Marines to Test Eco-Friendly Flame Retardant

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The Marines Corps has received samples of uniform fabric treated with a new biodegradable flame retardant, Alexium International Group announced on November 7th, 2016. The company also provided the Corps with independent testing data.

Corps technology and procurement specialist plan to evaluate the samples for safety and effectiveness. The new flame retardant was developed in response to the military’s concern over the health and environmental risks associated with flame retardant, Nicholas Clarke, CEO of Alexium, said.

The treatment was developed in collaboration with Marine and Army acquisition officials, who consider flame-resistant clothing a top priority. The long-term goal is to produce an off-the-shelf flame-resistant, nylon-cotton fabric for the military market, Dirk Van Hyning, President of Alexium, explained.

Read the full press release here.

Preparing for the Navy Working Uniform Switch

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Type III cammies, known as “green digital,” are set to become the standard Navy Working Uniform by this October. Navy Times interviewed Corey Heinrich, Master Chief Petty Officer, on what to expect regarding the new uniforms. Here are highlights:

  1. New recruits will receive Type III uniforms at boot camp, while enlistees can expect to receive funds to purchase new outfits. Blue cammies will be disallowed by Oct. 1, 2019.
  2. Officials say it will take more than a year before most Navy Exchanges are carrying the new cammies. The roll-out begins October 2017 with the Recruit Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois and the Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.
  3. Sailors may be expected to carry two sets of new green cammies, depending on whether the Fleet Force Command completes development on new flame-resistant uniforms. Requirements will not change for black fleece, boots, and socks.
  4. Many sailors are excited about the switch. According to Heinrich, the uniforms are “extremely comfortable” — more breathable and lighter weight than the Type I cammies. Structurally, the main difference is the velcro “mandarin” collar. The suit also includes a velcro insignia, placed in the center of the chest.
  5. Sailors should avoid adding starch to their uniforms, which will degrade the fabric. Instead of ironing, Henrich recommends sailors hang up their uniform immediately after pulling it from the drier. Soldiers may roll-up their uniform sleeves, but may not need to since the fabric is breathable.
  6. Sailors may choose between three types of headgear based on command: The eight-point covers, the blue command ball cap, and the coyote brown ball cap.
  7. The standard black boots will remain, but sailors primarily working the flight line and flight deck can wear flight deck boots. Commands are able to permit coyote brown or tan boots. Sailors should consider rotating their footwear to help break in new shoes.
  8. Seabag requirements are yet-to-be-determined but sailors can expect to see the cost of new uniforms included in their annual paychecks.

Read the full story here.

GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology at Modern Day Marine and AUSA

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Incredible Fit, Enthusiastic Response

This year at AUSA and Modern Day Marine, W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) introduced the military community to GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology, an amazing new fabric that fits perfectly without restricting movement, whether worn alone or over insulative layers.

It’s a major advancement, and a product that generated a lot of interest.

GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology is designed to offer weatherproof protection with the added benefit of durable stretch and recovery. A highly versatile material, GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology reduces the number of jackets a war fighter has to carry into a conflict zone. It accommodates a wide variety of temperatures and conditions because it fits equally well alone or over insulative layers, thus removing the need to carry two or three jackets into battle. Durably waterproof and windproof, it’s also highly breathable. So it’s no surprise that GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology won strong reviews at both shows, as well as a great deal of press, including the story you can link to below in

“GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology is a new technology for military and consumer garment applications that is form fitting and enhanced freedom of movement. The durable weather protection it offers ensures the user and under layers remain dry and comfortable by leveraging the GORE-TEX(R) brand promise of durable waterproof, windproof and breathable protection,” said Jason Rodriguez, marketing communications manager for Gore’s Military Fabric’s division.

“GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology is a great fabric advancement for the GORE-TEX brand and generated a great deal of interest and excitement for both tactical and consumer applications during Modern Day Marine and AUSA. We are certainly looking to work closely with the various military branches to determine how it can be integrated into various clothing systems.”

He added that GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology also reduces noise signature.

Two brands that will begin selling jackets made from GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology are Outdoor Research and Beyond Clothing.

Here’s what others are saying: – AUSA – gore-tex-stretch

Advanced Chemical and Biological Protective Clothing and GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology Introduced at AUSA and Modern Day Marine

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The W. L. Gore and Associates Military Fabrics team has been on the road the past few weeks, with trade shows at Modern Day Marine in Quantico, Virginia, and AUSA in Washington, DC.

At both we showcased our new portfolio of advanced chemical and biological (chem/bio) GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric protective clothing, plus GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology, a new ePTFE-based fabric innovation that provides greater maneuverability, with less weight, than current outerwear worn by today’s war fighter. GORE® Katana fabric, designed to enhance mission success in hot and wet environments, was also on display.

img_8489All three were very well received and represent yet another new generation of advanced military fabrics products from Gore’s team of textile scientists.

