All About Neoprene O-Rings

Neoprene o-rings are also known as chloroprene (CR) o-rings and provide good resistance to UV light, oxidation, and weather applications. The elastomer they are made from is cost-effective, water-resistant, and weather-resistant. These o-rings are most commonly used in the refrigeration industry due to excellent resistance to hazardous chemicals like ammonia and coolants like Freon 12, 14, 22, etc.
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What is Neoprene?


Neoprene was one of the first successfully developed synthetic elastomers made by Dupont® in 1931. It is made by the emulsion polymerization of chloroprene or 2-chlorobutadiene. This elastomer has many purposes due to its balanced combination of properties and performs well when it comes into contact with oils, fats, and petroleum products as well as many other chemicals. It offers good resistance to the sun, ozone, and aging. It also displays outstanding toughness and good resistance to fire.

Common Applications of Neoprene O-Rings

Due to the material they are made of, neoprene o-rings can function as intended within a wide range of operating temperatures from -40°F all the way up to 250°F. They are an ideal choice for applications in  many industries including:

  • Automotive
  • Wire
  • Cable
  • HVAC
  • Refrigeration

Advantages and Limitations of Neoprene O-Rings

automotive-industryA different type of cure called a sulfur cure is used to create neoprene, which was a standard cure for o-rings. As the years went by, higher grades of cures came onto the market but proved more expensive. In addition to being more affordable, this cure provides neoprene o-rings with low flammability. They can burn when they are exposed to flames, but the rings will self-extinguish when removed.

For this and many other reasons, neoprene o-rings are recommended for the refrigerant industry or any application that involves the ring coming into contact with most coolants, ammonia, silicone, inter-lubricants, and petroleum oils.

Due to the specific nature of neoprene, it is not recommended for applications that involve gasoline, brake fluids, or ketones like methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).

Neoprene O-Rings vs. Buna O-Rings & HSN O-Rings

Buna o-rings (NBR or nitrile rubber o-rings) are similar to neoprene in composition and application uses. Another alternative to neoprene o-rings is HSN (highly saturated nitrile) o-rings that are compatible in automotive, air conditioning, and other low-temperature applications. The composition of these o-rings does make them a better choice for certain types of refrigerants that were developed after neoprene, specifically R-134a, and similar items made specifically to be environmentally friendly.

Global O-Ring and Seal’s Commitment to Quality

Global O-Ring and Seal carries a full line of neoprene o-rings in all the AS568 standard sizes.  Additionally, we stock most inch and metric cross-sections in black neoprene 70 durometer cord stock for making custom sizes through spliced and vulcanized o-rings.

Are you a distributor or user of o-rings who may have a need for our services? Contact us today to speak with one of our technical sales team members, request a quote, or order online from our extensive inventory.

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