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The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century was a breakthrough in the textile sector and another revolution in this sector was the discovery of synthetic fibers at the start of the 20th century. In the 21st century, advancement in textiles have been directed to the development of smart textiles and E- textiles by employing fibers equipped with specific properties, including the electrical, thermal, waterproof and other technical characteristics. Several strategies have been developed to fabricate conductive textiles for various purposes. But still now the main obstacle in the development of smart textile is integrating smart devices, conductive materials with fibers, fabric structure and different parts of cloth due to overweight, rigidness, non-resistance to water etc.
Graphene is the thinnest possible form of graphite, which you can find in your everyday pencil. It’s purely bi-dimensional, a single layer of carbon atoms that has unbelievable properties that will one day revolutionize everything from aerospace engineering to medicine. Its diverse uses are seemingly endless: It can stop a bullet if you add enough layers. It can change the color of your hair with no adverse effects. It can turn the walls of your home into a giant fire detector.
Graphene-based wearable e-textiles are considered to be promising due to their advantages over traditional metal-based technology. Researchers are focused on the development of a simple and cost-effective method to manufacture graphene-based wearable electronic textiles on an industrial scale. The new method could allow graphene e-textiles to be manufactured at commercial production rates of 150 meters per minute. Nanoshel team is trying to produce simple and cost-effective way of manufacturing multi-functional graphene textiles could easily be scaled up for many real-life applications, such as sportswear, military gear, and medical clothing.
Researchers have developed graphene-enhanced wearable electronic components incorporated directly into fabrics. The devices could be used for flexible circuits, healthcare monitoring, energy conversion, and other applications. The researchers have shown how graphene and other related materials can be directly incorporated into fabrics to produce charge storage elements such as capacitors, paving the way to textile-based power supplies which are washable, flexible and comfortable to wear.
Integrating textile-based sensors into garments in the manufacturing process is still time-consuming and complex. It is also expensive non-biodegradable; unstable, metallic conductive materials are still being used. Now, the researchers have developed a process that has the potential to produce tonnes of conductive graphene-based yarn. The produces graphene-based yarn is also said to be flexible, cheap, biodegradable, and washable.
It is possible to integrate such sensors to low-powered Bluetooth or self-powered RFID to transmit data wirelessly to mobile devices. According to a University of Manchester press release: “One hindrance to the advancement of wearable e-textiles has been the bulky components required to power them.
Graphene has already made a huge blast in the next step of wearable technology. Recently, researchers teamed up with a wearable technology and produced a heating vest containing graphene. Due to the thermal conductive properties of graphene, the warmth produced by the human body is preserved and distributed evenly in cold climates and allows an even body temperature during physical activity.
How to use
Carbon heating sheets
Bike heating glove