Exeter team designs graphene e-fibers with touch-sensing and light-emitting functionalities for smart textiles

An international team of scientists, led by Professor Monica Craciun from the University of Exeter's Engineering department, has reported a new technique to create fully electronic fibers that can be incorporated into the production of everyday clothing. The researchers believe that the discovery could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices for use in a range of every day applications, as well as health monitoring, such as heart rates and blood pressure, and medical diagnostics.

Graphene-sensors-in-textiles-by-Exeter-image

Currently, wearable electronics are achieved by essentially gluing devices to fabrics, which can often mean they are too rigid and susceptible to malfunctioning. The new research avoids this by integrating the electronic devices into the fabric of the material, by coating electronic fibers with light-weight, durable components that will allow images to be shown directly on the fabric.

Directa Plus announces significant graphene-enhanced textiles order

Directa Plus logoDirecta Plus, producer and supplier of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, has announced the receipt of two orders from an Italian work-wear customer with an aggregate value for Directa Plus of approximately €500,000 over the next two financial years.

Directa Plus’s Planar Thermal Circuit graphene technology will be incorporated in around 10,000 work-wear garments. The first order for approximately 2,000 garments with a value for Directa Plus of €150,000 is expected to be delivered in the 2018 financial year, with the second order for approximately 8,000 garments with a value of €350,000 expected to be delivered by mid 2019.

Haydale and WCPC awarded contract to develop advanced wearable technology for athletes training for the 2020 Olympic Games

Haydale logoHaydale has been jointly awarded a contract by the English Institute for Sport (‘EIS’) for the development of advanced wearable technology for elite athletes in training for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The EIS will use Haydale and its long-term partner the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating at Swansea University to incorporate graphene coatings into a range of clothing for elite performers.

Liquid X and Bonbouton to collaborate on graphene-enhanced textile-based sensors

Liquid X Printed Metals, an advanced material manufacturer of functional metallic inks, has announced a collaboration effort with Bonbouton (a company focused on developing thermal sensing applications using a smart textile platform) to build graphene-enhanced temperature and pressure sensors directly on textiles using additive manufacturing techniques.

Through Bonbouton's inkjet-printable graphene technology, licensed from the Stevens Institute of Technology, the Company is developing thin and mechanically flexible sensors for wearable physiology monitoring. This gives consumers wearable personal health options that are unobtrusive, comfortable and attractive, while still enabling the collection of accurate, precise and useful data.

Vollebak launches a graphene-enhanced jacket

Vollebak, a sports gear manufacturer with an affinity towards using next-gen materials and technologies, is now selling (for 595 euros!) a graphene-enhanced jacket that according to the company, can perform functions like absorbing heat and then warming you up over time, conducting electricity, repelling bacteria, and dissipating your body’s excess humidity.

Vollebak's graphene-enhanced jacket image

The process of developing Vollebak’s jacket, according to the company’s cofounders, brothers Steve and Nick Tidball, took years of intensive research. The jacket is reportedly made out of a two-sided material, which the company invented during the extensive R&D process. The graphene side is gray, while the other side appears matte black. To create it, the scientists turned raw graphite into graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) that were then blended with polyurethane to create a membrane. That, in turn, is bonded to nylon to form the other side of the material, which Vollebak says alters the properties of the nylon itself. “Adding graphene to the nylon fundamentally changes its mechanical and chemical properties–a nylon fabric that couldn’t naturally conduct heat or energy, for instance, now can,” the company claims.