Hypalon Material: A Hypalon Inflatable Boat Is Sturdy And Easy To Repair

Hypalon material is a fabric coated with a man-made rubber called CSM or chlorosulfonated polyethylene.

Hypalon is the trade name for chlorosulfonated polyethylene made by Dupont. The generic name for this product is CSM. Dupont stopped manufacturing Hypalon in 2010. So now what do we call it?

Tosoh Corporation from Japan makes CSM which they call Toso-CSM. I recently received an email from a Chinese manufacturer of CSM - Hongrun Chemical Company, Ltd. of Jiangxi Province, China. It is not surprising that China will begin to fill the demand for CSM in the world of manufacturing.

To avoid further confusion I will call it Hypalon (CSM).

Hypalon (CSM) coating for fabric is perfect for inflatable boats because it has a high UV tolerance (which means it doesn't harden when left out in the sun), it is resistant to chemicals (which means no big deal if you spill fuel or oil in your boat), it is easy to repair (which means you can apply a patch while in the field), and it has good abrasion resistance (which means you are less likely to get holes when beaching your boat).

The only problem with Hypalon (CSM) is it doesn't hold air!

So, Hypalon material used in inflatable boats is coated on the inside with Neoprene and on the outside with Hypalon (CSM). Neoprene holds air very well. Between the Neoprene and Hypalon layers is a fabric layer, either nylon or polyester.

If you visit the Achilles website, they show their fabric is coated on the inside with chloroprene, which is a shortened name for polychloroprene, a man-made rubber which most people know as Neoprene. Neoprene is actually Dupont's trade name for polychloroprene.

Neoprene, or polychloroprene, one of the first man made rubbers, is very air tight, and has a long life. Some of the first inflatables were made of Neoprene coated cotton. The only problem was the cotton canvas core fabric would rot even though the Neoprene was still good.

There are many conflicting views about the properties of the different boat fabric coatings. So I will add my two cents to the never ending debate between PVC fabric, polyurethane fabric, and hypalon fabric, based on personal experience and lots of reading here are the pros and cons of Hypalon (CSM).

  1. Hypalon is more abrasion resistant than PVC but less abrasion resistant than Polyurethane. Some manufacturers report the dry abrasion resistance of Hypalon (CSM) is higher than PVC whereas the wet abrasion resistance of Hypalon (CSM) is lower than PVC.
  2. Hypalon is more chemical resistant than PVC.
  3. Hypalon is more UV resistant than PVC.
  4. Hypalon does not get brittle over time.
  5. Hypalon is easy to repair.
  6. Hypalon is the most expensive coated material.
  7. Hypalon is labor intensive as it must be cold glued by hand.
  8. Hypalon material gets dirty over time, because the material is porous and the dirt penetrates into the coating. This is more obvious with light colors like yellow.
  9. Hypalon fades when left out in the sun - more noticeable on colors like blue or orange.

Some brands of Hypalon (CSM) coated fabric used in inflatable boats are:

  1. Achilles Wendt Argenturen B.V. - website shows a 4 layer material 2 chlorprene inside, 1 fabric, 1 Dupont Hypalon (CSM) exterior layer
  2. EoL by Stafford Textiles
  3. Novurania - ISO 14001 and 9001 manufacturer of Hypair® - website shows 3 layer material 1 Neoprene, 1 polyester fabric, 1 Hypalon (CSM) - manufactured in USA and Italy
  4. Orca CSM by Pennel & Flipo - 5 layer material - 2 Neoprene, 1 fabric, 1 Neoprene, 1 CSM exterior layer
  5. Zenith Industrial Rubber Products - website shows a 3 layer material - 1 chloroprene, 1 fabric, 1 Hypalon (CSM)

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