Introduction to Neoprene
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber material that is resistant to heat, oils and chemicals. It is commonly used in a variety of applications including gaskets and seals. Due to its durability and resistance to the elements, it is also commonly used in industrial parts and to make protective gear. Neoprene’s versatility allows it to be used in a wide range of products. Below is a list of some of the common items made from this material:
- Protective gear: This material is used in the production of knee pads, elbow pads, and other protective gear for sports and industrial applications due to its impact resistance and flexibility.
- Gaskets and seals: Neoprene is commonly used in industrial settings as a seal or gasket material due to its resistance to oils, chemicals, and heat.
- Laptop sleeves and cases: It is used in laptop sleeves and cases to protect the device from scratches, impacts, and other types of damage.
- Industrial hoses: The material is used in industrial hoses due to its durability, flexibility and resistance to heat, chemicals and abrasion.
- Orthopedic supports: Neoprene is used in orthopedic supports such as knee braces and back braces because of its ability to provide compression and support while still being flexible and comfortable to wear.
- Insulation: It is used in insulation for electrical and electronic equipment due to its ability to resist flame, heat and electrical insulation properties.
Methods to Mold Neoprene
Neoprene parts are typically formed using either injection or compression molding processes. Compression molding involves putting raw, unprocessed Neoprene material in the mold and then applying heat and pressure. The material then forms to the shape of the mold and once the cycle time is completed the mold is allowed to cool. Then the finished part is removed.
Neoprene parts can also be created using injection molding. The injection molding process involves heating granular like particles of Neoprene to their melt point. Then the molten Neoprene is forced under pressure and heat into the mold cavities. It is then cured and once the cycle is complete the parts are ejected from the injection mold.
Neoprene Mold Flashing
Compression and injection molded Neoprene parts can develop mold flashing as the mold wears or if it is improperly designed. Due to the materials viscosity, it is more prone to flashing than other materials. If incorrect process parameters are used during molding the flashing may be more prevalent. Factors such as incorrect temperature, the wrong clamping pressure and the design of the mold can all make the flashing worse.
Nitrofreeze provides cryogenic deflashing services to remove residual mold flashing left over after molding operations. Cryogenic deflashing involves subjecting molded Neoprene parts to sub-zero temperatures, while tumbling the parts against one another and blasting them with a fine polycarbonate media. This batch process removes molding flash with repeatable results while maintaining part integrity.
If you are interested in sending sample parts for a no-cost cryogenic deflashing evaluation, please contact us at (508) 459-7447×105 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.