This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726. In 1958, former DuPont researcher Bill Gore started up a company that would develop new ways to use polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE. He came up with hundreds, maybe thousands. In 1960, the son, Bob Gore discovered how to transform PTFE into a strong, porous, adjustable membrane by expanding it into ePTFE. PTFE and ePTFE are chemically identical, but the expanded version can be made with pores of various sizes, and it is much less dense, so its mechanical properties are different. ePTFE really became popular after W.L. Gore & Assoc. took advantage of the pores in the expanded polymer. Engineers could make them too small to let water in but large enough to let air and water vapor out, making it the first fabric that is truly breathable. But in one industry sector the breathable polymer made a big splash: athletic gear, especially shoes. Bob Gore discovered how to expand PTFE and create an adjustable membrane that was waterproof but would let go thro...