Testing Beyond the Limits: Gore’s New Heat and Flame Protection Laboratory


testingbeyondthelimits
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Injuries from explosives and other fire hazards on the battlefield represent one of the toughest dangers facing war fighters today. Burn-related hospital stays are often long and expensive. But the impact of a fire injury on a war fighter is potentially much greater and can have devastating, life-altering, debilitating consequences.

Ever wary of this battlefield menace, the US Department of Defense is continually looking for Fire Retardant and Flame Resistant (FR) gear that can provide multiple levels of protection. In response, W.L. Gore & Associates is investing heavily in the time, talent and testing capabilities to support their commitment to the development of next-gen FR. gorepressevent-riley-lab600x400

For decades, Gore has been at the forefront of the development of next generation heat and flame protective textiles and to this end, last fall unveiled a new, state-of-the-art Heat and Flame Protection Laboratory. Housed at Gore’s headquarters in Elkton, Maryland, USA, the new lab allows Gore’s textile scientists to precisely measure and analyze the ability of the new materials they’ve developed for three key elements of burn protection: flame resistance, thermal insulation and thermal stability.

The lab is four times the size of Gore’s former heat and flame testing lab at 1,350 square feet and is home to a new generation of high tech testing equipment and technology.

In a presentation at the annual AATCC International 2017 Conference, held this year in Wilmington, NC, USA, Gore scientist Mustafa Arifoglu discussed the new lab’s capabilities.

This includes a Micro Combustion Calorimeter, Cone Calorimeter, testing for Thermal Protection Performance (TPP) and the technology to conduct the Stored Energy Test (SET), Vertical Flame Test, the Folded Edge Flame Test and the Surface Impingement Test.

gorepressevent-riley600x400These in-house capabilities support Gore’s development of novel heat and flame protection technologies at the component, laminate and composite level and include the ability to measure Flame Resistance, Thermal Insulation and Thermal Stability.

The new lab also underscores Gore’s science-based culture and history as a developer of advanced materials that enhance performance and provide protection in even the harshest and most demanding environments. This includes gear and uniforms for the military, as well as firefighters, oil and gas workers and police officers.

GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology, a self-extinguishing fabric developed recently by Gore, is just one FR innovation from Gore’s Heat & Flame Protection scientists. GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology delivers protection beyond ASTM F1891 and ASTM F2733 requirements and its revolutionary self-extinguishing properties provide durable and comfortable protection while additionally protecting the wearer from incidental heat and flame injury.

The new lab can set the stage for yet even more advanced FR capabilities. This applies not only to personnel apparel and outerwear, but tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and other textile materials commonly needed in battle.

For more information on the new labs, Gore’s Heat and Flame Protection Technologies, and the Fire and Safety Unit, go to:

GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology

Gore Heat and Flame Protection Testing Laboratory

Gore’s Fire and Safety Unit

 

Next-Gen Fabrics for War Fighters in the South Pacific


fullsizerender
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Gore Military’s next-generation protective outerwear innovations are continuing to gain attention from war fighters around the globe. A recent example is the LANPAC 2017 Symposium & Exposition in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, which took place in late May.

LANPAC is an international event sponsored by the Association of the US Army that focuses on the role of land forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater and their contributions to the Joint Force in peace and war.

Several of Gore’s latest outerwear innovations were showcased here, including our breakthrough GORE® Katana Fabric uniform by Arc’teryx, and the Outdoor Research MultiCam Infiltrator Jacket made in part from GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology. The GORE® PYRAD® FR Lightweight (LWL) Loft Jacket and the GORE-TEX® PYRAD® Hardshell Jacket were also on display as well as our Gen III Level 6 ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System).

The reception to all of the above from key military personnel was overwhelmingly positive. A perfect example was GORE® Katana Fabric, a new fabric designed for outerwear worn in hot arid and hot tropical regions. GORE® Katana Fabric provides a durable, breathable, quick dry alternative to the fabrics currently being used in uniforms worn by war fighters stationed in the Asia-Pacific theater. With training underway in this region by the US Army — and predictions that this region could become an area of potential conflict — GORE® Katana Fabric offers a new uniform option specifically designed to support mission success under this region’s demanding climate conditions.

