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Have you already heard about the brand Gore-Tex? I read time ago some good things about it in a magazine and the last autumn I purchased boots having this brand that was introduced more than 25 years ago.Today, GORE-TEX® fabric is known worldwide for extreme-weather protection that keeps you dry and comfortable from head to toe. I would like to approach to you some facts about this brand because after having Gore-Tex branded socks and shoes I became a real supporter of shoes and garments that guarantee quality. And afterwards I will add my experience with a GORE-TEX item.
First I made a research in Wikipedia and here is the result: GORE-TEX® is a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates best known for its use in relation to waterproof/breathable fabrics. WL Gore and Associates is known for its unique corporate structure. It has consistently been placed on the Fortune magazine top 100 companies to work for worldwide. The first commercial consumer product using GORE-TEX® was a tent called the Light Dimension that was created and sold by the Seattle firm, Early Winters, Ltd., in 1976. GORE-TEX® was co-invented by Wilbert L. Gore (1912-1986), Rowena Taylor, and Gore's son, Robert W. Gore. For its invention, Robert W. Gore was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006. Robert Gore was granted U.S. Patent on April 27, 1976, for a porous form of polytetrafluoroethylene with a micro-structure characterised by nodes interconnected by fibrils.Robert Gore, Rowena Taylor, and Samuel Allen were granted U.S. Patent on 18 March 1980 for a "waterproof laminate." GORE-TEX® is used for outdoor clothing such as rain jackets and waterproof boots.
Gore-Tex materials are typically based on thermo-mechanically expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and other fluoropolymer products. They are used in a wide variety of applications such as high performance fabrics, medical implants, filter media, insulation for wires and cables, gaskets, and sealants.
Gore-Tex based fabric material is composed of a thin, porous fluoropolymer membrane with a urethane coating that is bonded to a fabric, usually nylon or polyester. The membrane has about 9 billion pores per square inch (around 1.4 billion pores per square centimetre), each of which is approximately 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, making it impenetrable to liquid water while still allowing the smaller sized water vapour to pass through. The result is a material that is breathable, waterproof, and also windproof. The outer fabric is treated with water repellent and seams are sealed to prevent water leakage through pinholes caused during the sewing of the fabric. The urethane coating provides a protective layer and also prevents contamination (i.e., body oils) from wetting the laminate and allowing wicking of moisture through the membrane.
The best known application for GORE-TEX® fabrics is in outdoor activity clothing. In this context, it helps keep the wearer protected from the wind and rain, while nonetheless allowing sweat to evaporate and escape. This is in contrast to traditional plastic raincoats, for example, which lack breath ability and therefore promote a build up of humidity in the air inside the coat, preventing sweat from evaporating effectively.
--- Gore-Tex used by armies --- GORE-TEX is used heavily by many modern armies. Both the US and British Army issue troops with full GORE-TEX suits (including hats and gloves) as well as using GORE-TEX lined boots. This is a great improvement over previous issue PVC suits which caused soldiers to become damp after sweating excessively during combat or training.
GORE-TEX® is also used in surgery as an implant material, patch, or membrane, such as is used in plastic surgery and heart surgery.
--- My experience with a Gore-Tex product --- On one of the Gore-Tex sites I found the following quotation: "GORE-TEX® Outerwear and Footwear carries our exclusive GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® promise, and all of its superior performance characteristics are guaranteed for the useful life of the garment." I can simply confirm that it is working like this. Openly said when being about to buy a Gore-Tex product I was first in a certain manner hesitating because their quoted statement above still left in me several doubts about how the reality might be whether truly as they promise. That's why I purchased first just socks that had certain vapours and microporuses in order to try out the effect of layers structured in such a way. So I bought a pair of special socks and went for a tour. There, my feet became of course sweaty and when taking off my shoes I was really very surprised that the socks WERE dry. A purchase of Gore-Tex boots followed and I experienced a true comfort while walking. In addition I experienced a true perseverance of the shoes itself. And this has in my eyes a value and is a reason for high recommending Gore-Tex products.