Chlorosulfonated polyethylene

This material, more commonly known as Hyp-alon, can be compounded to have an excellent combination of properties including virtually total resistance to ozone and excellent resistance to abrasion, weather, heat, flame, oxidizing chemicals, and crack growth. In addition, the material has low moisture absorption, good dielectric properties, and can be made in a wide range of colors because it does not require carbon black for reinforcement. Resistance to oil is similar to that of neoprene. Low-temperature flexibility is fair at -40°C.

The material is made by reacting polyethylene with chlorine and SO2 to yield chlorosul-fonated polyethylene. The reaction changes the thermoplastic polyethylene into a synthetic elastomer that can be compounded and vulcanized. The basic polyethylene contributes chemical inertness, resistance to damage by moisture, and good dielectric strength. Inclusion of chlorine in the polymer increases its resistance to flame (makes it self-extinguishing) and contributes to its oil and weather resistance.


Hypalon is a special-purpose rubber, not particularly recommended for dynamic applications. The elastomer is produced in various types, with generally similar properties. The design engineer can best rely on the rubber formulator to select the appropriate type for a given application, based on the nature of the part, the properties required, the exposure, and the performance necessary for successful use.

In combination with properly selected compounding ingredients, the polymer can be extruded, molded, or calendered. In addition, it can be dissolved to form solutions suitable for protective or decorative coatings.

Initially used in pump and tank linings, tubing, and comparable applications where chemical resistance was of prime importance, this synthetic rubber is now finding many uses where its weatherability, its colorability, its heat, ozone, and abrasion resistance, and its electrical properties are of importance. Included are jacketing and insulation for utility distribution cable, control cable for atomic reactors, automotive primary and ignition wire, and linemen’s blankets. Among heavy-duty applications are conveyor belts for high-temperature use and industrial rolls exposed to heat, chemicals, or abrasion.

Interior, exterior, and underhood parts for cars and commercial vehicles are an increasingly important area of use. Representative automotive applications are headliners, window seals, spark plug boots, and tractor seat coverings.

Chlorosulfonated polyethylene is used in a variety of mechanical goods, such as V-belts, motor mounts, O-rings, seals, and gaskets, as well as in consumer products like shoe soles and garden hose. It is also used in white side-walls on automobile tires. In solution, it is used for fluid-applied roofing systems and pool liners, for masonry coatings, and various protective-coating applications. It can also be extruded as a protective and decorative veneer for such products as sealing and glazing strips.

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