Gerbings developed Microwire™ in response to a Department of Defense contract for heated clothing for Special Ops Forces.
Of the conventional heating systems employed in heated motorcycle clothing at the time, none of it was up to the stress
and strains that a soldier would put these items through, especially the demands of Special Ops. Carbon fiber wires were
too brittle and thick, and common copper wire heated too slowly and eventually the military was able to get it to it fail.
In a nutshell, the military wanted something stronger and more durable, thinner and lighter, and which would heat more rapidly.
The answer to all these requirements was what we call Microwire™. And when we were done developing it, we patented it.
A jacket liner with our copper wire,
as seen through an infrared camera.
Our new Microwire®
in the new jacket liner.
The wire in Microwire™ consists of bundles of hundreds microscopic stainless steel strands, each about 12 microns thick
(about 1/4th the thickness of a human hair), twisted and wrapped in a thin Teflon-derived coating. Because heat escapes
these strands from their circumferences, and because there are so many of these strands and they’re so tiny, Microwire™
heats instantly. No more waiting for the heat. It's there RIGHT NOW!
In the R&D process, we found that by altering the number of these strands in each wire, we were able to custom-tune the
amount of heat. Additionally, by using these wires either in a heating pad, in a woven pattern or in our patented ribbon
matrix, we could further tune how the heat is delivered. More, when using the ribbon matrix, we could refine the heat delivery
to an even greater degree by altering the number of wires in the ribbon (from 2 up to 6). It is this “tunability” to each
garment application that is one of the major advantages of Microwire™. But it doesn’t stop there.
Being as tiny as they are, and made from stainless steel, our strands (and therefore our wire) is incredibly flexible and
exceptionally rugged. Also, at about .025” (vs. about .075 for the copper resistance wire that’s been in use all these years),
Microwire is exceptionally thin. So much so you can’t feel the wires. Another advantage is at this tiny size we’ve been
able to reduce more than a pound from the weight of our Jacket Liner, with similar weight reductions in our other Microwire
So, in the end, Microwire is thinner, lighter, stronger and more durable. And it heats up in just 10% of the time that
the old copper wire required.
Microwire is substantially more expensive to produce. However, it is Gerbings' intention to absorb this cost and hold its
current retail prices, at least through the end of 2009.
Microwire is currently available in our Jacket Liners, G3 Gloves, Hybrid Gloves, T5 Gloves, Nubuck Gloves, Glove Liners
and Insoles. Microwire is available in most of our products right now.
How it Works
When colder outside temperatures are detected, the nervous system restricts blood flow to the extremities to maintain the
body's core temperatures. The toes and the fingers quickly become uncomfortably cold.
Other factors besides just cold weather or wind chill aggravate the situation even more. Poorly fitting clothing, physical
activity levels, individual physiology, and improper selection, use, and care of your clothing are all additional factors
that increase the negative effects of the cold. Also, the presence of moisture increases thermal transfer significantly.
This causes heat to escape more rapidly and cold to penetrate faster.
Although we all have different tolerance levels for the cold, we all know what it is like to be warm and comfortable. Gerbing's
Heated Clothing works with the body's natural ability to generate heat. Adjusting the intensity of the heat allows the user
to stay warm and comfortable in a wider range of temperatures without tapping into the resources the body needs to maintain
its other health dependent functions. Our products allow you to concentrate heat to specific areas of the body such as just
your hands, feet or your entire core, helping to offset the effects of being cold.
You know how it feels when you put on warm clothes right out of the dryer? Cozy, right? All of us, even those who live in
the warmest climates, face the cold at one time or another. It may be an early morning spring frost, a blustery fall afternoon
or a bone-chilling winter evening after the sun goes down. Gerbing's Heated Clothing products will prevent you from suffering
in these environments and help you better enjoy them regardless of your outdoor activity by providing that "just out
of the dryer feeling."