Graphene: from hi-tech sportswear to anti-Covid desk mats


Super-technological sportswear that can disperse heat or distribute it evenly. This is one of the applications of graphene, a hyper-innovative material consisting of a layer of carbon, often a single atom, which is revolutionising many sectors: from environmental remediation to lithium batteries. And not least that of textiles, making it possible to create innovative clothing and furnishings. Graphene has a resistance 200 times higher than steel, is able to conduct heat and electricity, is a waterproof, lubricating material and obtainable from graphite. The discovery is due to two Russian scientists who emigrated to Manchester, Andrej Gejm and his student Konstantin Novosëlov, who in 2004 tried to obtain very thin graphite structures. To thin the layers of graphite Gejm and Novosëlov tried to use adhesive tape. The process worked and the two scientists managed to obtain “sheets” with a thickness of only two carbon atoms or even just one. A discovery that allowed them to win the Nobel Prize. Sportswear with graphene. Graphene G+ nanoplatelets can be applied to fabrics with the creation of a thermal circuit that gives the fabric a conduction and dissipation capacity, that is, to transfer heat from the hottest areas of the circuit to the coldest ones and therefore greater comfort in hot environments or during sport activities. The Como-based Directa Plus has adopted this technology to create the super-technological sportswear line “Cosmic Collection”. The G+ patent was also used by other companies, such as the technical clothing manufacturer Alfredo Grassi who included it in the creation of uniforms for the Fire brigade. Graphene can also be introduced as a membrane to be applied to the entire fabric that one wants to improve, a solution chosen over the last year by a well-known luxury fashion house to create a highly performing winter collection, or alternatively by impregnating the fabric or coating it, as already chosen by companies in the furniture sector. Garments that require less washing “Graphene is the thinnest material known to man with a single atom of thickness, and also incredibly strong, about 200 times stronger than steel. It ensures thermal efficiency in dissipation or retention according to the chosen design, lightness, antistatic effects and antibacterial and antiviral capabilities that have also allowed us to produce masks with high filtering power,” explains Giulio Cesareo, founder and CEO of Directa Plus. “Our treatment allows us to obtain high-performance fabrics that require fewer raw materials that reduce washing frequencies, lengthening the life cycle of the products”. An anti-Covid fabric. One of the characteristics of graphene that has attracted the most interest, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, is its antibacterial and antiviral capacity. Danese Milano, a historical name in Italian design, has decided to take advantage of this quality for the “Secondo Piano” design underlay, made with G+ Coating coating and designed by Giulio Iacchetti. It is a mat for resting laptops and work accessories, with a surfaeìce that is 99.9% free of bacteria and viruses, which makes it possible to work safely.