In today’s combat landscape, clothing systems that incorporate fire retardant properties have become essential. At any given time, IED’s and other explosives can set off a destructive, fiery blast and managing this issue through conflicts in regions such as Iraq and Afghanistan has been very difficult.
Flame retardant (FR) treatments for textiles do exist, but many are also stiff, heavy and inhibit apparel breathability. As a result, it’s hard to maneuver, run or stay even moderately comfortable in many climates when wearing traditional clothing with FR protection. At the same time, combat apparel that does not have FR protection exposes war fighters to life threatening burns.
With these scenarios in mind, the scientists at W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) developed a new laminate called GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology that provides an advanced level of FR protection in military apparel combined with an unprecedented level of comfort.
In development for over five years and on the market for three, GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology is a laminate technology that can incorporate a waterproof, windproof, breathable GORE-TEX® membrane for increased protection against inclement weather.
GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology is actually self-extinguishing, and apparel made from this technology can minimize fire injury, while offering a high level of thermal protection per unit weight, as demonstrated in manikin flash fire test (ASTM F1903) and arc flash tests (ASTM F1959). The technology also enables products to self-extinguish even in the presence of residual compounds. Based on the end application, garments made with GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology can also be engineered with static dissipation properties to minimize the possibility of static discharge igniting flammable materials.
At the same time, GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology apparel products are light weight and drapable, plus breathable. During intense physical activities, garments made with the GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology laminate allow sweat evaporation, which reduces heat exhaustion. At the other end of the temperature spectrum, these garments do not hinder freedom of movement – even at very low temperatures.
Compared to traditional flame resistant technologies, GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology garments also have superior abrasion resistance and colorfastness, which enhance service life.
Foremost, GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology products can help save lives, and reduce or even prevent horrific burns. Flame tests filmed at the famed PyroMan fire labs at NC State University tell that story. In the video below, combat fatigues that integrate the GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology laminate self-extinguish after less than five seconds when torched with a heavy flame, demonstrating low levels of burn injury as reflected in low incidents of second and third degree burns.
Today, the U.S. Marine Corps is using GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology in its 10 and 15-man shelters and the Italian Special Forces use GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology in their battle dress uniforms. Gore has also developed a hard shell jacket constructed of a GORE-TEX® membrane and GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology, which is being evaluated by the U.S. Army.
You can learn more on our website. But for now, we invite you to see for yourself and watch the video below.