“The reaction from the audience to these technologies was very positive,” said Jason Rodriguez, marketing communications for Gore’s Military Fabrics business. “The chem/bio portfolio offers a different — and advanced — level of protection compared to other products in the market. We also had several briefings, and the reaction to GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology and that product’s durability under duress was equally positive. People are very intrigued by GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology and its durably waterproof and form-fitting capabilities.”

The chem/bio protective wear featured at the events included the new CPCSU-2 Flex Fit garment and a stretch undergarment, both designed with GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric. These new chem/bio innovations offer durable, broad protection and a reduction in thermal burden, while improving operational effectiveness.

Press reaction to the chem/bio portfolio, GORE-TEX Fabric with Stretch Technology and GORE® Katana was very strong, and we have links below to videos and news stories generated at both shows.

Click below to see what others are saying.

####### – MDM – CHEMPAK® – AUSA – Overview – AUSA – Gore-Tex-Stretch


Point Blank’s Convertible Vest Promises Flexibility During a Mission

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Point Blank Enterprises has created a fourth-generation tactical vest that can be instantly reconfigured depending on the wearer’s mission, Defense Times reported.

The redesigned Outer Tactical Vest will convert from plate carrier to fully furnished tactical gear, according to Michael Hanks, the director of military business development.

Hanks says the company considered how missions change in an instant. They want to enable soldiers to make a decision about what they need while they’re in the field.

The vest comes with a quick-release to remove features and does not require training.

Read the full story here.

Army Leaders Authorize Command to Allow Sleeve-Rolling

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Last Tuesday, senior Army leader signed a memo that will enable commanders to authorize rolled sleeve on Army Combat Uniforms, Army Times reported.

The change provides junior leaders with a greater level of command by shifting some amount of dress control away from senior level officials.

Sleeves may be neatly rolled, with the print side facing in or out, no more than three inches above the elbow.

The Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force allow sleeve-rolling in the summertime, but this privilege is new to many Army soldiers. Troops have not been allowed to roll their sleeves since transitioning from the Battle Dress Uniform to the ACU in 2005.

Read the full story here.

Staying Competitive in a Changing Military Market

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The military budget for textiles is down this year, but experts say the need for innovative products will continue to drive the market. Industry news site, Advanced Textile Source, recently posted an article exploring these changes.

Let’s start with the money. The procurement budget of the Defense Logistics Agency for the fiscal year 2017 has been set at $1.8 Billion with a 3.8 percent drop in acquisition funding compared with FY 2016, the article said. Money not allocated for weapons purchasing goes to applied research & development efforts, known as RDT&E. This chunk of the budget impacts textile manufacturers, and it’s declining by 28 percent, a report by Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst, explained.

That may seem like a substantial loss, but the military continues to seek new kinds of textiles, opening the doors for innovation. Thanks to previous wars, some services have an inventory surplus and don’t need the same products, Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist for the Army, explained.

Apparel made for extreme conditions, such as the Arctic and the jungle are now in greater demand. The Army also has a heightened interest in chembio suits, and there is funding available for research and development, Mary Lynn Landgraf, senior international trade specialist at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, noted.

The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), an organization connecting industry, academia, and government in the smart fabric revolution, recently launched. Their immediate goals include building a network of fabric innovators in defense and commercial applications.

Lobbyists from the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute and the Narrow Fabrics Institute recently met with federal officials to ensure enforcement of the Barry Amendment, an act encouraging the military to prioritize U.S. products. The meeting addressed concerns over maintaining the Amendment’s purchasing threshold at $150,000, eliminating a loophole that allowed the purchase of athletic sneakers sourced from overseas, and clarify language around a subset of textiles and apparel.

The lesson, as always, is that industry must continue to innovate. Successful companies, it seems, will need to develop products capable of serving consumers as well as defense.

Read the full story here.

Marines and Army Collaborate on Undetectable Camouflage

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The Marine Corps, in collaboration with the Army, has been working to develop camouflage that’s completely undetectable, even under special optics, Kit Up reported.

Researchers are hoping to improve MARPAT, the patented digital camouflage worn by Marines, and have been studying fabric swatches under the full spectrum of light — including infrared and ultraviolet, which can illuminate certain colors.

Charles Bell, a product manager at SYSCOM, explained researchers are looking at inks and dyes capable of neutralizing the reflection that appears under black light.

The push for this research indicates the military anticipates future combat with a technologically-enabled enemy as they shift away from fighting with low-tech enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The collaboration is part of a joint effort to increase efficiency and reduce spending by creating equipment both military branches can use.

Read the full story here.

Meet Our Newest Innovation: The GORE® Military Fabrics Blog

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

W. L. Gore & Associates’ Military Fabrics business is the source of a great deal of textile innovation, and to bring you closer to our many exciting new products and inventions, we are launching the GORE® Military Fabrics Blog.

Gore technologies live at the very cutting edge of textile science in both the performance and military fabrics industries, and with this bi-monthly blog we will keep you informed about our latest inventions.

