The clothing industry has majorly revolutionized, thanks to the technology-advanced chemical materials used in production. Now, our clothes are not only a piece of fabric, but they are designed to serve several purposes.
One such material is Graphene. It has made its way into the clothing industry for all the right reasons. It serves various functions, making your everyday clothing a lot more efficient.
With the rise of smart clothing, people are gravitating more toward lightweight and practical materials that can instantly upgrade their overall look. So, if you want to know what Graphene is and what purpose it serves in the clothing industry, you are at the right place.
Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about graphene clothing and how it can help you improve your daily wardrobe.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms. It is a nanomaterial discovered in 2004. Since then, it has been known for its fascinating properties and benefits. For example, graphene is the most lightweight, thinnest, and strongest material, having several uses in different industries.
Graphene appears in a honeycomb-like pattern that can be layered over 3 million times to make a 1 mm thick sheet of graphite. Yes, it is that thin. Yet, this material is tougher than a diamond and more malleable than rubber. Impressive, no?
Since a graphene layer is thin, it is considered a 2D material. Therefore, you can only stretch Graphene in two directions; lengthwise and widthwise, but not heightwise. Nowadays, Graphene is becoming a common material in clothing as well due to its heat-conducting and strengthening properties.
What is Graphene Ink?
Since Graphene is such a thin material, it can be turned into liquid ink. This is used to make wearable electronics as it is malleable. However, the major use of graphene ink is printed electronics, which is on paper or clothes.
From plain tickets, entry cards, identification tags, smart packaging, and electronic clothing, graphene ink has made its way to the mainstream market. Right now, graphene ink is quite costly because of the material's availability. However, it is expected to become as readily available as other inks on the market in the coming years.
What is Graphene Used for?
Graphene is a multi-purpose material that can be used in different industries. No matter what industry we talk about, Graphene is making it smarter and more effective. Here are the six basic applications of Graphene:
Graphene is known as the strongest material on Earth. Despite being so thin, it has an ultra-high tensile strength of 130 gigapascals. Not only that, but Graphene is also super lightweight.
Adding trace amounts of Graphene into other materials can instantly increase its mechanical strength. Whether it is plastic, rubber, silicone, or any textile material, you can add a massive amount of strength to the material with the smallest amount of Graphene.
It is impossible to replicate this strength artificially using any material other than Graphene. The most common examples of Graphene's power can be seen in mobile devices, aerospace, and building materials. Yes, its uses are limitless!
As we mentioned above, Graphene is the thinnest yet most robust material globally. Moreover, it has a very high surface area to volume ratio, which makes it ideal for energy storage. As a result, graphene can instantly enhance the performance of energy devices like batteries and cells.
Graphene batteries are extremely lightweight and have a high-temperature range and higher capacity. They also support faster charging and provide flexibility. These batteries are also used in energy absorbers, supercapacitors, and electromagnetic sensors to achieve the highest energy retention.
Since this area is relatively new, scientists are researching to utilize Graphene for efficient energy storage. Electric vehicles can massively benefit from this advancement by opting for lightweight batteries. These batteries can store more energy than the conventional options available in the market.
Graphene is also an outstanding thermal conductor. According to research, Graphene can conduct 60% more thermal energy than graphite. This ratio makes graphene ideal for heated clothing or even wires and appliances to efficiently conduct heat.
A thin graphene layer can conduct 500 to 5000W/mK of thermal energy compared to graphite, which can conduct 120 to 240 W/mK only. Graphene is used in mobile phones and other power devices to distribute heat evenly.
Because of such strong thermal conductivity, it can also be used in clothing to generate heat during colder weather. In addition, since it is so lightweight, the problem of layering and heavy-weight clothing will not be an issue.
One of the most common uses of Graphene is in the form of graphene ink. It is used for electrical printing, which aids in making paper-thin electronic transmitters. With a thin coating of a malleable electric conductor, we can turn almost any surface into a circuit.
It is also used to 3D print transmitters, biosensors, etc. Currently, graphene ink is quite expensive, but with the commercialization of this ink, we can find it at a lower price. It will not only fulfill an aesthetic purpose but also serve a function.
Furthermore, graphene printing will make graphene-based products easily accessible at a reasonable price. Not only that, Graphene printed clothes will make wearers walking sensors while providing efficient heating in colder weather.
Graphene's maximum elasticity is one of its primary qualities. You can easily stretch a graphene sheet up to 20% of its original size. This extreme elasticity makes Graphene unbreakable.
Even though Graphene changes its elasticity on the basis of the force applied on the surface, it is still unbreakable. A graphene sheet that is the size of regular paper can stretch to the size of a football ground without bending or experiencing tears.
This property of Graphene also helps the material become a major part of flexible electronics. This aspect of Graphene is still under research, so we can have more advanced knowledge about the stretchability of this material in the future.
Uses of Graphene in Clothing
Graphene has a massive scope in the textile industry. Since Graphene is such a durable material, the graphene-infused fabric can be a major success. Many brands have experimented with graphene-infused clothing and have received a positive response. Here are the top five uses of Graphene in clothing:
Graphene is a highly durable material that barely has any weight. This property of Graphene makes it ideal for sportswear. Graphene-infused clothing is strong, durable, scratch or tear-resistant, and elastic.
