A laminate is a material that is constructed by uniting two or more layers of material together. Lamination generally refers to placing something between layers of plastic and gluing them with heat and/or pressure, usually with an adhesive. In case of textiles, a membrane (a very thin sheet of functional material) is bonded to the upper fabric, and sometimes to the liner, entirely or in specific areas. 2-layer, 2.5-layer and 3-layer laminates are available with McKINLEY’s AQUAMAX® membrane.
2-layer laminates are the most affordable laminates. The microporous membrane is laminated onto a polyester mesh. The membrane is only 0.02mm thick and has extremely fine pores, which allow perspiration and vapour to be transported to the outside of the material. Water cannot enter the material. The integrated mesh ensures good temperature management and prevents the direct contact with the functional fabric, which can become damp over time as a result of condensation. McKINLEY’s 2-layer laminate with AQUAMAX® membrane is extremely light and comfortable, ideal for alpine activities with medium to strong physical exertion in wind, rain or snow. With AQUAMAX®, McKINLEY guarantees your garment to be waterproof, windproof and breathable. All seams are sealed.
2.5-layer laminates are the lightest laminates available. In addition to the 2-layer construction, a protective layer, most commonly a grease-repellent substance or carbon, is applied to the inside of the membrane, which eliminates the need for a separate liner in the garment. Clothing equipped with a 2.5-layer laminate is very lightweight and very comfortable to wear. The AQUAMAX® membrane guarantees your garment to be waterproof, windproof and breathable. The 2.5-layer construction allows for a minimal packing size. All seams are sealed. Ideal for alpine activities with strong physical exertion in wind, rain or snow and for weight- and space-restricted travellers.
A 3-layer laminate is the most durable laminate construction and consists of a membrane that is protected by a layer of fabric on each side. The outer layer is usually a very durable fabric, and a strong liner is used for the inside layer. Garments with 3-layer laminates are extremely robust and functional, while the garment remains light and comfortable. With the AQUAMAX® membrane, the garment is waterproof, windproof and breathable, the liner keeps you warm, and the outer fabric protects you and your garment from external influences. All seams are sealed. Ideal for challenging alpine activities and extreme weather conditions with high levels of wind, rain or snow.
AQUAMAX® is also available as a coating. In this case, the technology is not laminated to another material but applied as an ultrathin film to the surface of the base material, guaranteeing the same functionalities as the laminated membrane (waterproof, windproof, breathable). The performance level is however slightly lower. The coating is abrasion-resistant and cold-resistant. All seams are sealed. Garments equipped with AQUAMAX® coating are ideal for light to challenging activities in mixed conditions like wind, rain or snow.
What is Breathability? / What is the MVTR?
The moisture vapour transmission rate (MVTR) is a measure of the passage of water vapour through a substance within 24 hours under lab conditions. The more vapour escapes, the higher the moisture vapour transmission, respectively the more breathable the material. As for McKINLEY’s AQUAMAX® 2-layer material 20.20, this means that within a day, 20 litres of water are able to escape through a piece of fabric measuring 1 square metre. A person can produce several litres of sweat during exercise. Remember to check the breathability of a garment before you buy it to make sure that it has the appropriate rating for the activity you are planning to use it for.
The MVTR is tested according to DIN/EN 20811.
What is the water column?
The water column refers to the amount of water in a column with a 10cm2 base that is needed to finally force the liquid through a piece of clothing. The water column thus describes the water pressure that the membrane is capable to withstand. The higher the indicated water column, the better the membrane.
The water column is tested according to ASTM E96.