DIY Latex Neck Seal

The following sequence of photos shows how to remove and replace a DAMX latex neck seal using our DIY system with a pre-prepared latex seal. 

Although the suit shown is a breathable suit which has a neoprene  over-neck fitted, the process is exactly the same for non-breathable suits and for suits without an over-neck fitted.

Please also read the text document which we supply with all DAMX DIY seals.  It contains additional advice and guidance.

Download DIY Neck Seal pdf

Image A: Showing the outside view of a DAMX dry suit fitted with a neoprene over-neck.
Image B: This image shows the inside of the dry suit, it is mounted on a stool with a hard wooden seat. You need a hard flat surface under the neck seal area to be able to work on the suit. Something like a kitchen large chopping board would work. It is also very useful to have some large clamps to hold the fabric flat - see later images. In this image you can see the several rings of seamtape which need to be removed.
Image C: Using a hot air gun to soften the hotmelt adhesive which holds the seamtape on. Care must be taken particularly with breathable fabrics not to burn or melt the textile. However, you must use sufficient heat to melt the glue so that the seamtape pulls off EASILY and doesn't leave any white bits of tape membrane behind.
Image D: The seamtape has been entirely removed and you can see the layer of hotmelt adhesive left behind on the existing seal and the fabric. Now you should use scissors to cut off all of the latex which does not have a hotmelt glue coated surface.
Image E: A close-up of the glue-coated surface of the fabric and the remaining part of the old latex neck seal.
Image F: The inside of the dry suit is now ready for the new latex neck seal.
Image G: The new pre-prepared latex neck seal.
Image H: Cutting off the outer non-adhesive coated part of the new latex neck seal.
Image I: To begin finding the correct size to cut the latex seal down to, clamp one part of the circumference down 1mm iside the edge of the adhesive ring on the dry suit.
Image J: Work around the edge of the latex, keeping the edge of the seal 1mm inside the edge of the glue ring on the dry suit.
Image K: Try not to let the latex slip.
Image L: When you have gone all the way around the edge of the seal, you will probably have a bit of excess length of latex. Measure the height of the folded up section in millimetres and divide that number by 3 - this is the trimming amount needed.
Image M: Using sharp scissors trim a ring of latex off all the way around the new seal. The amount to trim off was calculated in the previous stage.
Image N: On the non-glue coated side of the new neck seal, mark 12 roughly equally spaced pen marks using biro pen.
Image O: Once you have the new seal trimmed to the correct size, use the tip of a hot iron to tack down the edge of the seal at one of the pen marks. The iron should be set to a temperature between synthetic and silk. If the glue under the seal doesn't melt after 10 seconds or so - increase temperature slightly until it is hot enough to melt the adhesive.
Image P: Work around the biro pen marks, tacking down the new neck seal at each position.
Image Q: A hot air gun is the quickest, easiest and most effective way to melt the rest of the hot melt adhesive together to form the final permanent bond. BUT it is very risky with breathable fabric - which can be badly burnt if you are not VERY careful. We recommend using a hot iron on breathable fabric.
Image R: If using a hot iron to melt the hotmelt adhesives together, apply heat for a timed 15 seconds and see if the glue has melted. If not, try 30 seconds. If the glue still does not melt, then increase the temperature slightly and try again at 15 seconds.
Image S: Once each section of neck seal has been heated sufficiently to melt the hotmelt adhesive, you can use a gloved hand or a roller to press the latex down to create the bond.
Image T: A roller can be used, but it is a good idea to use a gloved hand as well, because the roller doesn't work well on uneven surfaces or where there is an underlying thick seam such as exists when an over-neck is fitted.
Image U: Allow the new glue bond to cool for ten minutes, and then turn the suit over. Check that the new latex seal and the ring of old latex have been glued effectively ( no gaps ) Also check that you haven't glued the new neck seal to the inside of the over-neck - use a little heat and gentle pulling to separate if this is the case.

The whole process takes about 20 minutes if you have all the equipment to hand, a willing assistant and if you already know the appropriate temperature settings on your heat gun and iron.  It would be advisable to allow an hour for your first attempt though.

Once completed correctly, the bond is as good as new and will NEVER peel apart until  you want to fit another latex seal.  The next time you fit a new seal, the task will be easier – no seamtape to remove – you simply heat the latex again and it will peel off ready for the next seal to be fitted.

If you need any help please phone 01234 267314 and Andi will be pleased to advise.