Is your dry suit as warm as possible?
If you are not using argon, then the answer is
What is argon?
Argon is an inert gas with superior insulating
properties. Simply put, argon does not conduct heat as readily as
air. For many years, argon has been used in areas such as high efficiency
windows, light bulbs, welding, and laser applications. When used for dry
suit inflation, some sources claim argon can provide about 50% more insulation
Argon is only useful if used in conjunction with a dry suit. Argon is not
a breathable gas and does not provide an advantage in depth, dive time,
decompression or other dive profile
So how does argon work?
Argon is a dense gas. Much more dense than regular
compressed air. When a diver uses a dry suit, the cold water around the
dry suit cools the air that is trapped inside the dry suit. Because of
this the diver has to wear an insulating undergarment. In many cases
these undergarments are much thicker than what would
normally be worn on a cold
day on land. This is due to the compression effect experienced
underwater. The greater the depth the more the air inside the dry suit
will compress. This includes the air pockets inside the undergarment as
well. So the deeper a dry suit diver goes the more his/her undergarment
will compress, leaving him/her with a thinner layer of protection against the
cold air. That is why dry suit undergarments are so thick, so that when a
diver goes to depth his/her undergarment will still provide some amount of
Argon serves as a better insulator than air. By filling the dry suit
with argon the diver replaces the thinner, more compressible air with
denser gas that does not compress nearly as much under a given pressure.
This is a very advantageous concept for the dry suit diver. Argon
insulates better, but it also is more resistant to compression as the diver
goes deeper under the water. That means that the insulation
provided by the
undergarment is also more effective.
The other advantage to using argon is that it requires less venting and
filling of the airspace inside the dry suit. As depth changes, argon is
less effected by those changes than regular air. As the diver ascends,
he/she does not need to vent as much to maintain neutral buoyancy.
Similarly, as the diver descends, less argon is needed to maintain neutral
What about equipment compatibility?
Argon is an inert gas, which means it does not react with
other materials or chemicals. Cylinders, regulators and valves do not require
any special preparation or cleaning to be used with argon. This makes the
addition of an argon warm gas system to a SCUBA set up more cost
$1.00 per cubic foot.
Diver Dan's is able
to fill any size cylinder to any