News | July 19, 2022

Novel Smart Textiles – Graphene Nanotubes Add Functionality To Yarns

  • A smart textile technology with graphene nanotubes has been developed by CoatYarn and OCSiAl.
  • This new product – ESD coated yarn – combines the excellent performance of TPU with the extraordinary electrical and thermal conductivity of graphene nanotubes.
  • High demand for electrically conductive textile has already been confirmed by sportswear manufacturers, and such ESD sensitive industries as oil and gas, mining and healthcare.

High demand for interactive electronic textiles encouraged the Italian producer of technical-industrial yarns CoatYarn to expand its production line with an absolutely new product: thermoplastic polyurethane yarn enhanced with graphene nanotubes by OCSiAl. This solution is widely applicable in various electrostatic sensitive sectors as healthcare, mining, and oil and gas. One of the end market applications is electroconductive textile gloves with touch-screen functionality that can be used by the operators of loading machines.

Just 0.2 wt.% of graphene nanotubes is enough to transfer their unmatched electrical and thermal conductivity to TPU, transforming polyamide yarn into a conductive one with a volume resistivity of 104 Ω·cm. “Graphene nanotubes, used in an easy-to-process form of the pre-dispersed concentrate TUBALL MATRIX 808, result not only in stable and permanent conductivity but, unlike standard additives in preserved textile excellent resistance to abrasion, alkali, hydrolysis, microbial attack, and remarkable soft-skin feeling effect.” said Shai Nathan, Production & Quality Manager of CoatYarn s.r.l.

The enhanced durability and reliability of the novel ESD material provides the foundations for developing safe and functional personal protective clothing, conveyor belts, and textile bags. The flexible e-textile with the ability to receive, store, and transmit data and signals can be considered as sensors and used in health care for measuring temperature, biopotentials, acoustic, ultrasound, pressure, and radiation.

“The new e-textile has a great potential for application in various spheres. For example, the electroconductive network created by graphene nanotubes inside the fabric allows yarn to be heated, turning textile into a promising multifunctional material for automotive and building interiors, and sportswear.” - said Phillippe Bichot, Technical Sales Manager for Coatings for EMEA, OCSiAl Group.

Source: OCSiAl