Archive: Aug 2019

Neoprene vs. EPDM Rubber: Everything You Need to Know

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Both neoprene and EPDM are materials used in the manufacture of conveyor belt systems. While neoprene rubber is most commonly employed in the industry, many companies, including ours, are moving towards using EPDM as many of the challenges associated with using neoprene are overcome by using it.

No matter your material preference, Houston Products, Inc. is well-poised to supply your organization with the tools and products you need to carry out quality work.

What Is Neoprene Rubber?

Neoprene rubber is created through the polymerization of chlorine. Characterized by its chemical stability, flexibility over a wide range of temperatures, and resistance to degradation, the material was originally intended for use as an oil replacement for natural rubber.

Its durability and flexible properties make neoprene rubber suitable for use in a wide variety of everyday products—such as sports and medical equipment, tech covers and sleeves, wetsuits, and safety gloves—as well as for a variety of outdoor applications—including use as hoses, gaskets, seals, coatings, and linings.

Neoprene Benefits

The properties of neoprene rubber position it as a material of choice in applications requiring:

  • Chemical stability
  • Flexibility across a range of temperatures
  • Excellent resistance to abrasive substances
  • Resistance to degradation due to weathering
  • Moderate resistance to some chemical, acids, greases, fats, and oils

At Houston Products, all of our mini grippers are made out of neoprene rubber in accordance with industry standards. While we believe that other materials, such as EPDM, provide additional benefits in most applications, we are proud to offer our clients a small range of neoprene products designed to suit their needs.

What Is EPDM Rubber?

EPDM (or ethylene propylene diene monomer) is a variety of synthetic rubber that possesses excellent durability, as well as other characteristics classically associated with more popular elastomers. Some of its other characteristics include tear resistance, high tensile strength, and compression set.

A number of industries rely on EPDM rubber to keep work processes safe and ensure the delivery of quality products and services including:

  • HVAC
    • Panel gaskets
    • Pressure switch tubing
  • Automotive
    • Weather stripped
    • Hydraulic brake systems
    • Wire and cable harnesses
  • Industrial
    • Belts, grommets, and tubing
    • Stinger covers
    • Electric insulations
    • Water systems, O-rings, and hoses

EPDM Benefits

The benefits of EPDM over other elastomer options are extensive and include:

  • Temperature resistance ranging from -60 to 350 °F
  • Recovery from up to 600% elongation
  • Capable of withstanding greater temperature ranges than neoprene
  • Heat, water, coolant, steam, ozone, and sunlight-resistant
  • Resistant to polar materials such as phosphate esters, alcohol, and many ketones

Due to the advantages offered by the material, the Houston Products team is vested in offering our clients a range of EPDM grippers and conveyor chains. Employing EPDM as our standard gripper material sets us apart from competitors stuck relying on neoprene. Our grippers are more durable and cost-effective than their neoprene counterparts; both benefits we are glad to pass down to our clients.


While both neoprene and EPDM rubber have their benefits, at Houston Products, Inc. we feel the optimal choice between the two is clear. As our standard manufacturing material, EPDM offers consumers far greater durability and flexibility and is suited to a broader range of applications than its alternatives.

If you’re interested in leveraging the benefits of EPDM in your application, contact us or request a quote today.