With such properties in sportswear, the performance of the sportsperson can drastically improve. Furthermore, a Graphene coated helmet can allow balanced heat distribution in colder weather.
The most crucial property of ideal maternity wear is elasticity and durability. With graphene-infused maternity wear, you can get both. It also makes the clothing tear-resistant and anti-static, which provides a hassle-free wearing experience.
Graphene fabric is also lightweight and breathable, the two most important factors for maternity clothing. In addition, the electrical conductivity allows these dresses to act as electronic sensors to check the baby's heartbeat, mother's body temperature, blood pressure, etc.
Another important application of Graphene in clothing is bulletproof wear. Since Graphene is currently the strongest yet thinnest material in the world, it works as effective protection against bullets.
The best part is that graphene-infused bulletproof vests will not be as bulky as conventional bulletproof jackets because of their lightweight nature. So, you can wear them on your hiking adventures without any worry.
Graphene has made technology-infused clothing a reality. With graphene ink, we can print electronic sensors and transmitters on almost any surface. In addition, it allows your clothes to connect with electronic devices like computers, cellphones, etc.
Graphene can also sense several chemicals. Therefore, it can prevent human interaction with harmful chemicals to our skin.
Lastly, the effective thermal conductivity of this material can be used in creating heated clothing. It can efficiently retain the heat inside the garment generated with a battery. It is mostly used in jackets and other protective clothing items.
Heated clothing is popular in closer regions among hikers, campers, and people who work in the open fields.
How Graphene Works in Clothing
Graphene is one of the most durable materials. Due to this, it is an ideal material for several types of clothing. So now that you know the uses of Graphene for clothes, it's time to learn how this wonder material helps enhance an ordinary piece of fabric.
Thermal and Electrical Conducting
The thermal and electrical conductivity of Graphene makes it an ideal material to enhance a piece of clothing. The excellent heat retention quality and electrical conductivity are suitable for maternity, utility, and smart clothing items.
Heated jackets are one of the main examples of Graphene infused fabric's heat and electricity conduction.
Graphene is also highly Antibacterial. According to research, Graphene can inhibit bacterial activity by its electron transferring qualities. It can abstract electrons from the bacterial membrane, resulting in the bacteria losing its integrity.
So, if you have to maintain proper hygiene in your workplace, a jacket made of graphene would be an ideal choice for you. In addition, the antibacterial property makes graphene-infused fabric perfect for hospital scrubs, infant clothing, towels, etc.
Graphene also has water-resistant properties. Since it is water-resistant, it also prevents corrosion. This property makes it ideal for protective wear, outdoor furniture, tents, and more.
Despite being waterproof, the graphene-infused fabric is breathable and lightweight. Even though this material wards water away, it can still absorb moisture from your body and skin to keep them healthy.
Also read: 7 Best Waterproof Windbreaker Jackets 2022
What is the Gamma Jacket?
The Gamma jacket is the top-selling upper by Wear Graphene, infused with a layer of this wonder material. It is an all-season jacket that you can wear throughout the year. This jacket is 100% infused with Graphene to provide enough heat to keep you warm in colder weather.
The customizable built-in heating system allows you to adjust the heating according to the weather and your preference. All you have to do is turn on the power bank of this jacket and select your desired heat settings.
The easy control buttons and ultralightweight material makes this jacket ideal for hiking, camping, and everyday wear. It also has wind and water-resistant zippers. It means that you do not have to struggle with tugging and pulling the zippers because of rust.
This heated jacket comes with chest pockets, front pockets, inner chest pockets, hidden sleeve pockets, arms pockets, a buttonable inner pocket, and a power bank pocket. With such massive storage capacity, this jacket can easily replace your backpack or handbag.
Not only that, but it also has an adjustable rain hem, three-way adjustable hood drawstrings, adjustable waist drawstrings, adjustable velcro cuffs, and a high neck to keep you protected from wind and rain. It comes in three generic sizes and is quite durable.
It is one of the best-selling smart clothing items that keep you warm on colder days and cold on warmer days. It is a breathable jacket that keeps your skin in a healthy state. Graphene is a hypoallergenic material, which means this fabric is ideal even for people with sensitive skin.
Since it has a layer of Graphene, it is going to keep any unpleasant odor at bay. Also, with such an efficient upper, you can keep your body temperature balanced, regardless of the weather.
Hopefully, now you know what this thin material is capable of. No doubt, Graphene is considered a "wonder material” for all the right reasons.
Graphene is the most popular material in the athletic textile industry for a variety of reasons. In a few days, you may surely spot graphene-enhanced fashion.
The material acts as a filter between your body and the environment, which is indeed a need of the hour. Of course, everyone wants to feel comfortable during intense weather situations. So invest in the graphene-infused Gamma Jacket now, as it is a reliable yet effective outerwear at the moment.
You may also like: What are the Different Types of Jackets 2022? And That One Jacket You Need