GORE® Katana Fabric is a blend of ePTFE, Nylon and Cotton (NYCO) fibers that provides an ideal combination of air permeability, fast dry time, strength-to-weight ratio and no melt/no drip.

GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology was also showcased. This GORE-TEX® innovation provides enhanced maneuverability in jackets, whether or not insulative materials are worn underneath. The PYRAD products showcased our dedication to developing outerwear materials that are lightweight and breathable but also provide enhanced FR capabilities. PYRAD, for example, is self-extinguishing.

Gore was the only exhibitor at this show displaying protective outerwear products designed to provide protection against both a wide spectrum of weather conditions and flash-fire. Altogether, the materials on display demonstrate Gore’s continued research into the strategic needs of war fighters in various climates and our focus on R&D efforts dedicated to developing forward-thinking innovations for future combat needs.

You can learn more at the links below:

GORE® Katana Fabric

GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology

GORE-TEX® PYRAD® Hardshell Jacket

Gen III Level 6 ECWCS

Gore’s Mission at SOFIC: Next Generation Tactical Uniforms and Chem/Bio Protective Outerwear 


gores-mission-sofic
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

At the 2017 SOFIC Conference and Exhibition in Tampa, Florida, USA, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. showcased a new generation of high tech, tactical uniforms and protective clothing developed to support Special Operations Forces Command personnel on missions around the globe.

From durable clothing designed to protect war fighters from a broad range of chemical and biological agents, to uniforms specially developed for extended wear in dry hot, hot humid and tropical environments, these products showcased are made from fabrics enhanced with Gore’s ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) technologies.

You can learn more through this story on Soldier Systems.

SOFIC, which is formally known as the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, took place May 16-18 at the Tampa Convention Center. You can learn more about the show at  SOFIC 2017.

Product details can be viewed at Gore Tactical Uniforms & Chem/Bio Outerwear.

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Hot Off the Show Floor at Quad-A


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Last week W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore)  featured products from GORE® Military FabricsGORE™ SKFYLEX™ Aerospace Materials and GORE®Cables and Materials at the 2017 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, TN.

At Booth 1045, Gore exhibited their extensive collection of high-performance technical solutions that incorporate the latest materials science — ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) — to meet the military’s complex functional needs and rigorous industry requirements.

From Military Fabrics, this included the Fire-Resistant Environmental Ensemble, also known as FREE, which provides fire protection and breathable comfort in extreme weather. FREE has been engineered with specialized flame-retardant and antistatic properties. This lightweight Fire-Resistant Environmental Ensemble withstands the heat and flame threats that soldiers may encounter in combat vehicles and on aviation missions.

We also showcased the Massif® Battleshield™ and Battleshield X™ collection of clothing products and accessories made with GORE® FR Stretch Technology. Massif delivers lightweight, highly breathable, durable tactical garments with enhanced flash-fire protection in a soft and comfortable form. Massif® also combines breathability with protection from wind and light rain exposure.

Also on display was Gore’s portfolio of durable GORE® Cables and Materials engineered to perform reliably now and over time. Products highlighted included small, lightweight high data rate cables; no-cure, lightweight GORE™ SKFYLEX™ Aerospace Materials; and excellent shielding materials.

Extreme Protection from Flame and Cold


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

More and more W. L. Gore and Associates brand partners in the US and abroad have begun incorporating GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology into outerwear for war fighters. This includes European brands developing high tech, insulated outerwear for missions in extremely cold settings.

A recent example is Carinthia, an Austrian military gear brand. At this year’s International Weapons Exhibition (IWA) in Germany, Carinthia introduced a cold weather garment featuring GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology.

Carinthia is well known for high-performing cold weather clothing, sleep systems and shelters, and the new PYRAD® jacket introduced at IWA is geared toward military and tactical markets in the European Union. In addition to leveraging GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology’s revolutionary self-extinguishing properties, the jacket is cold and wind resistant to -30°F and supports dangerous missions in higher elevations and extreme cold conditions.

