An investigation of current and alternative methods for testing the waterproofness of dry suits


  1. Uglene, W.V.
  2. Iaconis, J-L.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);Mustang Survival Corp, Richmond BC (CAN)
Dry suits are worn by personnel from various civilian agencies for protection against exposure to water during immersion. Protection against chemical/biological contamination and insulation from cold water rely on the integrity of a suit's waterproofing. Dry suits may require test inspection to verify their integrity during both construction and actual use. While there are numerous standard leak test methods for fabric swatches, only a few exist for full suit systems. Literature review indicated testing of immersion suits is typically conducted by either filling the suit with water and inspecting its exterior for liquid breakthrough or by filling it with pressurized gas, rinsing its exterior with soapy water and inspecting for bubble formation. The report details an investigation into four alternative leak detection methods for dry suits.
Dry suits;Dry suit;Waterproofness;Leak test;DCIEM;Alternative leak testing method;Immersion dry suit;Water leakage;Pressure differential;Effect of surfactant type;Effect of liquid transport via wicking;Coated fabric;Laminated fabric;Closed-cell foam;Waterproof integrity;Chemical/biological contamination;Membrane;Practical investigation of leakage;Hydrostatic leak test cell;Laplace;PTFE;Stretchable material;Schlieren visualisation;Thermal imaging;Ultrasonic detection;Trace gas detection;Argon leak test cell;PU-coated nylon;Vulcanised rubber;Full suit testing
Report Number
DCIEM-CR-2001-005 — Contractor Report (Final Report)
Date of publication
31 Jan 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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