DIY Latex Socks

The photo sequence and instructions below will lead you through the process for fitting our DIY pre-prepared latex socks to a DAMX dry suit.  It is worth mentioning that if the dry suit has had replacement socks previously fitted by a non-DAMX service agent, then it is very unlikely that you will be able to use our DIY system and you will have to use the traditional “tube of glue” approach.

Please also read the set of written instructions supplied with each set of seals as this provides additional information and guidance.

Download DIY Socks pdf

Image A: DAMX dry suit fitted with neoprene ankle protection. The technique is exactly the same for suits without the neoprene.
Image B: Showing the inside of the dry suit leg. The ring of seamtape over the fabric/latex joint must be removed.
Image C: Close-up of the seamtaped joint.
Image D: Showing how to use a hot air gun to melt the hotmelt adhesive under the seamtape. Use a pair of pliers or the tip of a knife to lift the start of the seamtape. Especially with breathable fabrics it is extremely important not to use too much heat - the fabric will burn very easily. It is important however, to use enough heat to allow the seamtape to peal off EASILY and not leave any bits of white seamtape membrane behind.
Image E: Showing the latex sock joint once all of the seamtape has been removed. It is important not to remove or partially unglue the line of seamtape up the inside leg of the dry suit. If this seamtape does start to lift up - just re-heat it and press it back down.
Image F: Close-up of the layer of hotmelt adhesive left behind on the old latex sock and the fabric of the dry suit leg.
Image G: Use a pair of scissors to cut off part of the old latex sock. You should leave in place all of the latex sock which has a coating of hotmelt adhesive - this is the "shiny" bit in the photograph.
Image H: Showing the ring of hotmelt adhesive around the leg. The hotmelt adhesive on the pre-prepared DIY latex socks will be melted into this layer of adhesive to create a "true weld".
Image J: You need to make a roll of newspapers just large enough to slide inside the leg of the dry suit. Notice that the FRONT of the dry suit leg has been marked - DO NOT PUT MARKS ONTO THE GLUE COATED SURFACE - this might cause a failed area of adhesion later - a potential leak.
Image K: The roll of newspapers is now inserted inside the leg. Use masking tape to cover a ring of dry suit leg fabric adjacent to the latex sock remnant. This will prevent any accidental bonding of the new sock to the fabric.
Image L: On the inside surface of the new latex sock, mark the front. ( Not on the glue coated surface )
Image M: Position the new latex sock on the dry suit leg. Ensure that the FRONT marks line up. ( There is no left or right to worry about - the socks are identical ) You should have the upper edge of the latex within 1mm of the upper edge of the ring of hotmelt adhesive on the dry suit leg fabric. The latex sock will sometimes have a peaked/pointed shape at the front - you will find the lining up job easier if you trim this off to create a smooth shape without this awkward pointy bit. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT THE SOCK HAS BEEN MARKED EVERY 4cm OR SO AROUND THE UPPER CIRCUMFERENCE - this helps later with the welding process.
Image N: Even if you intend to use a hot air gun to do the heat welding, it is advisable to use a hot iron to tack down the upper edge of the new latex sock, to make sure it doesn't move out of position. For the next and final stage, you can use a hot air gun or a hot iron to create the welded joint. Here a hot iron is being used to melt the hotmelt adhesive. Set the iron to somewhere around the "wool" temperature or a little lower. Press quite hard to establish a good heat transfer and if the temperature is correct the glue should melt after 15 seconds or so. If the temperature is too hot, the latex will go shiny and start to melt, smoke and break-down - so go gently - try a short, few seconds of contact initially and then proceed, or adjust the temperature accordingly. Use a gloved hand or a roller to press the melted glue layers together and then let that section cool and harden before progressing to the next section. THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM IS NOT USING SUFFICIENT HEAT - THE GLUE DOESN'T MELT FULLY AND YOU GET AN INCOMPLETE BOND.
Image O: You can use a hot air gun instead of a hot iron to heat the hotmelt adhesive. BE VERY CAREFUL not to burn breathable fabric. Non breathable fabric is much harder to damage. Because you earlier tacked the sock inplace with a hot iron, you can now heat up two or three of the marked sections at once. Firstly, gently heat the chosen sections of latex, then use a gloved hand to press the inner glue coated surfaces together to create a lightly "tacked" joint. Then, still working on the same sections, use a lot more heat and finally, create the weld by using a gloved hand or roller to FIRMLY press the hotmelt glue coated surfaces together. The layers of hotmelt adhesive merge to form a true weld. You can quite easily see if you are using too much heat as the latex will start to smoke - this is not a disaster as long as you quickly back off the heat by increasing the nozzle distance, reducing the dwell time or decreasing the temperature a bit. THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM IS USING TOO LITTLE HEAT - THE GLUE DOESNT FULLY MELT AND YOU GET AN INCOMPLETE BOND.
Image P: Using a gloved hand to press the melted hotmelt glue coated surfaces together to create the welded joint. Once cool, the wad of newspapers can be removed and the suit is immediately ready for use.
Image Q: You can use a wallpaper roller or similar to get extra pressure on the heated joint. Once cool, the wad of newspapers can be removed and the suit is immediately ready for use.