Testing to the Extreme: Gore Unveils New State-of-the-Art Fire and Environment Simulation Labs


two new advanced, state-of-the-art labs
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

At Gore our scientists are continually inventing new materials that both protect war fighters in the field and make it possible for them to succeed at their missions, even in the harshest conditions. Testing is an essential and critical component of this process and to this end, Gore just unveiled two new advanced, state-of-the-art labs at our Elkton, Maryland headquarters, that simulate extreme conditions.

Our textile innovations provide a full bandwidth of characteristics – from materials that ensure warmth and protection from the extreme cold to ones that provide unmatched levels of fire resistance and retardancy against fire and flame — and the advance testing capabilities at our new labs allow us to accurately measure the capabilities of existing and new technologies.

gorepressevent-deckerenviro-600On November 17, we invited the world to our offices to unveil and demonstrate our new lab facilities. The response from writers around the world has been impressive, and you can read more below.

But in capsule – here’s the story:

Our new Environmental Chamber recreates the real-world environmental conditions found on the earth’s surface, from the most common to the most extreme. This includes accurately simulating the frigid conditions on Mt. Everest to the blazing sun and heat in Death Valley. The new Rain Tower simulates rainfall rates that range from drizzle to a heavy downpour.

According to Paul Canatella, technical leader for Gore’s Fabrics Division, “By creating real-world conditions in a lab environment we can scientifically measure and analyze the impact of a product on human perception.” In other words, this lab allows us to thoroughly test and evaluate how a product will function in the field, taking the guess-work out of the performance equation.

gorepressevent-hflabcal-600Our new Heat and Flame Protection lab allows Gore to precisely measure and analyze the ability of its products to provide three key elements of burn protection: flame resistance, thermal insulation and thermal stability.

Key components of this lab include the new Cone Calorimeter, which enables Gore engineers to measure heat release characteristics of the fabrics used in finished garments. The fire lab also evaluates time-to-burn in low heat flux scenarios where a firefighter could experience sweat burns and has a Pyrolysis Combustion Flow calorimeter (PCFC)/Micro Combustion Calorimeter (MCC) that allows Gore to rapidly characterize heat release and fire-preventing char generation in the raw materials used to make our products.

Both labs provide a world-class setting for Gore to extensively test the effects of apparel, activity and environment on the human body, plus measure human performance, protection levels, breathability and comfort for the end user.

You can learn much more about the new labs here.

And read what others are saying below:

SGB Media

Popular Mechanics

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