Neoprene: Stretching the limits beyond rubber
In 1930, a team of DuPont scientists polymerized chloroprene, clearing the path for neoprene to become the go-to rubber substitute.
Solving the High Demand For Rubber
During the 1920s, the increasing demand for rubber led to a surge in prices, encouraging chemical companies to search for a rubber-substitute. The race was on!
Inventing a Synthetic Rubber That is More Versatile Than Rubber
After purchasing the patent for the production of divinyl acetylene from the University of Notre Dame, on April 17, 1930, DuPont scientists developed a rubber-like substance following the polymerization of chloroprene.
The material, generically known as neoprene, was more resistant to water, oils, heats and solvents than natural rubber.
Neoprene is a Splash Hit
Neoprene’s properties, including enhanced insulation, were highly desirable, at a much lower cost than rubber, and the material found its way into many other end-products including automobiles (tubes and hoses), telephone wire insulation and sports equipment, most notably wetsuits beginning in the 1950s.
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