Butadiene Rubber or NBR. It’s made from the polymerization of acrylonitrile and butadiene. Due to a chemical reaction, it produces latex, filtered and blended with an antioxidant to stabilize it.

Uses of Nitrile

Crumb rubber is used for solidifying liquid latex to form a new material. Nitrile is widely used to make nitrile rubber materials such as gloves, footwear, adhesives, and floormats. This is mainly utilized in the medical and food industries.

Workers with Nitrile gloves operating Machine

It offers excellent resistance in oil and solvents at wide temperature ranges. However, it has poor flame resistance and is not often used in the transit industry due to its high price. As the best shockproof nitrile, it is the first choice of shock absorbers and the automotive industry.

Is Nitrile a rubber?

Nitrile rubber is a synthetic rubber polymer that undergoes polymerization. It possesses properties similar to natural rubbers. It’s one of the many rubber types that serve a different purpose considering its properties. Also, this type of rubber is made for specific conditions and goals.

Nitrile rubber highly improves what a typical rubber couldn’t do. Below is the characteristic of a Nitrile that makes it a nitrile rubber.

  • More durable and is said to be 3x puncture resistance, unlike natural rubber
  • offers good resistance to cut
  • Less flexible
  • The cheaper type of rubber
  • Solvent resistance- has good water and oil resistance

Nitrile vs. Rubber: Material Properties

It is said that Nitrile is also a type of rubber but is synthetically made. But what are the things that differentiate it frNitrilenatural or regular types of rubber? Below are their different material properties wise.

PROPERTYRUBBERNITRILE
SOURCENature (Plants) came from the sap of trees that mainly grow in South America and South Asia, called Heveabrasiliensis.It came from the polymerization of Acrylonitrile and Butadiene.
RESISTANCEHas poor resistance to atmospheric oxygen, ozone, oils, or any hydrocarbon solvents.Has excellent chemical and temperature resistance.
CONSISTENCYIt is more supple and can be used in a variety of forms.Designed and Engineered under control conditions.
PRODUCTIONNaturally derived from nature.Man-made
APPLICATIONIt’s suited for light to the medium-grade applicationIt great for sealing applications
CONDITIONSIt is recommended to use it where petroleum products are presentIt cannot be used with abrasive temperatures and in particular chemical conditions

With all these, you may have difficulty thinking which one is better, right? But though each type has different properties, it is still helpful for their purpose in industries.

There are limits to the usage of natural rubbers, which is why society has to discover ways to make them useful, to which it is limited. Each application has conditions to consider, which is why several types of rubbers are produced.

Usage Difference

rubber products

Each with different price, purpose, efficiency, and limitations. In relevance to this, Nitrile rubbers can be used in the medical field as a material for glove production. Natural rubber cannot be used because it is not fully adaptable to heat and chemicals. There are also circumstances where nitrile cannot be used in areas where natural rubber is used.

Key Difference between Neoprene vs. Rubber

Here are some of the critical difference which distinguishes neoprene rubber and other rubber material;

Difference between Neoprene and Rubber Formulation

The first synthetic rubber invented was Neoprene. These materials differ in how they were made and where they can be used. As mentioned, rubber is derived from nature, while neoprene is synthetically made to have traits like Rubber.

Neoprene vs. Rubbers Uses

As for the material properties given for rubber earlier, it’s not likely the same as the latter, as neoprene is known for weather and flame resistance. It’s more likely hard, has high tensile strength and resilience, and can be stretched more. Neoprene can be used as a general-purpose rubber, but you might want to have second thoughts on this as Neoprene is expensive.

Workers wipe silicone products with Natural rubber gloves

But note that there are other types of rubbers to be used for what they are made for, and Neoprene is not good to use as an electrical Insulator. Also, Natural rubbers have moderate resistance. They get easily destroyed by environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, oils, and chemicals. Neoprene is more potent than natural rubber to provide long-lasting protection against the said attacks.

What’s Better, Rubber or Neoprene?

Based on the given vital difference between the two, it is said that Neoprene is better than Rubber.

Neoprene is better than Rubber.

Better Properties

It is better than Rubber because of its enhanced physical and chemical properties and characteristics.

Better Temperature Resistance

It’s a much-improved type of Rubber that can withstand or resist ozone, heat, and chemicals.

Wide Industrial Applications

According to Hongju Technology, Neoprene is a versatile alternative to natural rubber since it can be used in many industries.

Load Resistance

This type of rubber is more durable and rugged, which makes it resist tons of load without deforming.

Resistance to Environmental Factors

It also works on conditions that a natural rubber couldn’t, like it can hold high temperatures and be chemically adaptable.

Conclusion

To wrap up everything, remember that Nitrile rubber is not as durable as natural rubber and isn’t fire resistant. Neoprene is better than natural rubber because it is built to be so. Now it depends on you which one you think is excellent and would fit your needs. By the way, all the mentioned types of rubbers are available on the Hongju Silicone Website.

Contact Hongju for Rubber and Neoprene Products

Hongju provides customized silicon rubber products. It has every type of rubber we mentioned and, of course, excellent quality. There is a vast selection of rubber materials to choose from, serving several industries. Don’t hesitate to call us for inquiries, as we will be happy to assist you.

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Hey there, I’m David!

I’m the founder of Hongju Silicone. I have been in this field for more than two decades. If you are looking for custom-made silicone rubber products, feel free to ask me any questions.

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