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Insulation Manufacturers

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INSULATION


I have been in the business of selling insulating materials to outerwear
manufacturers since 1961. I still do sell my Lamilite insulation to
several companies around the world. In these 40 years I have seen every
form of insulation that the fiber companies have come up with and all of
the variety of materials called insulation made by companies other than
the fiber companies.
Insulation in clothing is to keep the heat produced by the human
body next to it for as long a period as possible and, conversely, to
keep the cold from drawing the heat from the body for as long as
possible. And the best way to use the insulating medium is to have as
uniform a thickness as possible. This means no quilting or any
construction that resembles quilting. The best materials are those that
make air movement as limited as possible. Convection is air that is
moving, therefore, the smaller the air is chopped up by the insulating
medium (restricted in its movement) the better it will insulate. The
material that does the chopping can be cotton, kapok, polyester, or even
steel wool (#000). If they are all the same thickness, with
approximately the same density they will all provide the same amount of
insulation. As Gerry Cunningham wrote: “Don’t let anyone tell you the
latest * inch thick ‘Satellite Foam Jim Dandy Astronaut Jacket’ is twice
as warm as a one-inch thick down-insulated jacket. (If you replace down
with Lamilite the result is the same.) It isn’t. It is only one fourth
as warm, and the hottest sales pitch won’t make it any warmer. If you
want warmth, you must have thickness.”

A SUCKER IS BORN EVERY MINUTE

Today there are companies serving the outdoor marketplace that are
touting materials for the “Jim Dandy” jacket. The North Face Company and
Maldin Mills have teamed to bring an electric jacket to market. Maldin
has placed small metal filaments in its fleece that conducts electricity
to create heat. Two four-ounce rechargeable batteries power it. Price
$499.00. It is suggested that this garment can be used in a variety of
conditions, from cold to colder. Years ago I worked with a company that
produced battery-heated socks, gloves, vests, and snowsuits. If the
technology was so good, why has the concept disappeared? Because it
didn’t work. The fact that two well-known companies are marketing the
concept today does not change the facts. The concept proved then that it
didn’t make a good product, and these two well-known companies will find
the same result. Heat retention will not be there, because there is very
little thickness. The creators of this jacket have no knowledge of how
insulation works.
How about Gore and their new Airvantage Adjustable Insulation
product. It is a jacket that has a series of tubes that are
interconnected. The air is blown into the jacket from your lungs.
Unfortunately, when you blow air from your lungs it contains moisture.
Therefore, when the temperature drops below the freezing point the
moisture, which has condensed, will freeze, and you will build an “ice
box” around your body. The moisture will never be able to escape. Gore
claims: “The performance concept at work maximizes dead air, which ups
insulation value and lowers heat loss. Inflating the Airvantage system
increases dead air space while deflating the system reduces dead air
space.” The only dead air space is in the head of the person or persons
that created this product. Again, the creator has no knowledge of
insulation. Without some form of filler there is no insulation.
Gore business unit leader Bruce Troutman says, “ With Airvantage,
Gore is changing the scope of the company and going after a market of
clothes that adjust with the temperature.” The Gore company claims that
“the Airvantage membrane is engineered to create durably airtight,
breathable chambers, (emphasis added) and uses the same base technology
used in Gore-Tex fabric. The air pocket system consists of two
connected textile laminates and various pockets that can be inflated.
As a result, after air has been added, the heat retention capacity is
considerably higher. This allows the user to regulate the heat
insulation and release heat depending on how he or she feels.”
Gore has gall; imagine airtight material that is breathable, not
waterproof and breathable any more but airtight. A contradiction on top
of a contradiction. Maybe Troutman is interested in changing the scope
of the company because they are not selling their waterproof breathable
very well. They should be a fly on the wall of my office, so they could
hear what people tell me, read my mail, etc., and finally realize that
people know the Gore-Tex product is a hoax. This new concept is nothing
less than and more of a hoax, and a potentially dangerous one.
There are two layers of material that have the Gore-Tex film
laminated to them and they are fused together in a maze pattern, so the
tube created has a beginning and an end. The space between the tubes
created is no different than quilting, which is made by stitching the
fabrics together. All the stitches are cold spots. The same is true of
the flat fused areas; they are cold spots. The tubes are filled with
air, and nothing else, so there is nothing to stop the warmth from
moving out of the spaces where there is no filling material. At least,
with quilting there is a filling material.
If one was to wear one of these jackets, and was out in
temperatures below the freezing point on, say, a camping trip, they
would be in a potentially dangerous situation if this garment were their
primary outer garment. The garment has no ability to retain any of the
wearer’s heat.
Gore also has a product called Wind Stopper; which is Gore film
laminated to fleece. In their advertising they state: “Blows away the
concept that warmth must come from big bulky clothing. Keeps you 300
percent (emphasis added) warmer out there.”
I read an article about the Gore company, where the president and
CEO Chuck Carroll states in the article that they “maintain an emphasis
on product integrity.” According to the Oxford English dictionary:
“Integrity: The condition of having no part or element wanting”. I
believe all of these Gore products leaves a great deal “wanting,” like
an ability to perform as advertised.
Remember the “phase change materials,” the micro encapsulated
bits of wax? Well, one of the companies marketing this concept is trying
another venue to make money with their product. Instead of selling a
material that is placed inside of a garment, they are applying their wax
beads directly to fabric as dots. They call this Thermocules. I called
for a definition of the word, since it does not exist in any dictionary.
I was told it was for advertising purposes. The new method of using the
wax according to Brad Poorman, VP Outlast NA “will actually cause less
sweating and less over heating. The product creates an air layer so it
acts like a microclimate.” If you are wearing a jacket made of the same
materials, only without the little dots of wax on the fabric, don’t you
have the same layer of air between your body and the lining of the
jacket? If you were involved in the same activity that causes you to
sweat, wouldn’t it be the same? What is pertinent is putting the wax on
the fabric versus having an extra layer to place in the garment reduces
the cost of manufacturing. It does not make the product work, as it did
not work in its original form.
Then we have Frisby Technologies with their “phase change
material,” which uses the same beads of wax as the product above. The
difference is that Frisby puts their wax on substrates and lining
materials. Virtually all of these materials are flat goods, and are
supposed to give better insulation than the lofty, bulky fiberfills.
They don’t work either. But, we see how Frisby operates when we read the
statement of their chairman and CEO, Greg Frisby, as he describes their
new development as “an important tactic (emphasis added) in the
company’s strategy to offer the most comprehensive selection of
comfort-enhancing materials to manufacturers seeking to add
technological innovation to their products.”
I do not believe the tactic will work, simply because the products
don’t.
I am very sure some products using the materials I have mentioned
will be purchased assuring the ongoing existence of “a sucker born every
minute.”

COMMENTARY
I have mentioned these companies by name and I can assure you that
there are many more in the textile business perpetrating a sham. They
know the truth about these materials. They have large amounts of money
invested in the development of these materials and are looking for a
return on that investment. If they have to resort to clouding the
information that is published (advertised) about their materials, they
do it. The manufacturers who use the materials further perpetuate this
deception, so they (the manufacturers) knowingly join the practice. The
manufacturers have given up thinking as they try to develop new
products, and that has been going on for quite awhile. They (the
manufacturers) have been relying on the fabric suppliers to develop new
products. The manufacturers chose not to examine the materials they are
being shown; rather, they just accept the information and the
advertising dollars, don’t rock the boat, and go with the flow.
The lack of thinking on the part of the manufacturers is
interesting. They rely on the mills to develop a material that has some
theoretical capability. The mill representative will offer the
manufacturer expert advise on how well the material has performed in
laboratory experiments. It is now up to the manufacturer to make an item
and put it in the field. When it is found that the material doesn’t
quite live up to what has been said about it, and when this information
is presented to the mill representative, that’s when the fudging starts,
and the dollar amounts for advertising start to appear in the
conversation. And as we know money talks and … you can fill in the rest
of the thought.
Now, if the materials actually worked in the finished garments as
advertised by the mill and the manufacturer, then why do so many people
question the product? Tune into any of the talk forums on the Internet
serving the outdoor market and read the many comments questioning if
these fabrics really work. In virtually all cases the materials are not
working. There are participants who have a significant number of
suggestions for others to try that almost worked for them. I question
why most of these people don’t return the product to the store for a
refund. Are they too proud to admit that the jacket or sleeping bag
didn't work, and that since it came from a well-known maker it can't be
the product, but must be that they are using it incorrectly?
The management of all these firms are morally bankrupt. They have
demonstrated that they will deceive the end item purchaser over and
over again.


Mysticism. What is mysticism? Mysticism is the acceptance of
allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence
of one’s senses and one’s reason. Mysticism is the claim to some non-sensory,
non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such
as “instinct,” “revelation,” or any form of “just knowing.”
Reason is the perception of reality, and rests on a single axiom:
the Law of Identity. Mysticism is the claim to the perception of some other
reality—other than the one in which we live—whose definition is only that it is not
natural, it is supernatural, and is to be perceived by some form of unnatural or
super-natural means.
--Ayn Rand “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern
World”

Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982)

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