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wetsuit insulation values

Do you know of any OBJECTIVE evidence relating to the thermal insulation value of 'titanium' coated neoprene wetsuit material versus plain neoprene of the same thickness? ie. when a diver is in the water - not with respect to evaporative cooling.
Perhaps another way of asking almost the same question - what proportion of a diver's heat loss is via radiation and what via conduction?
And by the way is it really titanium metal that is used?


I'll start with the easy one.

Yes, it really is Titanium metal used in the wetsuits.  It's a thin layer of Titanium foil that is laminated with the neoprene material.

Now, for the tough stuff.

Conditions within a wet suit are not conducive to radiative heat transfer. The tight fit and moisture layer between the skin and suit provide no gap for radiation to occur. The temperature difference between the skin surface and inner surface of the suit is small so there is little to drive radiative heat transfer.  This would apply to any wetsuit, Titanium lined or not.

I have read of an experiment where measurements of thermal conductivity were made comparing neoprene material of the same manufacturer and type with the only difference being the Titanium coating. The experiments were done in water in a hyperbaric chamber to a maximum depth of 100 meters. The results show that there was no difference between the two materials within the error of the measurement instruments.

I hope this has answered your question.

Thanks for the inquiry,

Henry Babcock
AllExperts SCUBA Expert

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