Graphene is now being used in technical fabrics, particularly winter fabrics: as announced during the Unomattina show on Raiuno broadcasted on 28th December, the television studio networked with Directa Plus, that is a graphene manufacturer. In the “graphene reign”, which was how the correspondent Massimo Tosi called ComoNExT, there was Giulio Cesareo, founder and CEO of Directa Plus, and Laura Rizzi, general manager. They explained the material production process that begins from the intercalated graphite.
The graphite is put in a sort of oven, or at a more technical level in a plasma torch, where it reaches very high temperatures up to 10 thousand grades, twhich is the temperature of the sun. At these high temperatures the graphite explodes and expands. A single layer of graphite can be imagined as a graphite stack of papers and the transformation process caused by the high temperatures increases the distance between each paper and changes the initial structure of the material. This is a super-expanded substance that is also granular, voluminous and extremely light. The broadcasting also showed the process through which the material is cooled down and then picked. It is then dispersed in a liquid solution and dried out in order to create friable rectangular sections, that are made of 80% of water.
A full sack of super expanded graphite weighs only 1 kilo but with it, it is possible to produce a really large quantity of technical fabric. “In a square meter of fabrics, only 2 or 3 grams graphene are needed”, explained Giulio Cesareo. The characteristics of the graphene enhanced fabrics are related to the cold-resistant clothing. “The employment of graphene is strategic for capturing body heat, since it is able to equalize it and move the heat from hottest to the coldest spots”. Using fabrics enhanced with graphene helps to redistribute heat from the body to the limbs, particularly during exercise. “In partnership with a shoe brand, we are currently testing a suede enriched with graphene for running trail shoes. The purpose is to assure heat to the coldest parts of the foot.
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