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.
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.
These 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: