Robert W. Gore, the inventor of Gore-Tex cloth, useless at 83 | St. Louis enterprise information

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This photo provided by W.L. Gore & Associates shows Robert Gore. Robert W. Gore, whose invention of what created the breathable-yet-waterproof fabric known as Gore-Tex revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, has died, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. He was 83.



NEWARK, Del. (AP) — Robert W. Gore, whose invention of what created the breathable-yet-waterproof fabric known as Gore-Tex revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, has died. He was 83.

Gore, who was president of W. L. Gore & Associates for almost 25 years and company chairman for 30 years, died on Thursday at a family home in Maryland following a prolonged illness, company spokesperson Amy Calhoun confirmed Saturday.

Gore discovered a new form of a polymer in 1969 at a company lab in Newark, Delaware. His father, who began the company, asked Bob Gore to research a new way to manufacturer plumber’s tape at a low cost using PTFE, commonly known as DuPont’s Teflon, The News Journal of Wilmington reported.

The son figured out that by stretching PTFE with a sudden yank, the polymer expanded by 1,000 percent. The resulting product, known as ePTFE, created a microporous structure. The introduction of Gore-Tex technology came seven years later.

“It was truly a pivot point in this company’s history,” Greg Hannon, W.L. Gore & Associates’ chief technology officer, said last year. “Without which we would be much less significant of an organization than we are today.”

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