FAQ for GORE® Protective Vents


General Questions

1. Why vent enclosures for outdoor electronics?

By equalizing internal pressure differentials, a GORE® Protective Vent can help extend the reliability and service life of both the enclosure and the sensitive electronics within.

2. How do these vents protect outdoor electronics?

GORE® Protective Vents can prevent damage to the enclosure:

  • They rapidly equalize pressures within the enclosure, in response to rapid pressure changes (due to changes in altitude or temperature — as with a sudden heavy rain). This reduces stress on housing components and reduces the risk of premature seal failure, or cracks in the housing itself.
  • They release gases that form when electronics within the enclosure heat up. This prevents the gases from reaching dangerous concentrations.

GORE® Protective Vents can prevent damage to the sensitive electronics within the enclosure:

  • They prevent contaminants like dust, dirt and liquids, fluids or oils from entering the enclosure.
  • They reduce condensation build-up, and the potential for corrosion, by allowing water vapor to pass out of the enclosure.
  • They release gases to the environment, protecting electronic components from gas contamination.

3. What applications typically use GORE® Protective Vents?

You’ll find GORE® Protective Vents in almost every type of enclosure for outdoor electronics: lighting systems, telecom equipment, solar energy systems, heavy-duty equipment and other outdoor electronics such as surveillance and security systems.

4. Why do people choose GORE® Vents?

GORE® Protective Vents provide a highly effective combination of breathability and barrier protection through the use of ePTFE. The ePTFE allows air and gases to pass through, rapidly and continuously equalizing differences in pressure between the inside of the enclosure and the outdoor environment. At the same time, GORE®Protective Vents effectively prevent ingress of contaminants like dust, salt, water and other fluids, even in the harshest enviroments.

5. What is the track record of GORE® Protective Vents?

Gore is the global leader in advanced venting technology and technical support. We partner with customers worldwide on proprietary product development projects, from design through manufacturing.

With more than 600 million GORE® Protective Vents sold worldwide, our expertise includes more than:

  • 10 years in solar energy systems
  • 10 years in heavy-duty equipment
  • 10 years in surveillance and security systems
  • 15 years in the lighting industry
  • 15 years in telecommunications infrastructure equipment

Product Questions

6. What is the technology behind GORE® Vents?

GORE advanced venting technology when it discovered a unique microporous GORE™ Membrane of 100% ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluorethylene).

ePTFE is resistant to virtually all industrial chemicals. (For a complete list, see "Chemical Resistance of ePTFE.”) It is also one of the most versatile thermoplastics available, due to its high thermal stability and low coefficient of friction. It also has the ability to be modified for very precise performance characteristics.

Gore has developed and continuously improved this technology, creating vents with a variety of distinctive properties. Examples include hydrophobic membranes that repel water or other high surface-tension fluids, or oleophobic membranes that repel oils, soaps, alcohols and other low surface-tension fluids in addition to their hydrophobic properties.

Our growing portfolio of GORE® Protective Vents encompasses a wide range of product forms and sizes, with varied performance characteristics, to deliver superior reliability in many different applications.

7. What product forms are available? What is each best for?

GORE® Protective Vents come in Screw-In, Snap-In and Adhesive forms.

  • Screw-In Vents: for easy installation, and for rugged applications that require durable protection against water, salts and corrosive liquids, even after immersion.
  • Snap-In Vents: for high-throughput application, and deliver consistent, long-lasting performance in harsh environments.
  • Adhesive Vents: for a space-saving low profile, and the most flexible installation options (manual or automated, interior or exterior enclosure mounting).

8. How do I choose a product for my particular application?

Within each product form, many different sizes, structures and performance properties are available. Your Gore contact person can help you determine which is optimal for your application, based on factors such as:

  • mechanical robustness required
  • applicable ratings (such as Ingress Protection)
  • enclosure design and size (space available)

Please see our FAQs on "Device Design, Vent Selection and Installation" for more information.

9. For all these vents, does the membrane “breathe” in both directions?

Yes. While GORE® Protective Vents prevent liquids and contaminants from entering the enclosure, they allow air and other gases to pass freely through the membrane in both directions. This continuous bi-directional air and gas exchange rapidly equalizes pressure differentials between the inside of the enclosure and the outside environment.

Gore offers a range of venting products with varying airflows, depending on how quickly you need your enclosure to vent. (Our FAQs on "Device Design, Vent Selection and Installation" will tell you more.)

10. Do GORE® Protective Vents require an initial response pressure to enable ventilation?

No. The microporous structure of the GORE™ Membrane enables air and gases to flow even at the smallest difference in pressure. Unlike classic valve systems, such as mushroom valves, no response pressure is required to enable gas transport / pressure equalization.

11. What type of adhesive is on GORE® Adhesive Vents?

We use Pressure Sensitive Adhesives of either acrylic or silicone base, depending upon application requirements. Our Adhesive Vents product data sheet details the temperature resistance and system performance for the specific adhesive used on each vent.

12. Are GORE® Protective Vents RoHS compliant?

W. L. Gore & Associates declares that the products listed on the GORE® Protective Vents website are below the thresholds established in EU Commission Decision Directive 2011/65/EU, Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS) and Directive 2003/11/EC.

Vent Performance

13. Can GORE® Vents deliver long-term reliability in rugged conditions?

Yes. Worldwide, GORE® Protective Vents have been proven to perform reliably in the field, under the harshest conditions, for extended periods of time. To deliver that performance consistently, we validate our products against industry standards through extensive internal and external accelerated life tests, stringent manufacturing quality systems and rigorous product inspection processes.

