Neoprene is a family of synthetic rubbers. It was invented by DuPont scientists on April 17, 1930. Neoprene exhibits good chemical stability and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range, it's tolerant of extreme conditions and resists degradation more than natural rubber and other synthetic rubbers.
Foamed neoprene contains gas cells used as an insulation material. It is produced in open-cell form, and waterproof, less compressible and more expensive closed-cell form. Open cell foam has tiny cells which are not completely closed. The open cells are filled with air and this affects the way the foam feels and performs. Closed cell foam has cells which are sealed off so air doesn't get inside the structure at all. Foamed neoprene is soft, durable, flexible, and highly resistant to a variety of hazards, including ozone, sunlight, oxidation, air, water, and many chemicals. It have superior absorption, insulation and compressive properties than other rubbers. Nitrogen gas is most commonly used for the foaming of Neoprene foam due to its inertness, flame resistance, and large range of processing temperatures. Foamed neoprene is commonly used to make wetsuits because contained gas cells provide excellent insulation against cold. A recent advance in Neoprene for wetsuits is the "super-flex" variety, which mixes spandex into the neoprene for greater flexibility.
Unlike other Neoprene that is made from petroleum, Yamamoto Neoprene is manufactured out of limestone sourced from mountain ranges in Japan. It's more densely packed than other types of rubber: it has over 30% more air bubbles than the oil based Neoprene, which means there's less room for water to slip between the cracks and be absorbed by the suit. Yamamoto Neoprene boasts 99.7% water impermeability. Because of the tight cell structure and high nitrogen cell content , Yamamoto wetsuits are lighter, warmer, more streachable and more durable than wetsuits made of oil based Neoprene. Yamamoto Neoprene is widely regarded as the premier Neoprene on the market.
Neoprene wetsuit care
Chlorine accelerates the process of Neoprene wetsuit become old, brittle, and stiff. Do not use Neoprene wetsuit in pools. Neoprene wetsuit exposed to chlorine should be thoroughly rinsed in cold fresh water inside and out. Make sure that you are not washing it in hot water. Hot water will damage the Neoprene cells and cause it to lose its flexibility.
Neoprene wetsuit should be rinsed in cold fresh water immediately after the dive in saltwater to prevent salt, minerals, and bacteria accumulated during the remain, crystallize and produce odors.
Do not leave Neoprene wetsuit in the sun. UV rays cause the Neoprene to age much quicker, it gets hard and looses its flexibility.
Neoprene wetsuit should not be stored folded. Keep it in a cool, dry place, on flat surface or wide coat hanger. Exposure to heat or compression can cause damage, shrinkage or loss of elasticity.
Human urine is slightly acidic. It contains ammonia. Ammonia destroys Neoprene gas cells. Do not pee in Neoprene wetsuit.