Polyisoprene elastomers are synthetic polymers that resemble natural rubber in molecular structure as well as in properties. Synthetic polyisoprene has a lower percentage of cis-1,4 polyisoprene units. Manufacturing polyisoprene with the desired properties is a complex process: the polymerization of isoprene can lead to various repeating units. Different types of polyisoprene are 1,2 – polyisoprene, trans 1,4 polyisoprene, cis-1,4 – polyisoprene and 3,4 polyisoprene. Several different processes can be used to manufacture polyisoprene. Ziegler-Natta polymerization allows trans 1,4 polyisoprene, cis 1,4 – polyisoprene, and 3,4 – polyisoprene to be custom made. This type of polymerization is the most widely used process to produce polyisoprene having significant cis-1,4 content. Polyisoprenes, both natural (from trees) and synthetic are noted for, resistance to tear and abrasion, excellent elasticity, outstanding resilience and flex fatigue resistance. Polyisoprenes elastomers have superior tensile strength characteristics and are operable in low temperature environments. Polyisoprenes elastomers are not recommended for petroleum, ozone, high heat, sunlight, or hydrocarbon environments. Synthetic polyisoprene exceeds the natural polyisoprene type in processing, consistency of product, cure rate and purity. In addition, it is superior in extrusion, mixing, calendering and molding processes.
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