When laminated to nylon, polyester, and other fabrics, self-extinguishing GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology provides exceptional protection against heat and fire by balancing flame resistance, thermal insulation and thermal stability. This is key, as militaries around the globe are increasingly looking for textile technologies that meet both FR and no melt, no drip requirements while allowing the fabric to still insulate, wick and breathe.

You can learn more about GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology and Carinthia at the links below.

Soldier Systems article

Carinthia website

GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology

Gore Ushers in Fabrics for all Seasons


gore-tex-stretch
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates
Outdoor Research Infiltrator Jacket and Pant Click here to view video

Outdoor Research Infiltrator Jacket and Pant
Click here to view video

At trade shows this year, W. L. Gore & Associates brand partners will introduce next-generation military gear engineered to support mission success in even the most extreme weather conditions. All are made from new Gore fabric technologies designed for mission success in both cold and hot climates.

This is a significant development in the world of military gear, given predictions that more and more military missions will take place in artic and tropical settings.

A recent example is the SHOT show, which took place January 23-27 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Here brand partners Outdoor Research and Arc-teryx LEAF introduced new gear developed for mission support in very cold and very hot climates.

Cold Weather Glove

Outdoor Research Cold Weather Glove

Created in partnership with Gore, the lightweight Outdoor Research MultiCam Infiltrator Jacket and Pants feature GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology. This new, lightweight fabric provides durable protection from cold while allowing for close-fitting, functional stretch that doesn’t constrict movement. The jacket and pants can be worn under body armor or as an outer layer. Outdoor Research has also introduced extreme cold weather gloves made from GORE-TEX® Fabric.

Arc-Teryx Reece Shirt LT

Arc-Teryx Recce Shirt LT

Another new Gore fabric technology introduced this year is GORE® Katana Fabric, a breakthrough innovation developed to support mission success in hot-humid and hot-arid climates. At SHOT, Arc-teryx LEAF introduced the new Recce Shirt LT, a lightweight no-melt, no-drip, GORE® Katana Fabric-based combat shirt engineered to be worn by war fighters conducting special reconnaissance tasks in hot weather and jungle environments.

GORE® Katana Fabric is made from a blend of nylon, cotton and ePTFE. It’s highly durable, but designed to breathe and dry fast, which helps prevent heat exhaustion and chafing. Katana is also ideal for general mission wear in temperate climates.

Arc-teryx Cold WX Jacket SV made from Windstopper

Arc-teryx Cold WX Jacket SV made from WINDSTOPPER

This year, Arc-teryx LEAF also introduced their new Cold WX Jacket SV pants and jacket developed with Gore’s WINDSTOPPER® fabric technology.

WINDSTOPPER® fabrics utilize an ultralight inner membrane technology that combines total wind-proofness with maximum breathability. WINDSTOPPER® is engineered for wear in a wide range activities and weather conditions, making it easier to work longer in extreme cold conditions.

Early response to these new Gore technologies has been very positive. These and other new Gore fabric innovations will be on display at trade shows throughout the year, including Quad-A, SOFIC and LANPAC, which are all coming up soon in April and May.

So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, you can learn about Gore’s innovative new military fabric technologies through the links below.

GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology

GORE Katana Fabric Technical Sheet

 

 

Extended Comfort: Tested for Proven Performance on a Global Scale


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates
extendedcomfort-fieldtestedEven before the introduction last year of W. L. Gore’s Extended Comfort product line, the scientists at Gore knew this specially-engineered line of lightweight, highly breathable, durably waterproof boots could outperform any other military boot on the market worn in hot-dry or hot-humid climates. 

And recent full-scale user tests conducted by Gore’s Military Fabrics division in Germany prove that GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort footwear provides unparalleled comfort and mission support in those environments. Details about the tests were recently reported in Soldier Systems (see link below). 

