Gore-Tex products with an innovative ePae membrane will be rolled out at retail in the fall of 2022.
In announcing the news Wednesday, W.L. Gore & Associates noted that the development builds upon research that its former leader, scientist and inventor Bob Gore, developed in 1969. Gore died last fall.
Gore Associates is building on its experience with expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE, knowledge of polymer processing and materials science to create an expanded membrane on expanded Polyethylene, or ePE. The company claims that more than 40 years of expertise has gone into this innovation. The end result is a microporous ePE material with what is described as a “strong polymer scaffold.”
Translation? Combining the ePE with polyurethane is said to create “durably waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane” while remaining lightweight. The membrane can be bonded to textiles such as backer or face textiles to form a Gore-Tex laminate.
The first rollout of products featuring the innovation will be available in select consumer fabrics that are Gore-Tex products in fall 2022. It will be used for footwear, gloves and apparel and will be covered by the brand’s “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” pledge.
Adidas, Arc’teryx, Dakine, Patagonia, Rausch, Salomon and Ziener will be among the first to offer products featuring Gore’s new ePE membrane in the fourth quarter of next year. In addition to merchandise geared for the outdoors and snow sports, there will be lifestyle items, too.
The membrane will be the foundation of a broader system, as in a base material for developing waterproof and breathable fabrics, according to Matt Decker, global technical and innovation leader for consumer fabrics at W. L. Gore & Associates.
The company said the combination of the ePE material and low membrane mass results in a lower carbon footprint, as measured by Higg MSI. The development is meant to advance the goal of Gore’s Fabrics Division to be free of PFCs of environmental concerns over the life cycle of its consumer products.