by John Bonforte, Sr. | May 1, 2016 | Durafoam™, John M. Bonforte Sr., Monmouth Rubber & Plastics |
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp. has been a leader in the innovation and technology of cellular polymeric materials for over 54 years.
As a recognized leader and innovator of proprietary closed cell cross linking technology and polymer blend technology, Monmouth was retained to do product development and improvement by a variety of companies. Some of these companies, in chronological order, are:
B.F. Goodrich, Sponge Products Div. – Shelton, CT
Neoprene/Vinyl Nitrile Blends
Uniroyal Chemical, Ensolite Div. – Mishawaka, IN
IV-1 IV-5 Series – Neoprene/Vinyl Nitrile Blends – Ensofoam Crosslinked EVA Blends
Plymouth Rubber, Plymouth, MA
Crosslinked Low Density EVA Blends
Sentinel Products Corp. – Hyannis, MA
Polyolefin Blends, all types including Metallocene Resin Crosslinked Foam
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp.’s in-house technology timeline is as follows:
1968 – Monmouth develops and perfects the Durafoam™ multi-step process for the curing and blowing of low-density closed cell materials. Prior to 1968, most materials were cured with the one step or jump-blow process which resulted in densities no lower than 12 pounds per cubic foot. By using a controlled multi-step-cure blow process, Monmouth was able to crosslink and blow materials in densities down to 2 pounds per cubic foot. Monmouth has made significant improvements to this Durafoam™ multi-step process over the years as polymers, products and customer needs have changed.
1969 – Monmouth develops for B.F. Goodrich, Shelton CT, a low density, Vinyl/Nitrile/Neoprene blend for industrial and automotive markets. Monmouth’s proprietary technology in hydrocarbon polymer blending has been the keystone in its technology firsts. The product line developed for B.F. Goodrich in 1969 is the forerunner of the Vinyl/Nitrile/Neoprene blends produced today by Rubatex®, Uniroyal Ensolite and Halstead.
1971 – Monmouth develops the first commercial, low density, Neoprene/SBR blend for the industrial and automotive markets. Listed under ASTM-D-1056, SCE41 through SCE45, Monmouth produced and sold commercial blends of its Durafoam™ C121A series in densities as low as 3.5 pounds per cubic foot.
1974 – Monmouth commercializes the world’s first 100% EPDM, low density, closed cell sponge. Proprietary Durafoam™ technology allowed Monmouth to produce the C191XLDS in densities as low as to 2.0 pounds per cubic foot. One outstanding, commercially successful application for this technology was as a sealing gasket for all Chrysler tail lamps. Durafoam™ C191XLDS was used exclusively during the 1980’s in all Chrysler vehicles. Monmouth is currently listed as an approved source under Chrysler MSAY 430.
1977 – Monmouth provides some of the initial EVA Polyethylene crosslinked foam technology and developmental work for the Ensolite Division of Uniroyal. The product was ultimately marketed by Uniroyal under the trade name “Ensofoam”. This developmental work included pilot plant production at our Long Branch facility as well as product development.
1986 – Monmouth introduces its Bondaflex™ line of recycled cellular and solid rubber and plastic materials. Monmouth’s technology centers around its proprietary process for controlled particle size distribution of similar and dissimilar materials. Since 1998, the Bondaflex™ process has resulted in Monmouth being able to recycle in-house 98% of all the materials it manufactures.
The Bondaflex™ process also allows Monmouth to guarantee to its customers that Monmouth will accept back at its Long Branch facility 100% of the material that Monmouth supplies. This includes skids, banding wire, stretch wrap, as well as the cellular and solid material that Monmouth makes and sells. Monmouth knows of no other manufacturer that offers such a guarantee.
August 1996 – Monmouth commercializes its Durafoam™ DK series of Kinetically Grafted Blends. KGB blend technology allows dissimilar polymers (those that do not blend well mechanically) to blend as a result of a chemical bond that develops through proprietary KGB technology. The DK benefit to the customer is a blend product with superior performance and value as opposed to more expensive, homogenous polymers. The DK series of closed cell Neoprene/EPDM blends covers the five hardness ranges of ASTM and have UL listing for flame resistance and gasketing applications.
January 1998 – Monmouth is the first to introduce a 54″ and 60″ wide pressed cured bun in a neoprene blend. The Durafoam™ process results in a press cured bun having an exceptionally large size, a tight cell structure, and superior physical properties as compared to a continuously cured roll by the open air process.
The above technology events allow Monmouth to offer to its customers the following commitment:
“To become and remain the highest quality producer of cellular rubber and plastic buns in the world”.
Other Monmouth products include:
AIRAFLEX™ – Open Cell Sponge Rubber & Plastic Foam
DURAFLEX™ – Solid Rubber & Plastic Sheeting
The Monmouth family of materials has performed well for over 40 years for sound absorption, shock absorption, conductive, non-conductive, fire retardant, high strength to weight ratio, hot and cold insulation, and floatation.
The Monmouth family of materials is made from Neoprene, Natural Rubber, SBR, Butyl, Butadiene, Nitrile, EPDM, ECH, Polystyrene, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, EVA, EMA, Mettalocene Resin, PVC, Polyurethane, and Proprietary Blends of the above.
