Chemistry

Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant

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Main Difference

The main difference between Waterproof and Water-Resistant is that Waterproof material is tested against water, and technically it is impermeable to water, whereas Water-Resistant material can resist the penetration of water to a certain degree.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

The waterproof material is a material that is impermeable for water, but water-resistant material is just resistant to water to a certain degree. The waterproof material is tested for impermeability against water, whereas water-resistant material is not tested for its resisting ability.

Waterproof is a higher level of water protection, but water-resistant is a lower level of protection against water. The waterproof material is prepared by using the latest and advanced techniques to increase its ability for impermeability against water in the harshest conditions; however, water-resistant material is prepared by using techniques like using coatings of waxes or polyvinyl chloride.

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Waterproof material when prone to rougher conditions does not let water pass through the protecting membranes, hence are used where enhanced safety against water penetration is required, but for water-resistant material, water is permeable through the protection when prone to rougher conditions thus can’t be used for complete protection from water.

Waterproof material costs higher because of using extra high-quality material and assurance and increased testing for declaring it waterproof material, but water-resistant material is much cheaper due to reduced costs due to unclaimed assurances.

Comparison Chart

WaterproofWater-Resistant
A material that is impermeable to water is known as waterproof.A material that is resistant to water is known as water-resistant.
Testing
Material testedMaterial not tested
Water Protection
Higher-levelLower level
Rough Conditions
Do not let water penetrateCannot keep water-resisting abilities
Preparation
Advanced techniques and use of waterproof materialUse of coating of waterproof material for acquiring resisting properties
Cost
Higher costLower cost
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What is Waterproof?

The waterproof material is usually made from such fabric or material items that are inherently waterproof. However, waterproofing can also be obtained by strictly applying waterproofing material on the fabrics such as PVC, PU, and rubber. This way, waterproof material is made, thus becoming impermeable for water. It is afterward tested for impermeability against water for declaration as waterproof material.

C8 fluorocarbons early in 2000 were used as common waterproofing material during the manufacturing of waterproof fabrics. However, due to serious health and environmental hazards and thus later on-surface polymerization of hydrocarbon chains led to this industry.

As the meaning of the word waterproof suggests that it is completely invulnerable to water, as the water cannot pass through it, but on the contrary, it may differ from product to product. Nano-coating is also used by gadget companies for increasing protection and making a gadget more waterproof.

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These Nano-coating repels water for affecting or damaging circuits if it crosses the protective seals surrounding the body. This microscopically-applied film is sprayed all over the internal components, thus helping water roll away.

In the case of these tech devices or gadgets, this waterproofing is scaled. This system applies to most tech items like mobiles, digital cameras, etc. This scale describes that to how much extent this item is impermeable for water. Because if that item is prone to water pressure, it could lead water to cross the membrane.

The rating of this is called the Ingress Protection Rating scale, this rating in today’s gadgets appear on the product packaging or their forms, thus describing its ability to resist water. The higher the scale, the more impermeable it is to water. The protection scale is scaled as IPX0, 1, 2, etc.

IPX 0 certified substances are known to have no protection against water but have ascended to a larger scale, IPX-1 the certification certifies that the device is protected against vertically dripping water for a very short time, at the highest level of certification, the gadget is certified against a higher water pressure for a longer time in or in-depth of water pools, etc.

Waterproof material, even when prone to rougher conditions do not let water drops pass through the fabric, hence are used where enhanced safety against water penetration is required. Waterproof material costs higher because of using extra high-quality material and increased testing for declaring its waterproof material.

Waterproof is a higher level of water protection and is prepared by using the latest and advanced techniques to increase its ability for impermeability. A combination of waterproof with breathable fabric is now a day used for outdoor sports clothing, rainwear, and tents, etc. Thus the fabrics made with these prospects led human vapors out of the body but do not let water drops pass through the fabric, which has enhanced its uses.

What is Water-Resistant?

Water-resistant material is just resistant to water to a certain degree. Typically, a density of fiber even makes some materials water-resistant as the tightly packed holes could also provide the resisting ability to a fiber.

The denser the fiber, the longer it will take water to seep in. This material is not tested for its resisting ability. It is a lower level of protection against water. And it cannot keep one from getting wet forever.

Most common fabrics that can be called as water-resisting fabrics are nylon and polyester, and the fiber made from these materials are usually water-resistant to some extent and also depends upon how tightly it’s woven. However, cotton, on the other hand, is a much delicate fabric, and it is not possible for one to tightly wove it.

And one of the reasons is that cotton is hydrophilic and a hydrophilic fabric as absorbs more water, thus sucking up the water and then spreading it evenly across the face fabric. But owing to the structure of the fabric and the use of a combination of layers of a different hydrophobic material, water droplets in the form of rain or snow, don’t cross the membrane and thus acting as water-resistant.

Water-resistant material is also aided by the use of techniques like the use of coatings of waxes or polyvinyl chlorides, and these hydrophilic fabrics are also infused with a water repellent (DWR) thus acting resistant to water.

Water-resistant material thus is known to be less impermeable for water as when prone to rougher conditions, water passes through the holes, and making this material can’t be used for complete protection from water. This material is much cheaper due to reduced costs as no testing is done to assure water protection and lower quality as compared to waterproofing material is required for its production.

Key Differences

  1. The waterproof material is impermeable for water; however, water-resistant material is only resistant for water to a certain degree.
  2. Waterproof is a higher level of water protection with enhanced safety against water penetration; on the other hand, water-resistant is a lower level of protection against water, making water-permeable when prone to rougher conditions.
  3. The waterproof material is prepared by using advanced techniques to increase its ability for impermeability; however, water-resistant material is prepared by using coatings of waxes or polyvinyl chloride, etc.
  4. The waterproof material is tested for impermeability against water; on the flip side, water-resistant material is not tested for its resisting ability.
  5. Waterproof material costs higher because of the use of high-quality material along with increased testing for declaring it waterproof material; conversely, water-resistant material is cheaper with reduced costs.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the waterproof material is impermeable to water and is tested against water, whereas water-resistant material can resist the penetration of water by applying coatings to a certain degree.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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