A team of University of Manchester researchers, led by Dr. Nazmul Karim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov, has developed a method for scaling production of graphene-based yarn, according to a report in www.phys.org.
Lead author Dr. Shaila Afroj said, “To introduce a new, exciting material such as graphene to a very traditional and well-established textile industry, the greatest challenge is the scalability of the manufacturing process. Here we overcome this challenge by producing graphene materials and graphene-based textiles using an . . . ultrafast production process. Our reported technology to produce thousand kilograms of graphene-based yarn in an hour is a significant breakthrough for the textile industry.”
Graphene’s reported flexibility, high conductivity and biodegradability are seen as positive characteristics for the creation of smart textiles, and because every atom in graphene is exposed to its environment, the material’s potential is great for sensor applications in health care, aerospace, fitness and sportswear markets.
The team’s findings were published in ACS Nano.