Our products are change agents and to give you a head start, we have showcased several in stories below in this blog. Here, you are invited to read about GORE® Katana Fabric, a military uniform fabric designed specifically for comfort in hot humid environments; GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Footwear, the boot we have developed for jungle wear; GORE® Stretch Fabric, a new fabric designed to support Special Operations personnel in the field; and GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology, Gore’s new self-extinguishing FR fabric.

Many of our newest products are based on GORE-TEX, Gore’s iconic (and disruptive) technology, but our newest products perform far beyond that technology’s original capabilities, and this includes today’s generation of GORE-TEX products. Never happy to rest on our laurels, Gore has continued to invent and innovate, as well as improve existing technologies to stay ahead of the markets we serve.

The scientists and labs at Gore are constantly researching, and in this blog, we will tell you the story behind these innovations. We’ll discuss how they work, and how they make a difference in the field supporting mission success.

So sign up using the form below, and stay tuned. We promise a blog packed with great info and good reads!

Advancing Textile Technologies That Improve Mission Effectiveness

GORE® Military Fabrics
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

War under any conditions can be brutal. But in 1982 during the Falklands War between the UK and Argentina, the conditions were especially harsh. It was the dead of winter, cold and the 74-day conflict, which was fought in part over stormy seas, involved an amphibious assault and a sea battle that destroyed an Argentinian ship and led to the death of nearly 200 Argentinian sailors at sea.

In the end, it turned out to be a victory for Great Britain. But in addition to securing British sovereignty over the Falklands against an Argentinian invasion, the conflict ushered in a new era for military outerwear.

It was the first time a revolutionary new lightweight waterproof, windproof, breathable fabric called GORE-TEX was used in battle. Prior to the invasion, British war fighters had been outfitted with rain jackets, parkas, trousers, bivouac bags and gators, worn over boots, made from this new fabric technology.

There was nothing else on the market like it, and the GORE-TEX gear used during the Falklands replaced the traditional heavy, coated rain slickers that had been worn up to that point in similar conditions. British soldiers who fought in that conflict quickly spread the word about GORE-TEX and its supportive capabilities in battle. From there, a vibrant new business unit at W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) took off.

Today, the GORE® Military Fabrics portfolio includes a vast number of products. After the Falklands War, for example, Gore began developing the first generation ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System) and from there developed other new ePTFE-based technologies.

In the 1990’s Terri Kelly, the company’s current CEO, played a key role in the growth of our military fabrics business. As business unit leader, and under her management, she helped set the tone for GORE® Military Fabric’s ongoing commitment to continual R&D and product development.

For example, the ECWCS clothing system we developed has become a staple with allied militaries around the globe. But today’s version is not the same as the one developed in the 1980’s. The 3rd generation version we sell today is highly advanced, yet not the end of the line.

Gore is a leadership company and we want to know that our products are always the best in the market in their category. At Gore, the science never stops as we develop new iterations of existing technologies, as well as new technologies, new lamination techniques and new ways to use our core ePTFE technology to suit a variety of very specific end applications.

Although Gore’s original ePTFE patent expired in 1994, we have developed different methods for manipulating the ePTFE membrane and multiple new patents have been registered over the years. There are now many different membranes our scientists can chose from and a variety of different lamination processes for use when developing products for the military.

In addition to having multiple variations on the GORE-TEX theme, we have branched into a variety of other product technologies.

One example is GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology, a lightweight, flexible FR technology that self-extinguishes but can also have WWB capabilities (see our blog article below). We have also developed a wide range of chemical and biological protection products under our GORE® CHEMPAK® Fabric line. Other new innovations include breathable, lightweight, but highly durable uniform fabrics designed for hot climates made with an ePTFE fiber. That innovation is called GORE® Katana Fabric, and you can learn more about it here on our blog.

Since the Falklands War, we have continued to prove ourselves through multiple conflicts and today serve every branch of the US military.

The GORE-TEX laminates include at least 40 major programs including the 3rd Gen ECWCS, FREE (Flame Resistance Environment Ensemble), SOCOM’s protective Combat Uniform (Level 6 and 3 Bravo) NWU 1,2 and 3 (the Navy working uniform in various camo patterns), the USMC Light Weight Exposure Suit, US Air Force APECS and much more. And in addition to clothing systems, our products include tents and shelters. We have a particular focus on developing products for SOCOM, as Gore perceives them as the “engines of innovation” when it comes to developing products for the U.S. military.

The old story is that in the Korean War the US lost more soldiers to the elements than to enemy gun fire. But since the first generation of GORE-TEX fabric for military use, we have worked to turn that tide and are proud to be able to support our war fighters in battle.

We have a mission, too, and science lives at the core of that mission. Our R&D teams are continually developing new fabric technologies to support our forces during times of preparation and peace and ultimately, times of war.

So stay tuned to this blog.

This is where you can learn more about our newest products, our latest innovations and the technologies that will continue to set the bar for the industry, and continue to be game changers on the battlefield.

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