Graphene: The Future of Textile

Graphene: The Future of Textile
Md. Redwan Ullah
Department of Apparel Engineering, 42th batch
Bangladesh University of Textiles
Email: asifredwan.04@gmail.com
 
 

What is Graphene?

The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the name Carbon is the famous atom of the periodic table, which has 4 electrons in its final energy level. In this article, I’m going to talk about another variant of carbon that has become one of the most significant materials in the textile industry. Its name is Graphene.

The role of some material in bringing a groundbreaking change in the world has been in all ages. Similarly, in 2004 the discovery of Graphene material brought about a revolutionary change. Andrein Game and Konstantin Novoselv won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Today in this article we will look at what has revolutionized Graphene in textiles and also shed light on some areas of application.

Let us know some details of graphene. Graphene is a type of carbon that exists in the form of a thin disc, no matter how large the disc is, its thickness is only equal to the size of an atom. In this case the atoms are arranged in such a way that they form a two-dimensional bee-like shape. It is transparent like glass. About 100 times stronger than steel and the best electrical conductor of all the elements and compounds discovered so far. Mixing only 1 percent graphene in plastics can turn it into an electrical conductor. Graphene can be roughly compared to the structure that is formed when many nanotubes are stacked one on top of the other.

Now you can guess why everyone is calling graphene a prodigious material.

Characteristics of Graphene:

  1. It is stronger than diamond.
  2. The density of this material is low.
  3. Demonstrates high level of permeability.
  4. Has high thermal conductivity.
  5. The value of modulus of elasticity is much improved.
  6. It shows good resistance to any deformation.
  7. Its atomic expansion is like two-dimensional expansion.
  8. Water replenishment qualities exist.
  9. There are many opportunities to use it as an electrical sensor.
Applications of Graphene in Textile:
Now we will discuss how Graphene is revolutionizing the textile & fashion industry:

1) Use of graphene in e-textiles and smart textiles:
E-textile is a fabric that enables embedding of computing, digital components and electronics. Electro conductive textiles can be made using graphene textile fibers in the weaving of textile manufacturing. Smart textiles are defined as textile products such as yarns and fibers, yarn together with woven, knitted and non-woven structures, which can interact with the user.

Sensitive features such as touch, recovery, drop, shear and handle are quite important, especially for clothing. For this reason the fibers that are used should be finer and lightweight in case of fabric unit fields. Graphene fibers have all these properties. Graphene is more suitable for e-textiles because it can be conductive and semiconductor for making electrically operated textiles and can be applied as a dye.

Graphene in Sensor Technology
Fig: Graphene in Sensor Technology
2) Production of waterproof fabric:
Scientist James Dickerson and a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed two ways to apply thin graphene sheets that make them super-hydrophobic or super-hydrophilic. These are called “carpet” and “brick”, this alternative arrangement makes the water beads incredibly thinner which is producing waterproof fabric with extraordinary quality.

3) In the field of health:
Clothing that monitors the health of the patient is being made from the fiber that is made with graphene. The unique sensors in this garment are capable of capturing medical quality data from the body for use in health monitoring, preventive care, practise physiology and weight loss.

4) Sports clothing:
Graphene based sports clothing behaves according to the constant observation of various information and data on the body of the players. Simply put, enhancing the skills of the players is the job of this costume. NuMetrex company is successfully marketing this garment commercially.

Sports shoes made using Graphene
Fig: Sports shoes made using Graphene
5) Purification of water:
Conventional water purification methods are soda lime, zeolite, reverse osmosis, etc but the Graphene-based membrane method gives far better results than the conventional methods.

In this method water can pass through these membranes but not metallic ions, this membrane forms a less thick membrane than nanometers.

Conclusion:

Graphene is called an insane material and new research is being done all over the world by applying this material in different fields. If we want to make the textile and garments sector sustainable in our beloved homeland, then there is no alternative to moving from a basic product to a value added product. In this case graphene can be an excellent opinion for us.

References:

  1. Graphene Gateway,National Graphene Association, Nixene Journal “Graphene: what is it good for?” Engineering & Technology https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/06/graphene-what-is-it-good-for/.
  2. Xu, Z.; Gao, C. Graphene chiral liquid crystals and macroscopic assembled fibres. Nat. Commun. 2011, 2, 571.
  3. “Discovery of graphene,” The University of Manchester, https://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/learn/discovery-of-graphene/
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Founder and Editor:

Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.


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