On the occasion of SHOT Show 2019, MILITARY TECHNOLOGY published the third Annual Rugged Tactical Tools for Extreme Conditions (RTTEC) Series that conveys the thoughts and messages of the world’s tactical equipment leaders, according to the question: “How is your company (through your products/solutions) able to protect/help the Special Forces/Law Enforcement Operator?” For printed version, please pick up a magazine at the show. Here's W.L. Gore & Associates' response:
Soldiers in the US Army continue to encounter risks. However, within the last several years, the threats faced by soldiers have changed entirely. The modernised risks facing today’s armed forces take the form of terrorist attacks as well as exposure to noxious chemicals and other biological substances. One of the most important components for protection when in the face of such risks is the warfighter’s clothing. Today, military personnel require apparel that offers a high degree of protection while remaining comfortable to wear in a wide range of climates. To meet this unique need, W. L. Gore & Associates has developed a wide range of fabric technologies that can be found within these protective, comfortable and functional garments. The latest iteration of GORE CHEMPAK provides manufacturers with the ability to construct garments that offer durable, broad protection from chemical and biological agents, while also decreasing thermal strain in each garment.
The newest generation of protective garments constructed from GORE CHEMPAK provides expansive and durable protection from chemical and biological hazards while decreasing thermal strain. The fundamental component in GORE CHEMPAK selectively permeable fabric is an ePTFE-based chemical and biological protective film. This selectively permeable fabric allows perspiration to pass through, while restricting penetration from a wide array of noxious chemicals and liquids. In addition, GORE CHEMPAK products also resist chemical gasses after facing exposure to oil, petroleum, fuel, sweat, sea water, and more. As opposed to protective garments composed using carbon technology, GORE CHEMPAK remains breathable while offering a higher degree of protection, allowing it to respond effectively to dynamic threats. The reliable fabric protects wearers from chemical warfare agents in many forms, from liquid and aerosol to poisonous industrial chemicals, and other biological agents.
GORE CHEMPAK fabric does not only offer protection. In fact, it features two other important uses: it improves effectiveness on the field while providing long-wearing comfort. Clothing that utilises GORE CHEMPAK selectively permeable fabric aids in improving mission effectiveness by providing durable protection for the wearer from a wide range of threats and decreasing thermal strain. The fabric is flexible, lightweight and thin, so it minimises unnecessary weight and volume within the wearer’s pack. In addition, the fabric can utilise stretch panels, making them weigh less and provide more comfort than traditional carbon-based suits. The fabric is composed of a breathable, ePTFE-based film which allows for the escape of moisture while also protecting the wearer from penetration. Garments are comfortable to wear, thus making it easier for the wearer to concentrate during missions, as he is not distracted by heavy, cumbersome garments. As a result of the latest generation of GORE CHEMPAK, users can wear garments for extended periods of time – anywhere between eight and 240 hours.
Gore partners with producers who are able to manufacture garments featuring GORE CHEMPAK selectively permeable fabric – from undergarments to glove inserts, socks, and protective outerwear. This unique, multifaceted fabric has proven its effective protection in real-life settings with the Uniform Integrated Protection Ensemble (UIPE-I1). In 2012, the US military wear-tested and assessed garments featuring this technology and compared them to those made from like materials – deciding in the end, that GORE CHEMPAK selectively permeable fabric was preferred. Today, approximately 60,000 soldiers in the US Army wear protective gear built around GORE CHEMPAK selectively permeable fabric.