Graphene in Sports Wear
Graphene is considered as a wonder material due to its unique properties. Graphene is a thin sheet of condensed six-carbon atom rings. Its thickness is a million times thinner than human hair. Some unique properties which differentiate graphene from other conventional materials are:
Strength of Graphene
Graphene is an incredibly lightweight and super-strength material. Composite of graphene with polymer results in high tensile strength, high flexural strength, and high compressive strength materials. It is 200 times stronger than steel, still lightweight, and flexible. It has more elasticity than rubber. It is electrically and thermally conductive, the electrical conductivity of graphene is more than copper.
Graphene thermal properties can find application in graphene fabric/graphene wear.
Graphene wear can help the body to regulate heat during exercise. Graphene can enhance weight distribution and hence can create better energy transfer, which can be used in a tennis racquet. It also possesses antibacterial and antistatic properties. Thus, graphene fabrics prevent the development of bacteria on the surface.
All the most important properties of particular graphene depend on the number of layers present on it. With the decreasing number of layers, the property of graphene becomes superior. Single-layer graphene is the most superior graphene in terms of its enhanced properties.
Sportswear needs to be constructed with materials that can withstand heavy use, high speed, wear, and tear, and moisture conditions. In sportswear and sports equipment, graphene can add strength and durability without any additional weight. In the case of athletic shoes, graphene brings better performance due to its excellent mechanical, strength, ruggedness, and elasticity/flexibility.
Graphene can improve the energy distribution and weight in the racket while increasing the service speed and stability. The tennis racquet made from graphene composite materials can make it stiffer in all directions and long-lasting. Graphene composite racquets are up to 20% lighter than conventional ones with the same weight. The lightweight racquets made from graphene composites are much easier for the player to hit the ball much harder than ever before.
Apart from these, graphene possesses excellent heat conductive properties which can be used to coat the upper layer of the helmet and which can help in heat dissipation. It protects the inner material from degradation and is lightweight. An ideal helmet would be strong, resistant to impact, durable, and comfortable. All these properties can be achieved by using graphene composite materials.
This unique thermal property of graphene composite materials can find application in graphene sportswear. Graphene composite wear can provide homogenous distribution of the heat produced by the human body in cold weather and a heat dispersion effect in hot weather that can help to regulate body temperature. Graphene fabric has a bacteriostatic effect and which can enhance hygiene and anti-odour features and can be very beneficial as we sweat during exercise.
Additionally, a composite of graphene can be used in shoes also. The presence of graphene in the composite can enhance the mechanical strength of the sports shoe sole. It is theoretically postulated that shoes made up of pure graphene could last hundreds of years. The shoe sole is made from graphene composite is more flexible, more stretchable, and enhances mechanical properties.
Current technology can use shoe soles made up of rubber and graphene. Addition of a little bit of graphene with rubber results in a compound that is stronger, tougher and more elastic, and more durable than pure rubber. Tests showed that graphene-enhanced soles lasted for more than 1000 miles, which is beneficial for long runners, hikers, and trekkers. It is also claimed that graphene soles are the world’s grippiest soles.
It is found that long-distance runners face a lot of problems regarding the degradation of shoe soles during their marathons. Graphene-based foam provides 25% greater energy return than the normal one and helps the runner to maintain a faster speed over the marathon or long runs.
Courtesy: ULTRANANOTECH PVT. LTD.
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