We challenge our fabrics and our partners’ products by testing them in our labs and in your environment.
Unique to our industry, we operate several technical development laboratories with testing equipment comparable to that of independent institutes. In these labs, we develop and test new GORE® fabrics, and we further refine manufacturing technologies. We develop targeted testing methods to ensure that our products meet our performance standards.
We also use climate chambers to verify that our fabrics withstand the harsh environments in which they will be used: arctic cold, chilly drizzle, storms, and tropical or desert heat. Clothing, footwear, and gloves made with our fabrics are tested in these chambers while being worn during physical activity, to determine their effects on the human body.
Gore does more than supply technical fabrics. We are actively involved in every step of the manufacturing process. We hold our partners to the highest standards: every factory is certified, every manufacturer is approved, and every product style is subjected to rigorous tests.
The standard way to test a fabric’s resistance to abrasion is to use a specially designed machine that rubs the fabric with either wool or sandpaper, with considerable pressure. Our fabric is unique in its ability to endure this abuse. Depending on the fabric’s durability requirements, the vigorous rubbing continues non-stop for several hours…or even several days.
Every new waterproof footwear design is flexed in water up to 500,000 times by a mechanical foot. This test is equivalent to walking 500 miles. If a single drop of water enters the boot, it is redesigned.
From firefighters to the military, people who serve the public rely on our fabrics for unsurpassed protection and comfort. We make sure that our fabrics do what we say they will do.
We run our fabrics through a wide range of rigorous tests to ensure optimal performance and value from your investment. These tests are specifically designed to predict the actual performance of fabrics as well as garments, footwear, and gloves in real-life conditions:
- Moisture Vapor through Fabrics
This test measures how much moisture vapor can pass through fabric in a 24-hour period — known as the moisture vapor transfer rate or “breathability.” While there are over 30 different tests to assess this transfer rate, few correctly predict how the product will actually perform during use. The moisture vapor resistance test (Ret) is a measurement that has been correlated to field use.
- Water-Repellent Fabrics
To determine the ability of our waterproof fabrics to repel water, fabric is soaked by simulated rainfall then evaluated for the presence of “wet out” areas that are not repellent. A spray rating of 100 indicates maximum water repellency.
- Waterproof Garments
All of our waterproof garment styles must endure simulated hours of rain before going into production. This extreme test exposes sample garments to a range of rain conditions — moderate heavy, vertical, and wind driven — while worn by a rotating mannequin equipped with sensors to detect any leakage. If leaks are detected, the design is rejected or modified to improve its performance until it passes.
- Waterproof Boots
Not even the tiniest leak can get past this test. The centrifuge spins water-filled footwear at high speeds on pivoting arms, creating enough pressure to force water through even the smallest hole. Any leak is quickly discovered.
- Breathable Gloves
This machine tests how breathable a whole glove or shell is by weighing the mass of water in the glove before and after the test.
While lab testing is important and valuable, it only predicts performance. How a product performs in the field is the true test of its durability, protection, and comfort.
Before they are approved for use, our fabrics are developed into products that must stand up to the challenges of rigorous field testing. The only time an environment is simulated is when it would pose too great a risk to test subjects.
You may never encounter a worst-case scenario, but if you do, you can trust that GORE® products have been engineered and tested to provide protection in extreme environments.
W. L. Gore and Associates conducted a one day, 8-hour Wear Trial with law enforcement personnel. These end users evaluated the XRT (Extended Response Team) Suit made with GORE® CHEMPAK® Selectively Permeable Fabric in perimeter response scenarios. This trial characterized the durability of the XRT suit and its applicability for response teams.