For many years now Orbit have worked closely with Gore in the pursuit of excellence, and together we provide market leading protection from the elements as well as for safety. Orbit use GORE-TEX® fabrics in various product ranges that are all fully approved and licensed. Panacea®, Pro-Rail® and all use GORE-TEX® fabrics available and suitable for the relevant application, keeping their performance up to the highest levels.
The GORE-TEX® membrane is bonded to high performance textiles to create laminated fabrics. Gore then applies different laminates to a wide range of performance textiles to tailor fabrics to the specific requirements of the end user.
Water cannot penetrate the membrane because it is made up of millions of micropores, which are too small to allow a water droplet to pass through. However, the microporous structure aids the body’s natural cooling process by allowing moisture vapour to escape – making the fabric breathable. The result is that the wearer stays dry, warm and comfortable.
2-layer GORE-TEX® fabrics
GORE-TEX® 2-layer fabric offers a soft and light fabric which provides the wearer with extreme breathable comfort as well as waterproof protection; this is achieved by the highly breathable GORE-TEX® membrane being bonded to an outer layer of fabric which is often protected by a free-hanging inner lining material. Used in light to medium applications.
3-layer GORE-TEX® fabrics
GORE-TEX® outer protective clothing can also be made with 3-layer fabric; a robust, durable outer fabric layer and a wear resistant lining with the GORE-TEX® membrane used as the middle layer, thereby making the clothing windproof, waterproof and breathable. Used in medium to harder end use applications and where the garment needs to be self-lined.
Fabric testing and selection
Gore puts all its fabrics through representative field-tests using state-of-the-art, in-house quality assurance fabric and garment testing facilities. The GORE-TEX® membrane is completely and permanently waterproof. A droplet of water is around 20,000 times larger than each pore in the GORE-TEX® membrane and therefore is too large to get through. EN 343 is the EN norm for waterproof clothing. Under this Norm clothing may be described as waterproof if it withstands the pressure of a column of water 1.3 metres high. However, greater pressures occur in use when kneeling or sitting, or wearing a harness.
Even in extreme conditions, the GORE-TEX® membrane lets no water through, and you will stay dry. To test its fabrics, Gore utilises their inhouse rain tower test that simulates weather conditions to ensure maximum waterproof performance.
To stay comfortable and dry GORE-TEX® products don’t just need waterproof laminates but also sealed seams. For this manufacturer’s use seam tape and welding machines specially developed by Gore. This ensures that GORE-TEX® clothing is always completely waterproof even after long periods of use and many laundry cycles.
GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabrics
The wind can affect comfort in any kind of outdoor activity. When cold wind blows through a garment it replaces the thin, warm layer of air between the skin and the clothing – called the microclimate – with cold air, which causes the body to cool off and feel colder than it actually is. This wind chill effect means that if someone is working outdoors in 10ºC with a 30 mph wind, it will feel like 2ºC. Garments made with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabric are not only windproof but also offer unrivalled levels of breathability. GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products ensure not only that the skin is shielded from the effects of wind-chill, but the body is able to breathe and behave almost as though the windproof membrane is not there.
Garment testing and Type approval.
Before Orbit can launch a new design using GORE-TEX® Fabrics we have to ensure they are vigorously tested in realistic applications of extreme weather conditions to ensure not only the GORE-TEX® laminate but also the seam seals, zips and other closures are completely waterproof. Prototype garments are placed in Gore’s rain tower where different types of rain can be simulated over long periods to ensure not only the GORE-TEX® laminate but also the seam seals, zips and other closures are completely waterproof. Only when all tests and trials are successfully completed does Gore award a garment with its seal of approval. All of the Orbit stock and corporate range of GORE-TEX® garments have full compliance and have been tested, this enables Orbit to receive the “W.L.Gore Certificate” and style approval GORE-TEX® product range.
GORE-TEX®, WINDSTOPPER®, GORE® and designs are registered trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates