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1. CA2041470 - IMPROVED MICROPOROUS WATERPROOF AND MOISTURE VAPOR PERMEABLE STRUCTURES, PROCESSES OF MANUFACTURE AND USEFUL ARTICLES THEREOF

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CLAIMS
1. A microporous film consisting essentially of: (a) a matrix of microporous biaxially fibrillated semi-interpenetrating polymer networks of polytetrafluoroetheylene and silicone; (b) said matrix having an internal microstructure consisting of nodes interconnected by fibrils; (i) wherein said internal microstructure is coated with a sufficient amount of hydrophobic material so as to increase resistance to surfactant activity; and (ii) wherein the hydrophobic material is selected from the group consisting of cured silicone compositions, non-cured silicone compositions, and compositions resulting from the curing of a mixture of a curable silicone composition and a non-curable silicone composition.
2. A microporous film consisting essentially of: (a) a matrix of microporous biaxially fabrillated semi-interpenetrating polymer networks of polytetrafluoroethylene and silicone; (b) said matrix having nodes interconnected by fibrils; (i) wherein the internal microstructure is coated with a sufficient amount of
cured silicone composition effective to provide increased optical transparency of the film.
3. A waterproof and moisture vapor permeable laminated fabric consisting essentially of: (a) a layer of breathable fabric; and (b) a layer of waterproof and moisture vapor permeable matrix selected from the group consisting of microporous biaxially fibrillated polytetrafluoroetheylene and a microporous biaxially fibrillated semi-interpenetrating polymer network of polytetrafluoroethylene and silicone, the internal microstructure of which is at least partially coated with a sufficient amount of hydrophobic material so as to increase resistance to surfactant activity, the hydrophobic material selected from
the group consisting of cured silicone compositions, non-cured silicone compositions and combinations thereof.
4. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the waterproof and moisture vapor permeable matrix is microporous biaxially fibrillated polytetrafluorethylene.
5. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a cured silicone composition.
6. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is an uncured silicone composition.
7. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a mixture of a cured silicone composition and an uncured silicone composition.
8. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a 50/50 mixture of a cured silicone composition and an uncured silicone composition.
9. The laminated fabric of claim 3 wherein: (a) the waterproof and moisture vapor permeable matrix is a microporous biaxially fibrillated semi-interpenetrating polymer network of polytetrafluoretheylene and silicone.
10. A process for producing improved microporous waterproof and moisture vapor permeable products consisting essentially of a waterproof and moisture vapor permeable matrix selected from the group consisting of microporous biaxially fibrillated polytetrafluoroetheylene and microporous biaxially fibrillated semiinterpenetrating
polymer networks of polytetrafluoroetheylene, the internal microstructure of which is at least partially coated with a hydrophobic material selected from the group consisting of curable silicone compositions, non-cured silicone compositions, and compositions and mixtures thereof; said process comprising the steps of: (a) applying to the surface of said matrix a liquid hydrophobic material; (b) allowing the liquid to at least partially penetrate into the microstructure or the matrix; and then (c) subjecting the product of step 2 to a drying, vulcanizing, or curing treatment.
11. The process of claim 10 wherein: (a) the waterproof and moisture vapor permeable matrix is microporous biaxially fibrillated polytetrafluoroetheylene.
12. The process of claim 10 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a non-curable silicone composition.
13. The process of claim 10 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a mixture of a curable silicone composition and a non-curable silicone composition.
14. The process of claim 10 wherein: (a) the hydrophobic material is a 50/50 mixture of a curable silicone composition and a non-curable silicone composition.
15. The product of the process of claim 10.
16. The product of the process of claim 11.
17. The product of the process of claim 12.
18. The product of the process of claim 13.
19. The product of the process of claim 14.