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Q: Gortex + time to biodegrade ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Gortex + time to biodegrade
Category: Science
Asked by: westyjohn-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 01 Aug 2006 09:01 PDT
Expires: 31 Aug 2006 09:01 PDT
Question ID: 751479
How long does it take Gortex to biodegrade?

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 02 Aug 2006 01:12 PDT
Hello westyjohn-ga,

Which type of Gore-Tex are you intersted in -- clothing or medical? Thanks.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by westyjohn-ga on 03 Aug 2006 14:35 PDT
Hi czh,

I'm looking for the clothing side of Gortex.



Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 03 Aug 2006 14:57 PDT
Hello again westyjohn-ga,

Will you accept a negative answer? Gore-tex fabric is not biodegrable.
Will documentation showing this conclusion meet your needs? Thanks.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by westyjohn-ga on 04 Aug 2006 11:07 PDT
Hi csh,

That would work for me. Thanks!

Subject: Re: Gortex + time to biodegrade
Answered By: czh-ga on 04 Aug 2006 15:39 PDT
Hello westyjohn-ga,

Thank you for accepting my suggestion of providing you with
information about the non-biodegradability of Gore-Tex as the answer
to your question.

Gore-Tex is a fluorocarbon polymer, specifically it known as
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). These polymers are classified as
non-biodegradable. This characteristic makes them very desirable for
certain applications where a textile is needed. In addition to the
Gore-Tex clothing you?ve asked about, these textiles are used in
medicine, construction, and many other fields.

Gore-Tex views itself as a very environmentally conscious company and
I?ve found a company publication that discusses how they approach the
final disposal of their clothing.

I?ve provided you with detailed information about Gore-Tex from the
manufacturer and additional resources to help you explore this
synthetic fabric.

Best wishes for your projects.

~ czh ~

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

At W. L. Gore & Associates, our products are designed to be the
highest quality in their class and revolutionary in their effect. We
steadfastly live up to our product promises, and our associates
address technical challenges with innovative, reliable solutions.

The company began in 1958, when Bill and Vieve Gore set out to explore
opportunities for fluorocarbon polymers, especially
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Within the first twelve years, Gore
had wire and cables on the moon and operations worldwide.

Today, our enterprise is comprised of approximately 6,000 associates
in 45 locations around the world. Annual revenues top $1.5 billion.
Our fluoropolymer products provide innovative solutions throughout
industry, in next-generation electronics, for medical products, and
with high-performance fabrics.

GORE-TEX® Fabrics & Fibers

Gore complements its expertise in membrane technology with in-depth
knowledge of fabric performance and polymer technology. Ongoing field
and laboratory tests -- combined with the development of advanced
adhesives, coatings, fabric finishes and seam-sealing materials --
ensure durable, high-performance garments and footwear.

Applications of Expanded PTFE and other Fluoropolymers

The PTFE Story

One remarkably versatile polymer, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), lies
at the heart of Gore's innovative products.

Gore Information on the Environment\
Gore Fabrics Division
(see page 9 ?when it comes to disposal?)

Biomaterials Tutorial 
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is a fluorocarbon-based polymer. 
Commercially, the material is best known as Teflon® and Goretex®. It
is made by free radical polymerization of tetrafluoroethylene and has
a carbon backbone chain where each carbon has two fluorine atoms
attached to it.

This polymer is hydrophobic (water hating), biologically inert,
non-biodegradable, and also has low friction characteristics and
excellent ?slipperiness.? The chemical inertness (stability) of PTFE
is related to the strength of the fluorine-carbon bond.   This is why
nothing sticks to this polymer.

When stretched, PTFE forms a strong porous material called expanded
PTFE (ePTFE). A commercial name for this form of Teflon in Goretex®.

Biomaterials Tutorial

Synthetic Polymers, both organic and inorganic, are used in a wide
variety of biomedical applications. The polymers can be biodegradable
or nondegradable.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and
PMMA/polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate (PHEMA) may be described as
alloplastic, synthetic, nonbiodegradable polymers. PMMA has
considerable versatility. It is used for dentures, arthroplasties,
cranioplasties, and as a cement for many orthopedic prostheses. PTFE
has been used for augmentation (the Gore material SAM, subcutaneous
augmentation material) and guided bone regeneration.

The principle of the material is quite scientific. Gore-Tex combines
two components to achieve a lightweight, impermeable system designed
to keep a cyclist dry and warm or dry and cool. The two components
joined together form an incomparable material, unrivaled in mechanical
and chemical stability. Incorporating a product known as PTFE
(polytetrafluoroethylene, a.k.a. Teflon®) into the jacket makes it
repel water. Since its accidental discovery (it was the product of an
"oops" in scientific research), DuPont has capitalized on its chemical
make-up. Simply put, PTFE won't react with anything. If you have a
clothes allergy, you won't itch from wearing this material. Spill
coffee, mustard or get powdered donut on it, it won't stain. Water and
other liquids just roll right off.

An Introduction To Plastics
v1.0.3 / 01 oct 05 / greg goebel / public domain 

* Plastics have become a universal material, used for everything from
throwaway bags to wings for combat aircraft. Plastics are cheap,
lightweight, strong, often attractive, and can be synthesized with a
wide range of properties. This document provides a short introduction
to plastics technology.
Modern, smart and combination fabrics


Plastic covers a range of synthetic or semisynthetic polymerization
products. They are composed of organic condensation or addition
polymers and may contain other substances to improve performance or
economics. There are few natural polymers generally considered to be
"plastics". Plastics can be formed into objects or films or fibers.
Their name is derived from the fact that many are malleable, having
the property of plasticity. Plastics are designed with immense
variation in properties such as heat tolerance, hardness, resiliency
and many others. Combined with this adaptability, the general
uniformity of composition and light weight of plastics ensures their
use in almost all industrial segments.


gore-tex  non-biodegradable
gore-tex  disposal non-biodegradable
gore-tex  fabric non-biodegradable recycle
biodegrade polytetrafluoroethylene characteristics OR properties
Subject: Re: Gortex + time to biodegrade
From: pinkfreud-ga on 01 Aug 2006 09:42 PDT
Could you be referring to Gore-Tex?
Subject: Re: Gortex + time to biodegrade
From: iang-ga on 01 Aug 2006 15:03 PDT
GORE-TEX is a PTFE based fabric, so it'll take a very long time to biodegrade.  

Ian Gore (no relation)

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