Graphene sportswear gets Gloucestershire Uni testing
By Richard Wright | 25th August 2021
Advanced materials group Versarien has commissioned the University of Gloucestershire to carry out trials on its graphene-coated sportswear.
A research team is carrying out tests on a prototype upper body garment applied with Versarien's graphene inks "Graphinks (™)" through a screen-printing process. The clothing is manufactured by partner MAS Holdings. The researchers will compare the material to a selection of other sports garments when worn during high-intensity exercise.
Gloucestershire-based Versarien has been at the forefront of developing products that integrate graphene - the thinnest material yet discovered but also incredibly strong - ranging from face masks to products that are currently under development for defence.
The sportswear trials at the University of Gloucestershire are part of Versarien's ongoing plan to commercialise graphene within the textiles industry through products that harness graphene's thermal and moisture management properties.
Professor Athanassios Bissas, professor of sport and exercise technologies at the University of Gloucestershire and project lead, said: "We're delighted to be strengthening our links with Versarien in a study that is contributing to the development of innovative garments and that could potentially transform the sportswear industry.
"This project provides an excellent opportunity for our department, its postgraduates and students to serve and interact with real-life science applications and advance their laboratory and analytical skills.
"We're excited to be developing contemporary analysis techniques supported by AI, such as thermal imaging analysis, that can enable us to become an international player in the area of sportswear testing."
The new study will measure the performance of the Versarien prototype in terms of heat and sweat retention and dissipation, compared with other tested garments, as a result of the interaction with the human body during strenuous exercise.
The garments will be worn by national-level runners, during running trials at the university's sports arena and sports science laboratories on its Oxstalls campus.
The responses to the different garment conditions will be evaluated via blood, urine, skin/body temperature and cardiorespiratory measures alongside psychological measures to determine the wetness, thermal sensation and comfort perception of the participants.
Neill Ricketts, CEO of Versarien Plc, said: "This is the next step in the journey to commercialise graphene, building upon our partnership with MAS Holdings to deliver tried and tested graphene-wear to innovative sportswear brands."
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