Graphene Flagship partners Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy, in collaboration with FADEL, a leading Italian shoe company, have developed graphene-enhanced shoes. The new GET technology, patented by FADEL, reportedly gives the footwear better thermoregulation and freshness.
In this innovative shoe, when flakes consisting of several graphene layers are added to polyurethane, (the material of which the soles of FADEL shoes are made), laboratory tests show an augmented heat dispersion, a greater resistivity to water and enhanced antibacterial properties. Combining these effects with a ventilation system developed for this particular type of shoe yielded a better user experience. This prototype shoe was presented at the International Footwear Exhibition in Milan.
This development created a composite with a heat dissipation 50% better than the pure polyurethane material, according to the Director of IIT Graphene Labs and Chair of the Executive Board of the Graphene Flagship. 'We improved the thermal properties with a tiny amount of graphene (around 1%) which is significant in delivering a product whose cost is not significantly larger than before.'
Once the researchers at IIT Graphene Labs had optimized the way in which graphene was incorporated into the polystyrene, the graphene production was realized by BeDimensional, IIT's start-up company and Graphene Flagship Associate Member, whose core activity is the development of new composites based on graphene and related materials to be applied in the manufacturing sector.