A high-end swimwear company asked us to develop an oil-resistant elastic with the stretch and recovery of natural rubber. Natural rubber is a common choice because of its excellent elongation properties ability to be made soft, yet offer strong resistance to tearing. However, it is severely deficient in resistance to sunlight, oils, and chlorine. Synthetic polymers can solve some of these challenges, but are more expensive, are not as elastic, and can take a significant permanent set that can distort the garment.
The Fulflex R&D group researched available elastomers and concluded an entirely new compound was needed. We had to combine the best properties of both synthetics and natural rubber to deliver the desired performance.
Fulflex developed ORT™, a patented elastomer blend that delivers superior oil resistance and excellent elasticity for comfort and fit, but at a lower cost than Neoprene (Polychloroprene) tapes. ORT™ has the added benefit of being based on natural rubber which is a renewable and sustainable resource.