As part of the company’s total commitment to consistently delivering best in class products that mitigate the risks faced by firefighters, W.L. Gore and Associates has enhanced the performance of all its GORE-TEX Moisture Barriers to include protection from blood borne pathogens and particulates in structural firefighting.
The company’s latest innovation combines the durable waterproofness and breathability of GORE-TEX Products with the blood borne pathogen protection previously only available in GORE® CROSSTECH® Products.
The introduction of GORE-TEX Moisture Barrier with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology recognises that the role of the firefighter is constantly evolving and around 80% of responses do not involve a structural fire. Along with this changing profile comes an increase in the risk posed by blood borne pathogens and particulate exposure.
Over recent years, a better understanding of the challenges posed by particulates has added to that risk and as a result of its own research and assessment Gore has taken the initiative to extend the technology that mitigates these risks to all Gore fabrics designed for firefighter protection.
The new moisture barriers have been developed with the company’s consistent “fit for purpose” approach that ensures that all Gore products meet the specific needs of the wearer and their operational environment. All Gore fire products are certified to EN469, ASNZ4967 and the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
Gore works closely with manufacturers to test and monitor performance of every aspect of the full garment ensemble which will incorporate the company’s high-performance moisture barriers. This includes the need for extended wash cycles and decontamination over the garment’s operational lifetime.
The new GORE-TEX Moisture Barrier with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology continues Gore’s tradition of continuous innovation and improvement since the company revolutionised firefighter protection in 1979 with the introduction of the first durably waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX Fabric in structural firefighting garments. It meant that for the first time firefighters could be dry from the outside and comfortable on the inside as sweat and moisture vapour moved out through the garment. This quickly became the global standard for high performance protective garments for firefighting.
The company’s continued commitment to innovation and product development resulted in a range of waterproof, breathable jackets, trousers, gloves and footwear incorporating a GORE-TEX Moisture Barrier. These products have been adopted by fire and rescue services across the world to protect their firefighters.
Since then, Gore has consistently created new standards for protection with the introduction of advanced technologies such as GORE® CROSSTECH® Fabric in 1994, which adds protection from blood borne pathogens and chemicals. In 2000 the company introduced GORE® AIRLOCK® Spacer Technology, which uses silicon spacers to create an airspace that acts as a thermal barrier and replaces the heavier fibre version of insulation. It ingeniously uses air as a thermal insulator and was recognised with an Avantex Innovation Prize.
Gore’s most recent innovation, the revolutionary GORE® PARALLON® System, reduces the risk of burn injuries and heat stress in both wet and dry conditions. It incorporates a highly breathable Gore thermal barrier combined with the latest GORE-TEX Moisture Barrier with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology. This combination keeps the thermal insulation dry, which ensures a consistent level of thermal protection and enhanced comfort for the wearer during structural firefighting activities.
Like all previous Gore fabrics, the new GORE-TEX Moisture Barriers with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology comfortably exceed International PPE performance standards. They maintain that level of performance thanks to outstanding resistance to wear and abrasion and the ability to consistently retain high breathability and waterproofness after exposure to extreme cold and heat. Gore products are renowned for their consistently reliable thermal stability.
The introduction of the new GORE-TEX Moisture Barrier with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology gives firefighters the confidence that they are operating with the best protection available to mitigate the risks that they face.
For more information, go to www.gore-tex.co.uk