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epdm vs. neoprene

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Anyone have any input on this? I am new to the chainmaille community and I have a bunch of people who want me to make bracelets for them. I am currently using epdm rubber rings to add stretch, but I have heard that neoprene breaks less and stretches more. Can anyone confirm or deny this. Also, if anyone could point me in a direction of neoprene rings to test this myself, it would be much appreciated. I have been looking for about 3 days now and can't find them.

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To quote Pfeiffer from M.A.I.L.

EPDM has good resistance to glycerin and glycol based products, such as commonly found in body lotions, soap etc. Neoprene is not resistant to those things. THis is the primary reason to choose EPDM for body wear. 
Also, EPDM has better resistance to water than neoprene. And Neoprene can be associated with skin allergies, whereas EPDM is commonly used in latex-free rubber products such as rubber bands. 
Neoprene has good resistance to petroleum solvents (whereas EPDM does not) but this is not particularly important for body wear.


I've almost never had EPDM break. About the only exception was a 1-1 chain with 18g EPDM rings which my toddler stretched to fatigue. I've never had a problem with its stretchability, but ymmv. Silicone and buna have been less satisfactory for a variety of reasons. I've never tried neoprene but understand that TRL replaced neoprene several years ago with EPDM for the latter's overall superior qualities for chainmaille.

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Neoprene(chloroprene) is more elastic and has higher tensile strength than EPDM. The down side for Neoprene is that it has duble bonds in the backbone of its polymer and double bonds can be broken by atmospheric ozone, which means it can breake if it's exposed to weather and wind to much. This is true to the polymer in general, how much effect it will have in this case I don't know.

Another benefit of Neoprene is it's good resistane to oils and fuel. But I suppose you don't take oil-baths with rubber-chainmail anyways? :)

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