Polyisoprene is an elastomer material that is widely used in a variety of industries. Synthetic polyisoprene is produced with a synthetic version of the primary chemical constituent of natural rubber latex. It is then compounded to mimic many of the properties of natural rubber latex without the risk associated with latex allergies and sensitivities.
Commercial use of polyisoprene dates back to the early 1960s, when it was primarily used in tire compounds. The tire industry continues to account for a significant percentage of commercial polyisoprene use to this day. Thanks to its strength, elasticity, and other valuable properties, polyisoprene has been adopted by a variety of other industries as well.
Polyisoprene Physical & Chemical Properties
Polyisoprene is a resilient polymer with high tensile strength and good elasticity. Polyisoprene elastomers are resistant to physical degradation, including tear, abrasion, and flex fatigue, and inorganic chemicals. Polyisoprene also offers good low-temperature properties compared to natural rubber.
Because polyisoprene has a homogeneous polymer structure, it’s a popular choice for manufacturing, when good processability and consistency are needed.
Polyisoprene Chemical Formula
The chemical formula for cis-1,4-polyisoprene is [CH2CH=C(CH3)CH2]n.
Common Uses for Polyisoprene
The use of polyisoprene has spread far beyond its roots in the tire industry.
Polyisoprene does not contain any latex proteins and is safe for individuals with latex allergies and sensitivities. As a result, polyisoprene is widely used in the medical and surgical industries.
Other industries utilize polyisoprene as well. Polyisoprene is not water soluble and is resistant to a variety of inorganic chemicals, making it an excellent choice for a variety of industrial and laboratory applications. Polyisoprene is also highly resistant to abrasion, tear, and flex fatigue, so it can withstand a vigorous service environment.
Polyisoprene is also commonly used to make sports equipment. Thanks to its excellent tensile strength and elasticity, polyisoprene is durable enough to withstand some rough handling in the gym or in play. Polyisoprene also holds up well against weather and the elements, so the longevity of polyisoprene products is not compromised by outdoor use. Sports and leisure products made with polyisoprene include practice goals for soccer and other team sports, sling shots, and resistance bands used for strength training and physical therapy.
The strength and durability of polyisoprene translates well to engineering applications as well. Polyisoprene can be used to make bushings, anti-vibration mounts, o-rings, gaskets, seals, and other rubber components that might endure a lot of stress in service. Polyisoprene also performs well in manufacturing thanks to its processability and consistency properties, another benefit to engineering applications.
High-Quality Polyisoprene Products from Kent Elastomer Products
Kent Elastomer Products (KEP) is a trusted provider of high-quality, American-made synthetic polyisoprene dip-molded products. Our synthetic polyisoprene compound complies with United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI Testing standards, making it a safe and reliable choice for medical and healthcare applications. Our synthetic polyisoprene compound also complies with the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) standards for food-grade materials.
KEP is also a leader in lean manufacturing. We’re dedicated to continuous improvement on every project, so we’re always tweaking our processes and finding a better way to produce your polyisoprene products. For you, this means faster turnaround times and higher-quality products, made to meet your exact specifications.
With over sixty years of experience, we can help you choose the right material or elastomer compound for your product. We’ll work with you to understand which properties are most important for your product given its purpose and service environment. You can trust us to advise you based on your best interests and guide you in the right direction.