The trials, which took place over a 16-week period from July to November 2016, were conducted by Gore in coordination with footwear partner Meindl and market research agency HYVE. During this time the boots were worn by 48 soldiers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria wearing Meindl’s Equator Alpha. The majority of the trial participants wore the boots for more than six hours per day in a variety of terrains, as well as in standing water and other liquids, while engaged in activities such as marching, combat training, shooting and working indoors. 

The tests took place in Central Europe, Africa, Afghanistan, the Near East and Kosovo. 

Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. One commented that the boots are “ideal for their intended use,” and provide “high comfort factor and breathability.” The majority of the participants reported that they sweated far less in the Extended Comfort trial boots than in boots they had worn in the past. This was near-unanimous from war fighters stationed in extremely hot climates. In fact, 75% reported that the boots provided a comfortable, dry environment even up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Test participants were also equally favorable about the boot’s waterproofness and protective qualities when exposed to chemicals or sewage.
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The Patrol GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear line was developed for war fighters on maneuvers that involved a lighter load and for combat in urban environments. The boot’s GORE-TEX® laminate interior delivers exceptional breathability and outstanding heat release characteristics, which prevents feet from overheating.

At the end of the trial and after several months of wear, more than two thirds of the participants said they would recommend the boot, especially in hot-dry and hot-humid climates. In addition, 91 percent were favorably impressed by the weight of the boot, particularly when compared to footwear they had worn in the past.

You can learn more at the links below:

Army Begins Testing Improved Jungle Boot


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Army researchers have begun testing an enhanced jungle combat boot, Army Times reported.

The new footwear, developed for tropical conditions, has been issued to soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, which opened the Jungle Operations Training Center in 2014. The 25th ID will continue testing the boot through September 2017.

The Belleville Boot Company and Rocky Boots supplied the Army with 36,708 boots after winning a contract in December. The product aims to improve footwear options for combat soldiers who train in the Pacific region. Many of these soldiers are accustom to the arid war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Researchers expect to add “significant miles” by subjecting the product to months of field training and exercises, possibly physical training.

Based on Vietnam-era footwear, the jungle boot features fast-drying, breathable mesh, a puncture-proof sole, and a thick layer of shock-absorbing polyurethane. The sole also contains drainage holes and specialized tread to cut through muddy terrain.

So far, the new gear has received positive feedback from the 25th ID staff. Officials say the design may be modified after they receive more feedback from the soldiers.

Read the full story here.

Army Expects Operational “Iron Man” Suit by Next Summer


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) anticipates having an operational prototype of the “Iron Man” suit in less than two years, Kit Up reported.

James Geurts, a senior executive at U.S. SOCOM, discussed progress on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), high-tech body armor, during the National Defense Industrial Association’s Annual Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium. The U.S. Special Operations Command, which originally challenged the defense industry to build the TALOS in 2013, envisioned a protective wearable with embedded sensors capable of monitoring and controlling core body temperature, heart rate, hydration level, and other vitals.

“Smart-soldier” technologies have been gaining traction in the U.S. military. For example, Nett Warrior allows unit leaders to track their subordinates’ locations and get a bird’s-eye view of the tactical environment, using a smartphone set-up. To develop the technology, which debuted in 2006, the Army awarded over $500 million in defense industry contracts.

Currently, the development of TALOS faces challenges, but Geurts predicts the effort will produce “spin-off” technologies that will empower operators with life-saving information and communication capabilities.

Read the full story here.

The SMA Responds To Soldiers Uniform Requests


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Beards, World War II style uniforms, and nail polish and earrings (for female troops) rank among the most popular uniform changes requested by soldiers.

Army Times recently polled readers to find out what soldiers want to wear while on-duty. They sent these suggestions to Dan Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army, to see which might fly.

Many soldiers want to completely eliminate the beret, Army Times reported. Dailey, however, believes it should be worn on occasions and looks particularly striking when paired with a blue uniform.

Velcro was also pretty unpopular. Fortunately, the Army is already looking into velcro-free uniforms, Dailey confirmed.

Much of the requests — including throwback uniforms, one-piece flight suits, and collars with rank — seek to reinstate previous military wear. Unfortunately, Dailey doesn’t see these pieces making a come back anytime soon.

See the full list here.

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