A scuba suit, or wetsuit, is a garment worn by people who engage in water sports, like scuba diving, surfing, kites surfing and windsurfing. There are various kinds of wetsuits; warm-water and cold-water wetsuits are the two most basic.
Wetsuits are usually made of nylon fabric to give elasticity and flexibility, and allow users to put these suits on quickly and easily. New models of wetsuits contain spandex as a base material to add even more elasticity to the garment. With the spandex material, wetsuits are now more flexible and a single size can accommodate a wider range of body shapes and sizes.
Wet Suits and Body Heat
Wetsuits are mainly used to preserve body heat. The materials used in wetsuits trap water against the skin where it is warmed by body heat. Once the water inside the suit is heated, it serves as an insulator.
Heat releases away from the human body 25 times faster in water than air. As a result, even during warm days in warm water conditions, a person may suffer hypothermia – a condition where a person’s body temperature drops below the normal requirements for bodily functions and metabolism.
Fabric and Fit
Wetsuits are made of synthetic rubber that is comprised of small bubbles of nitrogen gas. The heating conductivity of nitrogen gas is very low; hence, heat does not easily escape the wetsuit even underwater. With the incorporation of Merino wool and titanium fibers, wetsuits have improved warmth characteristics while thickness is kept at a minimum.
Wetsuits should fit perfectly to work. A loose-fitting wetsuit may not work as effectively as a perfectly fit one, since the material is not close enough to the body, causing water to escape and not insulate the body.
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