W. L. Gore and Associates designed and invented Gore-Tex in 1969 which can repel liquids whilst allowing vapor to pass through. The material is made out of stretched elements of PTFE which creates ePTFE. This method and fabric conditioning was later licensed as Gore-Tex.[youtube v=”8lWBxOBiqkg”]
Gore-Tex is made of a microporous structure made from 30% ePTFE and 70% air. The material is well known for being used in outdoor clothing but is also used in other tertiary applications. This fabric is normally used with high performance fabrics for sports and outdoor activities involving disruptive environments. Best known for it’s properties as a lightweight, waterproof but breathable material; Gore-Tex is a premium material that is normally found on high quality product lines such as Arc’teryx.
Gore-Tex is not just a fabric, it’s a brand that includes DWR treatment on the outer layer of the material used. This does not create the waterproof elements, however allows the fabric to keep breathing when soaked. A common misconception is that the Gore-Tex leaks when DWR treatment isn’t maintained which is actually just the user getting sweaty underneath the fabric.
The many uses of GORE-TEX
Gore-Tex is used in many waterproof products such as clothes, boots and other body accessories which involve outdoor activities. One very common application is for cyclists who need high performance wear which allow their skin to breath but at the same time, keep them protected from external elements such as ultraviolet light, rain and any terrain that they encounter on route.
Gore-Tex has a uniquely beneficial property making it inert inside the human body. This property is a great application for medical products which need to be surgically applied inside of the body. This includes pace makers, skin grafting and synthetic knee ligaments. Other applications such as explosive sensors, illuminated manuscripts and sealing battery products are also included in the Gore-Tex line up.