Team Members: Connor Dunn, Taylor Kearney, Danny Scrudato
Project Description: Graphene was the subject of a Nobel Prize in 2010. Research on graphene claims that the material has a suite of impressive material properties including high thermal conductivity, bactericidal capability, very high tensile strength, and even mosquito repellency. Since then, this groundbreaking super-material has become the subject of much research and boasts unparalleled properties in its pure form; it has gained the interest from companies, including textile companies. This year, Hanesbrands Inc. asked our team to explore and investigate the possibility of producing garments that utilize graphene enhanced yarns. After researching the properties of graphene, we reached out to Graphene One about using their graphene-oxide enhanced fiber line, Kyorene(R), for our project.
By using the only graphene enhanced fiber on the market, we evaluated how the presence of graphene in the fiber affects thermal, mechanical, and antimicrobial properties. We used this data to provide Hanesbrands with a recommendation regarding which product lines would benefit most from a graphene enhanced fabric as well as an analysis detailing whether the use of graphene is worth pursuing at this time. Our team learned a lot of valuable information: the notable difficulty in spinning graphene enhanced fibers due to their potential electrical conductivity, the depth of a product development cycle and the associated cost and logistical barriers, and utilizing our individual strengths to work together as a team.