Applications of ePTFE: Fluoropolymer Fibers


Since discovering ePTFE in 1969, Gore has witnessed the benefits of introducing that versatile, ultra-strong material to a staggering range of applications. With our fluoropolymer fibers, we weave, knit, braid or sew ePTFE directly into an application — extending the material’s vast properties to ropes, filtration bags, outdoor fabrics and more items requiring high performance in tough conditions.

Those conditions require Gore’s fibers to deliver every time. GORE® Fiber is woven into high-performance ropes used in elevators, cranes, mining operations and even the installation of subsea hardware — all applications where lives depend on our products. We produce sewing thread and weaving yarn for filtration applications, where our fibers are tasked with securing aggressive chemicals and gases that could otherwise be emitted into the environment.

Our fibers also make consumer products more durable and usable. Our weather-proof fibers help outdoor fabrics — from umbrellas to sails — stand up to the elements. For many years, Gore produced Glide® dental floss, and we continue to supply ePTFE fibers for its production; the ePTFE prevents fraying and gives the floss the “gliding” feel befitting its name.

Though their applications are vastly different, the various Gore fibers are united by their toughness, very low shrinkage, ability to withstand extreme temperatures and resistance to corrosive chemicals. Our fibers are also highly resistant to fraying and abrasion; by acting as a durable dry barrier between materials, the fibers reduce friction and elevated temperatures normally caused by friction, and ultimately lead to longer service life. In fact, our fibers even outlast the outdoor fabrics into which they’re sewn.

If our fluoropolymers seem impenetrable, it’s due to their primary ingredient, ePTFE — and Gore’s ability to modify its characteristics to meet the specific demands of varied applications. For instance, we optimize ePTFE’s chemical inertness for filtration applications, UV resistance for outdoor fabrics, and thermal resistance for ropes and other areas where friction is a concern. In addition to these crucial properties, ePTFE offers low flammability; hydrophobicity, or water repellence; endurance for continual flexing and bonding; and extraordinary tensile strength, which Bob Gore immediately noticed upon his first discovery of ePTFE.

Gore’s fluoropolymer fibers present our ePTFE technology in its more pure, unadulterated form — the caveat being that each time, we alter ePTFE to fit the application. Over time, this technology has allowed industries and consumers to climb, experiment, sail and even glide. Proof that we are dedicated to improving lives.