THERMAL TESTING OF SUBEA WETSUITS

Go behind the scenes during a thermal insulation test on our wetsuits.

To design reliable equipment that meets customer expectations, our design team regularly performs product tests at the World Design Centre in Hendaye, in France's Basque Country. In this article, we'll take you behind the scenes during one of our most recent wetsuit tests. The study was performed by the Decathlon SportsLab, Decathlon's research centre. Take a look at how Subea uses science to assess our wetsuits' thermal protection!

ASSESSING THE WETSUIT'S THERMAL PROTECTION

The objective of this test was to assess the water inflow into the wetsuit, in order to be calculate the exact thermal insulation provided by the product. This information will make it easier for users to choose the right wetsuit for them, while continuing our ongoing research into thermal insulation - important for us when developing future products.

We compared the thermal resistance of two different Subea one-piece wetsuits for men. Each wetsuit was of the same thickness (5.5 mm), but a different design: 

- the SCD 100 5.5 mm, which includes a hood and a frontal zipper,

- the SCD 500 5.5 mm, which includes cuffs at the ankles and wrists, with a back zipper.

subea one-piece wetsuits

 

HOW WAS THERMAL TESTING CONDUCTED?

 

1

INSTALLATION OF SENSORS 

Before starting the test, temperature and heat flow sensors were placed on various parts of the body (torso, back, arms and legs). Then, it was time to put on the first wetsuit and begin the test.

subea thermal test wetsuits sensors
subea thermal test wetsuits sensors
subea thermal test wetsuits
2

OPEN AIR STATIC PHASE

Sitting on the poolside, the diver begins the first phase of the test: stabilisation of skin temperatures in the open air (5-10 min).

3

IMMERSION AND STATIC PHASE AT DEPTH

The diver then descends in order to calculate skin temperature drop upon entering the water. Next, he stabilises himself at the bottom and begins the first static phase (10 min), in order to calculate the wetsuit's thermal resistance.

subea thermal test wetsuits
subea thermal test wetsuits
4

SWIMMING

After the static phase, it's time to get moving! The diver swims back and forth several times over a period of 5 minutes to encourage water entry.

5

SECOND STATIC PHASE

subea thermal test wetsuits

To complete the test, the diver begins a second static phase (10 min) to calculate the wetsuit's final thermal resistance. (He gets to watch a short film to pass the time… :-))
 

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY

maud dialogue leader subea
Maud, Dialogue Leader Subea

I'm the Dialogue Leader for the Subea brand. My father, a PADI Divemaster, infected me with the diving virus when I was 8 years old, and scuba diving truly became a passion for me ever since.. Now, I have my PADI Rescue certification.

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