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Neoprene; the commercial name of polychloroprene - is a synthetic rubber produced from chloroprene by polymerization (formed by the conversion of short chain molecules into longer chains). Chloroprene is a liquid which, when polymerized, forms a rubbery substance. Compared to natural rubber, it is lighter, less stable, better thermal insulator and chemically inert. Neoprene was discovered in 1930 by Wallace Carothers (1896 - 1937), and in 1931 became the first series of synthetic rubber compound. It is widely used in raincoats, swim suits, diving products, water sports, car fan belts, seals, hoses and corrosion resistant coatings.
When used for raincoats, the air pockets in the neoprene are filled with nitrogen to increase the insulation properties. This also makes the material more comfortable. More recently, it has become an elegant material for lifestyle accessories, including notebook covers, iPod cases, holders for remote controls, and even jewelery.
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