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A UK start-up has scaled up the manufacturing of affordable, flexible and washable graphene inks. They also have extensive expertise in various printing techniques. They seek manufacturers of outdoor clothing to participate in producing gloves with enhanced user functionality in the first instance. The project would progress under a technical or research co-operation agreement.
Graphene and related materials (GRMs) have unique mechanical, electrical and optical properties which often outperform traditional metals and polymers currently used for heated textiles. There is now graphene ink available, for specific adherence to cotton, silk, and other natural or synthetic fabrics. By printing, coating or dyeing they can be transformed into advanced active textiles exhibiting electrical, optical and/or smart thermal functions.
The emergence of such smart textiles has been held back by amongst others, the availability and cost of graphene.
An East of England start-up has scaled up the manufacture of electronically conductive graphene inks so that it now only costs half that of silver ink.
For a first marketable product the company is developing gloves with enhanced functionality. In order to get the design and functionality right, they need to partner with manufacturers of outdoor clothing. A joint project may be undertaken as a technical or research co-operation. The co-operation will be technical either way but there is scope for research co-operation as some R&D funding calls include this type of product development. The company also has extensive expertise in various layer-by-layer printing techniques.
Enquiries are welcome from sports and active wear manufacturers however other end-product manufactures who want to add smart functions to their textile product are also encouraged.
The inks offer a number of advantages including:
• Reduced cost over silver inks (>50%)
• Wash ability (ISO standard tested)
• Flexibility (<4 mm bending radius)
Applications filed in the UK with a view to extend across multiple developed countries.
Type of partner sought: industry. Manufacturers of (especially winter) outdoor clothing, sports and active wear are sought.
Role of partner sought: to participate in product development with their design, user experience and marketing competences.