The Hohenstein institute, along with the companies IoLiTec Ionic Liquids Technologies from Heilbronn and FUCHSHUBER TECHNO-TEX- from Lichtenstein, and Belgian project partners Centexbel and Soieries Elite, have been working on a research project designed to explore the use of graphene in the textile sector.
The research, called GRAFAT, explores the use of graphene for the surface modification of textiles in heat protective clothing. Using graphene to modify the surface can significantly improve the flame-retardant properties of a textile. Graphene can act as a physical barrier, effectively preventing the penetration of heat and gases. At the same time, graphene also has the potential to prevent the thermal decomposition of the textile. In addition, graphene also improves the textile's resistance to abrasion and rupture.
The functionalization of textiles for such purposes usually requires a multi-stage process. This might no longer be necessary if graphene can be applied in a single-stage process as srtudied. This would open up a new market segment for the use of graphene, further enhancing the economic success of innovative companies and the industry in general.
The aim of the Hohenstein research team is to develop stable techniques for applying aqueous graphene dispersions, so that they can be used as a permanent coating on different textile surfaces. The newly developed surface modifications for the various textiles will then be analysed for their suitability for heat protective equipment.
In the research work, the company FUCHSHUBER TECHNO TEX has the task of converting the application formula that has been developed to an industrial scale and ensuring that the treated textiles can be cleaned and processed, with aims of producing a demonstrator model.