The development of
HYPALON was the result of a long-term program at Du Pont that originated
in the wartime need of the U. S. Government for new synthetic rubbers.
This program was aimed at deriving a vuIcanizable rubber from
polyethylene, partly because such a rubber might reasonably be expected
to exhibit many of the chemical and electrical characteristics of
polyethylene, and partly because it was recognized that polyethylene was
likely to continue to be a low-cost starting material for the
The initial outcome of
the work was the discovery that a rubbery product could be obtained by
chlorinating polyethylene in solution. Although this rubber was found to
be vulcanizable with peroxides, the curing process was difficult because
the vulcanizing peroxides now used in the rubber industry were not then
available. To give a CPE-like elastomer with improved curing
characteristics, Du Pont developed a modification of the solution
chlorination process that permitted the simultaneous chlorination and
chlorosulfonation of polyethylene. The product, chlorosulfonated
polyethylene, was an elastomer, similar to CPE, but now readily curable
with sulfur-containing curatives.
The two products,
chlorinated polyethylene and chi oro sulfonated polyethylene,
were both commercialized in 1951 as HYPALON S-l and HYPALON S-2,
respectively. HYPALON S-l was soon withdrawn in favor of HYPALON
S-225,26 which was subsequently renamed HYPALON 20. The latter is still
commercially available and has proven to be the first of a family of
chlorosulfonated polyethylene synthetic rubbers.
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