W. L. Gore and Associates Inc is regarded as one of the most innovative companies in the world with over 2,000 patents granted worldwide for diverse applications.
Gore products are on Mars in the Curiosity Rover and are currently on their way there again on NASA’s Perseverance Rover, having previously also been on almost every NASA space mission. For many years, they have protected climbers on Mount Everest and explorers at both of the earth’s poles. Gore’s proprietary technology is used in hundreds of applications to improve people’s lives including medical implants, cabling, industrial filters and electronics, the roof at Wimbledon’s Centre Court and even as guitar strings.
Externally focused, disciplined innovation drives Gore to continuously develop new technology and create new products. The company combines material science expertise with a deep understanding of its markets to deliver solutions that meet the company ethos: ‘Together Improving Life’.
Gore’s specialist high-performance fabrics have protected firefighters around the world for over 30 years since the company revolutionised firefighter clothing with the introduction of a breathable waterproof membrane to manage moisture in structural firefighting gear.
You can’t see it or touch it, but the moisture barrier inside every structural firefighting garment plays a critical role in the wearer’s protection. It has to be incredibly durable to maintain performance without any degradation or loss of integrity throughout a punishing lifetime.
The presence of moisture on and within structural kit, accumulated from perspiration or water spray, is a key factor in low energy transfer or ‘steam burn’ phenomena, which must be avoided wherever possible.
In intense heat exposure, moisture captured in the outer layers of an ensemble can take heat away from the garment, but if the garment is wet inside the risk of burn injury increases significantly. Wet garments can transfer heat 27 times faster than dry clothing systems.
Structural firefighting suits and fabrics are always tested in dry conditions. They are not tested wet, which doesn’t take account of the risks of burn injuries associated with low energy transfers.
The GORE-TEX CROSSTECH® PARALLON® system specifically combats the risks associated with moisture by introducing a unique new solution that incorporates a waterproof and highly breathable Gore thermal barrier combined with a CROSSTECH® moisture barrier, which gives added protection from chemicals and blood.
This is a unique use of two membranes encapsulating a layer of thermal protection that maintains breathability while wicking moisture away from the skin and out through the suit, simultaneously preventing liquid penetration from the outside.
Internal moisture is efficiently moved through the layers, keeping the thermal protective fabric dry and reducing the risk of steam or wet compression burns. Comfort and breathability is high, reducing the risk of heat stress and keeping the wearer cooler for longer. In tests undertaken in wet conditions, the GORE-TEX CROSSTECH® PARALLON® system consistently maintained thermal protection, allowing more time to escape and reducing the risk of burns in extreme and emergency levels of energy as well as in sub-flashover situations.
The GORE-TEX CROSSTECH® PARALLON® system is the result of Gore’s multimillion dollar investment in research, testing and quality to always live up to the promise that its products are fit for use throughout their operational lifetime – without fail. Gore only partners with garment suppliers who can guarantee the same total quality approach throughout the manufacturing process.
All Gore technical fire fabrics comfortably exceed International PPE performance standards and are certified to EN469, ASNZ4967 and the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, as well as NFPA 1951, 1999 and 1971. 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.
For more information, go to www.goretexprofessional.com