Our data sheets provide specific tests and performance criteria for each given product and our technical white papers attest to the reliability in rugged conditions.

14. How does Gore assure the product’s performance and life-span?

The life-span of any individual vent depends upon on its application and installation as well as the variable environmental conditions under which it will be operating. We conduct rigorous testing to assure our products’ durability and reliability in varied harsh environmental conditions. Our data sheets show how each product fulfills the performance requirements as measured by:

  • Ingress Protection Testing
  • Temperature Testing
  • Humidity Testing
  • Salt Fog Testing
  • Corrosive Gas Testing
  • Fungus Testing
  • Flammability and UV Resistance Testing
  • Explosion Testing
  • Solar Industry Testing

15. Do GORE® Protective Vents meet industrial protection standards?

Yes. GORE® Vents are designed and proven in use to protect enclosures in the harshest environments. We subject our vents to testing according to Ingress Protection (IP) standards from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) as well as the NEMA protection levels (from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association).

Our product data sheets will show you the specific protection levels a given vent can offer. To learn about other factors that can affect the level of protection you can achieve, see our FAQs on "Device Design, Vent Selection and Installation."

16. Since moisture vapor can enter the enclosure through the vent, how does the vent assist in minimizing condensation?

There is no way to completely eliminate the potential for condensation in any enclosure (even a completely sealed, nonvented enclosure will eventually admit liquid through failed seals or cable connectors, or by diffusion through plastic components such as housing walls).

However, GORE® Protective Vents will successfully minimize the amount of condensation that can remain “trapped” in your enclosure over time. This is because water vapor transfers through the microporous membrane in both directions. Water vapor that has entered can readily pass back out, and it will continue to do so until the enclosure and the outside environment reach equilibrium.

17. Do these vents repel water?

Yes. All GORE® Protective Vents repel water, and offer excellent roll-off properties to help protect against typical environmental conditions such as rain.

18. Do these vents repel other fluids like chemicals, or soaps from high-pressure sprays?

Yes. GORE® Protective Vents are also available with durable oleophobic membranes designed to resist a wide range of chemicals like soaps, oils and cleaners. Oleophobic membranes are proven successful for commercial applications where your enclosure is exposed to high-pressure washdowns, harsh or dirty environments, or fluids other than water.

19. Can the vent withstand UV-radiation and flammability requirements?

Yes. The GORE™ Membrane of ePTFE is UV-stable by its nature. The plastic material used for Gore PolyVents is suitable for outdoor use according to UL 746C standards.

You can reference our data sheets to review which UL flammability class each product can withstand.

20. Do any of the vents meet explosion-proof requirements?

Yes. The GORE® Metal Vent (PMF100444) is certified for ex-rating according to the IEC ATEX directive 94/9/EC for equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, including:

  • I M2 Ex e I
  • II 2G Ex e II
  • II 1D.

21. Are the ePTFE vents good for devices that are submerged in water?

Yes. Many GORE® Protective Vents are rated to the IP67 submersion standard (1 meter of depth for 30 minutes). They allow devices to remain protected from water and contaminants and still equalize overpressure. We also have specialized GORE®Vents that are designed to withstand greater pressures or longer submersion times.

22. What if Gore’s standard product forms do not meet my needs?

Based on our experience in venting and expertise in ePTFE membranes, we have developed venting solutions that are performance-optimized for the demands of many different applications.

If your application requires a customized solution, please use our "Finding the Best Fit For Your Application" web form to describe your unique needs, so that we can respond to you with the most appropriate information.

Device Design, Vent Selection and Vent Installation

23. At what point should I talk to Gore about venting?

As early in the design process as is possible! The earlier you contact us, the more flexibility there is for selecting the optimal vent to optimize your product’s performance or life-expectancy.

24. We are already past the early design stages — what now?

We support our customers at every stage of their product’s life, from initial design through retrofit.

25. Does the vent replace the need for a strong seal?

A device will always need some type of seal; however, by using GORE® Protective Vents, you can reduce your overall manufacturing costs because your seals do not need to be as robust. For example, you can use fewer gaskets or fewer nuts and bolts to clamp the enclosure, because you do not need to compensate for the pressure differences.

26. How much airflow does my enclosure need and how many vents does that take?

Airflow describes the time and volume of air your enclosure requires to exchange with the outside. The number of vents needed for adequate airflow is calculated based upon:

  • Enclosure size/design, free interior volume and temperature conditions (due to heat sources such as electronic components).
  • External environmental factors such as anticipated temperature ranges, altitude changes, and allowable pressure differentials.

To request a quote or a technical consultation about your venting requirements, please go to "Finding the Best Fit For Your Application" to get the process started.

27. Where should I place the vent(s) on my enclosure?

Installed vents must remain unobstructed so they can “breathe” freely. Mounting vents on the vertical side of an enclosure is a good way to ensure that the vents will not be blocked. However, GORE® Protective Vents give you the flexibility to install them in different positions, depending on the configuration of your enclosure.

Proper installation is also essential to venting performance. Our product data sheets include installation instructions, which can help you ensure your vents are installed properly.

To initiate a more detailed technical consultation about venting for your particular application, please use our "Finding the Best Fit For Your Application" web form.

FOR INDUSTRIAL USE ONLY

Not for use in food, drug, cosmetic or medical device manufacturing, processing, or packaging operations.