DuPont has agreed to sell its Neoprene polychloroprene rubber business to Denka Performance Elastomer, a joint venture between Denki Kagaku Kogyo and Mitsui & Co., for more than $85 million. Julius A. Nieuwland, a chemist and priest at the University of Notre Dame, conducted initial research that led to Neoprene. DuPont scientist Elmer K. Bolton then advanced the work, leading to introduction of the rubber in 1931. Tough and chemical resistant, Neoprene is today used in cable insulation, wet suits, industrial hoses, and shoe soles. DuPont makes Neoprene in La Place, La. About 235 employees will be affected by the transaction.