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Heat-conducting graphene jacket

December 1st, 2018 / By: / Projects

Lightweight and breathable, Vollebak’s graphene jacket conducts heat and electricity thanks to a thin layer of graphite, the material used to make pencils. Photo: Vollebak/Sun Lee.

Part jacket. Part science experiment. That’s how the makers of a new graphene-coated jacket describe their garment. Only a single atom thick, graphene is invisible to the naked eye. It’s lightweight, highly conductive, and is the strongest material known to humankind. But graphene also comes with challenges. It’s hard to work with and very expensive to produce at scale. That’s why maker Vollebak, a two-year-old startup dedicated to designing cutting-edge sports gear, released its jacket as an experimental prototype.

This first edition jacket is reversible. One side is a thin layer of graphene and polyurethane blended together; the other is nylon and elastane. The graphene fundamentally changes the material’s mechanical and chemical properties, enabling it to conduct electricity.

It also conducts heat. When the graphene side is worn next to the body, it helps equalize skin temperature by transferring heat from warm parts of the body to cold. The closer the material to the body, the more effective it is at regulating temperature. In tests, skin temperature is increased by an average of 2 degrees Celsius.

You can even heat the jacket by leaving it in the sun with the graphene side exposed. Turn it inside out and wear it, and it acts like a radiator.

The jacket panels are precision-cut with lasers, which avoids waste of costly material. They are bonded together, and the seams are sealed to make it waterproof. For more information, visit www.vollebak.com.

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