The Monmouth family of materials is offered in Buns, Sheets, Rolls, Stripping, with and without pressure sensitive adhesive, and specialty laminations.
The Monmouth family of materials is used in the automotive, athletic, shoe, construction, leisure products, and miscellaneous industrial products industries. Monmouth is a global supplier with distribution points in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
The Monmouth family of materials is sold through Gasket Cutters, Fabricators, and Resellers Worldwide.
Free Technical Support
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics has a comprehensive state-of-the-art physical testing laboratory, including shock attenuation testing equipment. Monmouth is equipped to test and certify to a multitude of industry and government specifications. Some of these specifications are: ASTM-D-1056, SAE J18, MSAY 430, GM6086M, Mil-R-6130, Mil-C-3133, Mil-R-6855, Mil-G-1149, Delphi SD2-207 Sec. 6.1. Product development, product testing, product evaluation, and product sampling are offered by Monmouth as part of its technical support program.
JOHN BONFORTE, SR.
TECH SUPPORT & GM
Intl: +1 732-229-3444
Toll Free: (800) 375-1960
EMAIL JOHN BONFORTE SR.
Related Topics and Resources: Rubber and Plastics | Closed Cell Gaskets | Rubber Library
by John Bonforte, Sr. | Apr 15, 2016 | Neoprene, Neoprene Wetsuit |
After nearly 25 years, U.S. manufacturer Monmouth Rubber and Plastics Corp. puts the Neoprene ‘Made in America’ label back on an iconic American product.
Some products are just synonymous with America. But these days, your grandma’s apple pies are one of the few products that are actually still made here. During the past few decades, many U.S. manufacturers have been outsourcing the production of some of America’s most iconic products to cut down on manufacturing costs. Even America’s greatest pastime, baseball, is played with balls stitched together in Costa Rica; and many of Mattel’s most iconic American toys, like the Barbie doll, are now made in Hong Kong.
The neoprene Wetsuit is another true American icon. It symbolizes the ‘surf culture’ that has evolved from denoting the 1950-1960s carefree waterlogged rebel with a tanned muscular build and sun-bleached hair, to now reflect more contemporary attitudes which embody freedom, adventure, the responsible use and care of our planet’s natural resources, and the possibility to explore uncharted territory in a different type of world found under the deep blue sea.
However, there was a time when wetsuits didn’t exist. Certainly the Hawaiians had no use for them with their year-round endless summer. But once the addictive sport was exported to California, surfers dived in to the sometimes-frigid Pacific Ocean, and the dire necessity for insulation took on urgency. As we all know, necessity is, indeed, the mother of invention!
THE FIRST WETSUITS EVER MADE.
The story of the birth of the neoprene wetsuit is actually quite an interesting one. It begins back in the late 1940s and early 1950s in the town of South Amboy, N.J. A company called Parkway Fabricators & Weiss Clothing was in the business of manufacturing men’s clothing suits. Dan and Fred Weiss, the sons of the owner, were seasoned drysuit scuba divers. In the type of drysuit they used, air was pumped down to the head chamber so the diver can breathe under water for prolonged periods of time.
During this same time period in Bedford, Virginia, Rubatex Corp. began manufacturing a material made of 100% neoprene rubber in a sheet measuring 40″ x 120″. This material was known as Rubatex G231N. It was manufactured through a unique process using a nitrogen gassing chamber. At that time, no other company had a gas blown material, and more importantly, no one had a 100% neoprene material with the high physical properties of the Rubatex G231N.
Dan and Fred Weis discovered the existence of Rubatex G231N and came up with the idea of using it to make an insulated wetsuit to help keep divers warm in cold water temperatures. Since they were both Cloth Cutters by trade, they were well-versed in cutting shapes out of various types of materials to make a suit.
NEOPRENE WETSUIT MATERIAL
THE FIRST WETSUITS EVER MADE.
The first wetsuits manufactured actually had a skin on one side of the neoprene material. There was no fabric lamination. Talcum powder was used to stretch the material over the skin. The Weiss brothers introduced the concept to the U.S. Navy and subsequently, Parkway Fabricators became the worldwide leader of making wetsuits in an exclusive arrangement with Rubatex.
Several years went by, and in 1962 the Japanese introduced a new type of chemically blown wetsuit material. It soon found its way into Taiwan. Over the next 25 years, the Japanese in concert with the Taiwanese became the worldwide leaders in manufacturing wetsuit material. The Taiwanese added textured designs to the rubber surface and fabric laminations – commonly referred to as four-way stretch nylon. By the early 1990s, Rubatex Corp. was no longer a contender in the wetsuit market, and by the turn of the century, there was no more skin diving material made anywhere in the United States. With Rubatex G231N now knocked off the market, the only neoprene material available was chemically blown, and it could only be found outside of the U.S. Unfortunately, many companies who purchased the imported ‘knock offs’ discovered they simply didn’t measure up to the quality of the previous material made by Rubatex.
