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Business Spotlight: Innovations beside You 1 – Putting Technology into Products: Gore and e-PTFE

Putting Technology into Products: Gore and e-PTFEs Bringing Dreams to Reality. Innovations beside You! Made Our Lives Better!

Dr. Bob Gore demonstrates PTFE’s ability to stretch when pulled quickly. In October, Bob Gore decides to stretch PTFE as rapidly as possible. Instead of breaking, as he had expected, the expanded PTFE is strong, highly porous and extremely versatile. The watershed discovery dramatically expands Gore product offerings, opening the door to GORE-TEX? fabrics and other expanded PTFE products. The first ePTFE products to be commercialized are GORE-TEX? Pipe Thread Tape and GORE-TEX? Joint Sealant for industrial pipes. http://www.gore.com/timeline/

Gore is a uniquely creative, technology-driven Enterprise focused on discovery and product innovation. Gore has served a variety of global markets for more than 50 years and has thrived by providing its customers with high-value products that enhance the quality of life.

Founders Bill and Vieve Gore started W. L. Gore & Associates in the basement of their home in 1958. The company initially served the electronic products market. Fifty years later, in 2008, Gore celebrated its long success at translating dreams into tangible, valuable realities for customers and communities around the world.

Bill Gore held degrees in chemical engineering (B.S.) and physical chemistry (1935). His early career included employment at American Smelting and Refining Company, Remington Arms, and the DuPont Company. In 1957, Gore left a career with DuPont to pursue an idea for making electronic ribbon cable for use in computers that was insulated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Under Gore’s leadership, the company grew from a modest business into an international corporation known best for its waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex fabrics. Today, the company has a broad portfolio of products based on PTFE that include cables for electronic signal transmission, diverse industrial applications, medical implants and laminated fabrics. He gained international attention and respect for nurturing the company from a home-based family business into a worldwide corporation while practicing a unique management style that emphasized freedom, fairness, commitment and “waterline” decision-making in an open and creative work environment.

The 1969 discovery of a remarkably versatile new polymer (by Bill and Vieve’s son, Bob Gore) led the enterprise into myriad new applications in medical, fabric, and industrial markets. As the company that invented this new polymer, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE), and introduced it in the marketplace, Gore is committed to remaining a leader in fluoropolymers.

Bob Gore held degrees in chemical engineering (M.S. and Ph.D.). In 1957, while a sophomore at Delaware, he discovered a way to insulate wires and cables with PTFE tape. In 1969, he stretched heated rods of PTFE and created expanded PTFE, which was patented and assigned the Gore-Tex brand name.

Gore has been granted more than 2,000 patents worldwide in a wide range of fields, including electronics, medical devices, and polymer processing.

As the company that invented expanded PTFE and introduced it in the marketplace, Gore offers an unparalleled level of technical knowledge and experience. Gore is the world leader in deep scientific understanding and smart engineering of fluoropolymers, particularly PTFE, expanded PTFE, and PTFE composites with specific shapes into thousands of varied products with highly valued features, functions, and benefits.

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