Graphene in Sports EquipmentDec 18, 2019 | ACS MATERIAL LLC
Throughout human history, the discovery of new technology has marked milestones and turning points. The making of stone tools, the smelting of metals, and the making of building materials represent the cutting-edge of ancient times. In more recent times, industrial diamond, nanotechnology, aerogels, and ballistic materials are expanding our possibilities to exciting new inventive and technological heights. What once seemed like science fiction is now possible with such materials, and few are as captivating and practical as graphene. Read on to learn about this exciting material and how it’s changing the way we design and produce sports equipment.
A Brief History of Graphene
Graphene is a form of carbon, which is the same basic element that makes up coal, pencil tips, and the bodies of living organisms. But graphene’s atoms are arranged in a hexagonal lattice that give it a set of very distinct properties. Graphene’s existence had been theorized but never proven until 2004, when Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov isolated it from graphite at the University of Manchester. In 2010, they both won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking work. Since then, graphene has dramatically changed and is expected to further revolutionize many industries, including electronics, energy, technology, and even genetics.
Graphene’s Unique and Unusual Properties
Graphene’s hexagonal carbon layers account for its remarkable one-atom thickness, making it the thinnest material ever known. This means that a single layer of graphene is invisible to the naked eye. In addition to its unparalleled thinness, graphene is stronger than steel and diamond, more elastic than rubber, and able to effectively conduct both heat and electricity. It’s also incredibly lightweight and has notable light absorption qualities. These properties make it perfect for use in microelectronics, such as computer chips, transistors, and batteries, and it is suitable for much larger scale applications as well.
What Graphene Brings to Sports Equipment Design
Regardless of the sport, all gear must be constructed to withstand heavy use, including high speeds, impacts, wear and tear, moisture, and the constant movement of the human body that’s wearing or using the gear. For outdoor sports, there’s rough terrain, extreme temperatures, and the elements to consider as well, and in every area, high quality and high performance is expected and demanded.
In athletic clothing production, graphene’s light weight, outstanding durability, and resilience make it ideal for adding strength without adding bulk or sacrificing comfort. This is ideal for footwear and protective gear designs. Likewise, products such as tennis rackets benefit from graphene’s performance-enhancing qualities. When added to an epoxy matrix, for example, graphene makes rackets lighter yet more resistant to impact and therefore longer-lasting on the court. When used in items such as skis, graphene works with other layers of material to add an unrivaled combination of strength, responsiveness, and agility.
Despite its potential, producing quality graphene products can be a real challenge. It’s best to leave its creation to professional graphene companies who know how to produce consistent results in the large quantities needed for industrial application. Graphene flakes are prized for the manufacture of sports gear, and a reputable graphene supplier can produce them affordably in massive amounts. When you’re ready to buy graphene and take your products to the next level, trust ACS Material, LLC, to handle all the science behind the scenes so you can get to designing and manufacturing the hottest trends in sports gear.