Neoprene is the most popular material for diving suits. Thereby, the material is a type of artificial, foamed rubber, which was developed in the USA in the 1930s. In comparison to natural rubber, the material is less sensitive to heat and external influences. However, this one is somewhat stiffer and firmer than its natural model.
How much warmth a neoprenediving suit transmits depends above all on the size of the bubbles in the material. If the bubbles are smaller, the suit insulates better. This is due to the fact that larger bubbles are more compressed during descent and in the case of smaller bubbles, more air is contained in the material. Air is a worse conductor of heat, which is why a material with fine bubbles conducts heat less.
How do I recognise the quality of neoprene?
A very simple test, to notice how fine or coarse the bubbles in the material are, is to press it together with your thumb and index finger. If the material barely sinks in then it is of higher quality.
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