Visit Yamamoto Wetsuit Material Factory Part II

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Visit Yamamoto Wetsuit Material Factory Part II

Posted Mar 09, 2017


Yamamoto part II factory Tour

BEHIND THE NEOPRENE

 

Yamamoto Neoprene 

Our decision to build our 7TILL8 custom wetsuits out of Yamamoto neoprene was comparatively a simple one. Yamamoto produces neoprene from 100% limestone and with the best precision machinery. Using the finest quality rubber for our custom wetsuits was an easy decision and we recently explored the Yamamoto factory to see how it is made.

The Yamamoto Tour 

We visited 2 out of the 6 factories that produces neoprene for an up close look at how limestone transforms into neoprene. From one factory to another we walk you through the manufacturing process of Yamamoto limestone neoprene. 

 

Yamamoto Corporation Osaka, Japan

Yamamoto Corporate Headquarters Osaka, Japan


Yamamoto 100% Limestone Chips

Yamamoto Limestone Chips


Yamamoto limestone chips are melted down where they rest for 24 hours.

Yamamoto Limestone is Alive


The melted limestone is then mixed with carbon to harden and strengthen the material.

Yamamoto Limestone Rolls and Carbon Mixture


After mixing another 24 hours is needed to settle the combination. Mr. Yamamoto likes to compare his neoprene to bread. They are both alive!

Carbon mixture Yamamoto limestone materials


Yamamoto has 6 different manufacturing facilities and from the first location, the carbon mixed limestone are trucked over to another facility down the street.

Yamamoto neoprene transportation 

The impurities from the carbon and limestone are extruded through this process. Mr. Yamamoto explained that it's their secret Ramen neoprene production.
He likes to joke =)

 
This crucial process called vulcanization applies tremendous pressure, about 30,000 tons of force pressed onto the rubber as it expands to create equal independent cell structures. The reason why Yamamoto is light and water impermeable is due to this process. Independent cell structures create a uniform cell body for maximum warmth and light weight structure.

Yamamoto Vulcanization process

 
The pressure from the vulcanization process is released and large buns of neoprene are created. 

 
Fresh neoprene buns straight out of the press. From here they are transported to get cut into various thicknesses. 

Yamamoto Neoprene Buns

 
Yamamoto cuts true to thickness. When ordering a 3mm you will have true 3mm neoprene in your custom wetsuit. We don't skimp on material and Yamamoto ensures an accurate cut (that grinding noise is the blade continuously being sharpened).



Each sheet is measured for the correct thickness before being shipped off to our custom wetsuit studio.

Yamamoto Neoprene precision

If you missed our live factory tour here is the video of the live stream that was broadcasted on Facebook. Follow us on facebook to keep up with all updates on our progress and leave us a comment!

Your Questions

After we toured the factory we had lunch with Mr. Yamamoto and asked him the list of questions you the customer or fan wanted to hear. We asked each question and compiled about 4 hours worth of his response. Stay tuned for next weeks Part III article where we will display all the questions and his answers. 

Until then stay warm in the water and surfs up!

Go explore Go Dive!




3 comments

  • 7TILL8: March 14, 2017

    @Steve Belmont
    We apologize that during the Carapace days your fit was not as how you expected. We are happy to hear that the 7TILL8 Custom Wetsuits was a success for you. Always feel free to share some of your experiences with us as we always curious about what our customers are up to. 180 dives that is incredible!

    Thank you for all the feedback and we will be sure to add in more measurements as our algorithms become more accurate.

    We will take notes of all the comments and product updates you suggested and make sure to add them to our list of improvements.

    Please stay in touch and let us know how else we can help with your custom tailored wetsuit!

  • bob williams: March 10, 2017

    Thanks for sharing. Nice to see how the product is made.

  • Steve Belmont: March 10, 2017

    I purchased one of your wetsuits when you were called Carapace. It was a terrible fit. I sent it back and received one of the 7-8 suits you now advertise. I am please with the comfort and especially the quality. Over 180 dives and the only sign of wear is where the velcor neck seal always attaches to the shoulder area.
    I would like to see a few more measurement areas as the fit—although a lot better than the first one—still is not perfect. Loose across the chest and the belly area. Also I would like to know if the neck seal can be replaced. I tighten mine as tight as possible and it has stretched out a bit (the rubber area).
    Over all a good quality made wetsuit but better measurements areas probably would make a better fitting wetsuit for we— UN athletic—- bodies.

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