Dry suit repair

Inland paddling
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PolecatApollo
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:49 pm

Dry suit repair

Post by PolecatApollo »

Got a dry suit for free, not in the best condition, but thought if I can tidy it up it would do as a spare for a friend. I've ordered new cuff gaskets so happy ill manage to replace them. Now the membrane inside has come away here and there, just small holes (the outer material is ok), is there anyway to patch these holes up? Just looking for a botch job really, not expecting any miracles, a small improvement would suffice. Tried googling it but unsure what the material on the inside is, so lacking the key words to find any info. Considered spreading silicone over them but have no idea if it would help. Any ideas? Thanks

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Chalky723
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Re: Dry suit repair

Post by Chalky723 »

You could try "Black Witch" or "Aquasure" over the holes, or "Tenacious Tape" maybe.

From experience with my old, second hand drysuit a few years ago - you may as well resign yourself to being "moist" rather than "dry".

It was a million times better than a wet suit, but I never managed to stop all the leaks/seepages...

Good Luck!

C
Jackson Nirvana, LL Remix 69, BMW F650GS...

paddler_linds
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:56 am

Re: Dry suit repair

Post by paddler_linds »

You may struggle with answers to this one, but I too would be interested if there is a better alternative to my method.

The material cags are made out of is a 3 layer laminate, with a nylon outer, then the waterproof membrane and then a nylon mesh to improve wear and glide on the skin. What usually goes wrong on them is the taping over the seams, which quite simply it is not wide enough to really support the material with all that stretching going on and it causes the membrane to delaminate under the tape. As the damage is under the tape it can also be hard to spot if that this is the issue.

If it is the seams that have gone, you would be better sending the suit away for a professional retaping job. The tape I'm talking about can be bought here http://www.dds-diving.com/products-dive ... 5889f55c9d but it is pretty tricky to get the old stuff off without overheating and damaging the membrane round about, or get enough localised heat into the new stuff again without causing further damage. A specialist mini iron is used for the job, and not a cumbersome and unwieldy home job. You need about 150 deg C and a plastic welder is 275C, so not got many ideas on this one, maybe an attachment to a soldering iron with low heat transfer??

What does work for general patches of missing laminate, or holes on seams is a thin skim of an adhesive called 'fantastic elastic'. This glue is available in pound shops or on ebay and can be applied very effectively with a plastic scraper for car body work. You can then create a thin waterproof membrane on the inside of any material to replace the damaged one very quickly and effectively. This glue is thin enough to apply without thinning solvents, unlike aquasure etc where you would need Cotol-240T to thin it down before spreading. Of course this 'new' membrane will not breath, but condensation is the least of your worries.

Nothing will work if you simply skim over a hole which is underneath a taped seam, you will simply transfer the leak to another place on the suit. You do have to pin point the hole before deciding how best to treat it and this is done by pressure testing the suit where your eye is not adequate.

Lots of pitfalls, but it can be done with a bit of patience, perseverance and skill.

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