Gasket Cutters, Fabricators and OEMs
For many years, Gasket Cutters, Fabricators and OEMs searched worldwide for a manufacturer that could match the quality of Rubatex G231N. Then in July of 2012, Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp., with its proprietary technology, decided it was going to be a game changer. It announced new Rubatex equivalents that now complete the full line of obsolete Rubatex stocks – including G231N and G207N, which customers found impossible to find suitable replacement materials. As a result, doing so brought the production of neoprene wetsuit material back to the U.S.A. with the development of a product called Durafoam™ N231.
Durafoam™ N231 is a 100% neoprene closed-cell rubber material EQUAL to the physical properties previously exhibited by G231N Rubatex material. Through the results of extensive product testing and performance, and the unique superior physical properties of this flagship material, the sales of Durafoam™ N231 have skyrocketed. Gasket Cutters, Fabricators and OEMs were ecstatic that they could finally, once again, match the quality of Rubatex G231N with the newly developed technology of Durafoam™ N231 – available only at Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp. in the U.S.A.
Background on Neoprene
Just to give you a little background on Neoprene – or the chemical name Polychloroprene (CR) – it is a specialty type of synthetic rubber that is produced by the polymerization of chloroprene monomer. It has a diverse combination of technical rubber properties that are quite unique amongst synthetic elastomers, which makes it a very desirable and versatile material. Applications vary from molded goods, cables, various types of belts, profiles, adhesives, and of course, sponge or wetsuit material. CR has good mechanical strength; high ozone and weather resistance; good aging resistance, low flammability; good resistance toward chemicals; and moderate oil and fuel resistance.
Unlike other neoprene products
Unlike other neoprene products, Durafoam™ N231 is not oil-derived. It is also not dependent on Butadiene Monomer or Petrochemicals – so less oil use means lower carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The manufacturing process is GREEN because the raw material is based on Limestone, a sedimentary rock that can be found naturally throughout out the world. Through the Acetylene process, Limestone is converted to Chloroprene Monomer to ultimately make Durafoam™ N231 – which is used by Gasket Cutters, Fabricators and OEMs to make all kinds of end products – including neoprene wetsuits.
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp.
Located in Long Branch, N.J, Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp. is one of the few remaining manufacturers that solely keeps shop in the United States. “U.S. manufacturing is critical to maintain a strong economy. American people spending American dollars on American products equals American jobs. These jobs are the foundation of a thriving economy,” says Founder and General Manager John Bonforte, Sr. Since many ‘expatriot’ manufacturers left the country and set up operations overseas in search of cheaper labor costs, subsidy offers, and the desire for better access to international markets, Monmouth Rubber and Plastics Corp. stayed loyal to the U.S. “While maintaining our rubber manufacturing factory on U.S. soil may appear to decrease our bottom line, that type of thinking is short-sighted. You have to look at the big picture. At the end of the day, when our economy thrives, we thrive.”
The fact of the matter is, all U.S.-based manufacturing underpins a wide range of homeland jobs that stretch far beyond the common icon of factory line workers and machines. U.S. manufacturers additionally support higher-skill jobs that include accountants, bankers, lawyers, and other professionals that are associated with any industry, as well as a wide range of other jobs including research, technology development, product and process engineering and design, operations and maintenance, transportation, testing, lab work, and marketing.
So why has Monmouth Rubber and Plastics Corp. refused to jump on the ‘outsourcing bandwagon’ perchance to increase its own personal profits for the past 50 years?
“The bottom line is recycling. When you buy U.S.-made products, the proceeds remain in the U.S. economy. The money you spend then pays the workers who directly or indirectly created the product you purchased. When workers spend their money on U.S.-made products, the dollars continue to be recycled, and our economy prospers,” says Monmouth Rubber and Plastics President John Bonforte Jr. “We not only realize the power of recycling dollars back to our own economy, we also offer a full line of recycled cellular rubber and plastic material under the trade name BONDAFLEX™. We provide our customers with our popular tried-and-true Trash to Cash program where we help them go green, save money, and turn their own trash back into cash in their pockets using our recycling program. Everyone wins!”
Free technical support
The company also provides a free technical support program called “Ask John” which provides customers (and potential customers) FREE technical information and guidance on a multitude of rubber and plastic questions and problems. This complimentary service offers real value to OEMs, Fabricators, and Suppliers because it allows them to obtain expert advice along with access to a comprehensive technical library at their fingertips at no cost.
Leading manufacturer of closed cell sponge rubber and plastic foam products
Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp. is a leading manufacturer of closed cell sponge rubber and plastic foam products. Visit the company’s website at www.MonmouthRubber.com to learn more about its green manufacturing practices, as well as its recycled rubber products, and flagship Durafoam™ N231 used to make neoprene wetsuits.
For more information and free samples, please be sure to stop by and say hello to Monmouth Rubber & Plastics Corp’s team at the upcoming GFA Gasketing/Converting Expo in Orlando, FL, March 25 – 27, Booth #6.
FOLLOW US ON LINKEDIN TO STAY UP ON MONMOUTH RUBBER AND PLASTICS CORP’S LATEST DEVELOPMENTS.