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Research & Development: Lifeblood for Innovation

IN SEARCH OF….

For the engineers at DUI, every dive is an opportunity to discover new ways to improve drysuit technology in the areas of functionality and comfort. Between our own personal experiences and those of divers we supply, many suggestions and ideas have sprung forth that eventually became product improvements or solutions that enhanced the capability of the suit and the divers who wear them.

Most of the technology we develop comes from a relatively simple concept – why not? Why can’t divers be completely immersed in comfort in all conditions? Why can’t divers go deeper than ever before? Why can’t we enable divers to spend more time in the water safely and comfortably?

Research and Development is the lifeblood of DUI operations. Our commitment is firm – we’ve allocated personnel and resources to uncover new means of approaching the challenges that face the diving community.

Diver in ice

(Recreating the coldest of cold water conditions divers may encounter, we conduct tests for our suits to ensure maximum performance.)

From limitations come solutions that enhance the functionality of the drysuit and extend the capacity of the diver. These solutions are documented and well-known (see our list of patents).

PARTNER

The direction of DUI research is determined by our cooperative efforts with divers, offshore companies,, and in partnership with the US Government. For years, DUI has worked in conjunction with the Navy to provide solutions specific to their requirements. As far back as 1960, Dick Long was working with Navy divers to build suits that would provide more comfort for experiments in “wet” submarines – submersible craft that were open to the water. DUI has been heavily involved in military testing, working with government agencies to monitor tests in Panama City, Florida. That partnership exists to this day, having yielded such advances as the Diver Active Thermal Protection System.

In a sense, the concept of R & D partnerships extended to the business world as well. During the international oil boom in the late ’70s and early ’80s, several advancements were borne out of the need for improved diver thermal protection – most notably in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, where harsh conditions were severely hindering progress on installation and repair work. DUI has field tested products in sites all over the world, resulting in new technology that has dramatically enhanced the capabilities of diving professionals who install and maintain underwater structures for large companies.

By maintaining an established R & D program, we have been able to incorporate many of the new features on our drysuits in the past few years. The advantage DUI has is experiencing firsthand the modifications required to perfect each new product. As veteran divers, our engineers readily understand what to expect from their developments, and incorporate fine-tuning based on their expertise. This is where our concept of “by divers, for divers” makes a big difference.

More advancements for diving suits have been made in the last 20 years than in all of the preceding years since their creation centuries ago. With many of those advancements coming from DUI, it’s safe to say that DUI will be at the forefront of the new drysuit technology for the next twenty year, and beyond.