A UNIQUE AND INNOVATIVE MATERIAL
It consists of a layer of carbon atoms arranged to form a hexagonal grid. The main physical characteristics, which lead it to be one of the great discoveries of the 21st century are: lightness combined with flexibility and strength. In addition, there is its great ability to conduct current and heat.
For these reasons, graphene has applications in many fields besides sports, such as electronics, aeronautics, medicine and lighting. In particular, research is underway to make graphene-based transistors and batteries. Another electronic application involves use in light and water sensors and the creation of molecular filters for liquids and ions.
GRAPHENE IN TEXTILES
The use of graphene in textiles stems from the possibility of making yarns, fibers and membranes having the following properties:
• high thermoregulation;
The first characteristic is also the main reason why we chose graphene technology for Outwet garments. A fabric that offers good thermoregulation is capable of absorbing, transmitting and propagating heat by distributing it along the body surface. Thus, it uses the heat emitted from the warmer areas of the body to warm the colder ones.
A bacteriostatic fabric is capable of preventing bacterial growth above its surface. The atomic structure of graphene blocks the growth of bacteria. Recently, graphene-based fabrics have been referred to as antiviral. Hence its use in fabrics in the medical field originates. To achieve this function, graphene must be used on the fabric in contact with the skin.
Synthetic fabrics are by definition capable of accumulating electrical charges and then they release them in the presence of a good conductor. The use of carbon within the yarn, imparts antistaticity by allowing these charges to dissipate in a way that prevents them from accumulating and then being suddenly released. In addition, this helps make fabrics more resistant to wear and tear. To achieve this function, graphene must be used on the fabric in contact with the skin.
GRAPHENE IN OUTWET GARMENTS
Regarding the use of graphene technology in Outwet garments, it is used in laminated winter fabrics consisting of three layers: an inner fabric for thermal insulation, a thermal conductive polyurethane membrane with graphene, and a protective outer layer to make the fabric durable without losing breathability.
It is used for thermal insulation, thus to retain the heat given off by the body. It can have a light weight and medium gauze to create a fabric suitable for not so cold ranges, as used in Jacket-EW. Alternatively, it can have a heavier inner weight and thicker gauzing. A higher insulation capacity makes it suitable for colder range jackets, as in the case of our Jacket-DW or for the winter accessories Glove-W and Overshoe. In addition, this layer is treated to absorb sweat and moisture faster by channeling them to the middle layer.
Thermal conductive membrane
This layer is located in the middle between the inner and outer fabrics and is also the element that determines the technology of these fabrics. The membrane has a windproof function and is waterproof up to 10 water columns. In addition, it is breathable, absorbing liquids from the inner layer and, by osmosis, transporting them to the outer layer. With the addition of graphene to polyurethane, this membrane also becomes thermally conductive.
As mentioned earlier, this means that the heat produced by the body is distributed evenly throughout the entire garment. For example, during cycling the armpits or certain areas of the back produce more heat than the rest, this heat is conducted over the entire surface of the membrane thermoregulating the body even at the coldest points. It also performs the same function with external heat sources: if the cyclist is oriented with the sun on the right side, this will also allow the shaded left side to receive the heat propagated through the membrane.
The last layer has the function of protecting the membrane and making the fabric durable. It is breathable as it should help the membrane to dry as soon as possible to consequently absorb moisture/liquids faster from the inside. Our graphene fabrics also feature Bionic Finish Eco treatment in the outer layer, which is a water repellent but environmentally friendly treatment.
Graphene technology is used in our Jacket-EW (early winter), Jacket-DW (deep winter), Glove-W and Overshoe garments. It has enabled us to create insulating products with light weights compared to classic winter jackets and equip them with
excellent thermal conductivity.