Polychloroprene gloves have elasticity close to that of latex, providing a fit very similar to Natural Rubber Latex (hereafter NRL).
The similarity in Polychloroprene and NRL molecular structure:
(- CH2 – C=CH – CH2 – )n (- CH2 – C=CH – CH2 – )n
The only difference is the methyl group in NRL has been replaced by chlorine in polychloroprene and this is what gives it good resistance to chemicals, oils and alcohols. This also gives it well balanced physical properties.
Polychloroprene is an extremely versatile synthetic rubber with more than 75 years of proven performance in a broad industry spectrum. It was originally developed as an oil-resistant substitute for natural rubber. Polychloroprene is noted for a unique combination of properties, which has led to its use in thousands of applications in diverse environments.
A Balanced Combination of Properties
- Resists degradation from sun, ozone and weather
- Performs well in contact with oils and many chemicals
- Remains useful over a wide temperature range
- Displays outstanding physical toughness
- Resists burning inherently better than exclusively hydrocarbon rubbers
- Outstanding resistance to damage caused by flexing and twisting
Polychloroprene gloves are recommended as an alternative to NRL, because of their similarity to latex with respect to fit, feel, comfort and barrier protection. They are also recommended for individuals with latex allergies (Type 1 Allergy).
Polychloroprene exhibits good resistance to many chemical solvents just like nitrile. It provides protection from acids, alcohols, caustics, detergents, and ketones. With a modulus (force required to stretch the glove) very similar to NRL it is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Note: Polychloroprene is often called Neoprene, which is a brand name.