Textile heating with graphene nanotubes

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Amperetex, based in Kaliningrad, Russia, has developed an ultra-thin polymer fiber with OCSiAl’s Tuball graphene nanotubes – also known as single-walled carbon nanotubes – for the production of flexible textile heating elements.

“A current equivalent to an ordinary incandescent lamp with a power of 75 watts is sufficient to heat a polymer material with a mesh made of such a fiber,” said Pavel Pogrebnyakov, founder and CEO of Amperetex. “The solution is safe for people – the voltage of clothes made from the fabric is only five volts.”

“Graphene nanotubes are one of the most efficient conductors on Earth,” added Dr. Christian Maus, head of thermoplastics development and support at OCSiAl Group. “At the same time, unlike other carbon additives, they are very flexible. Their shape is similar to that of a human hair, but 50,000 times thinner. Due to their unique properties, the dose of graphene nanotubes required to modify polymer fibers can be so low that it does not affect filament production or characteristics.

Graphene nanotubes are available as concentrates which can be added, for example, to molten polypropylene or polyamide.

The heating mesh made of fibers can be integrated into flexible materials or composite elements of complex shape. Laboratory tests have shown fiber durability of 30,000 cycles, which is comparable to a lifespan of 30 years. Electrically conductive heating mats have successfully passed tests in various projects, including anti-icing roof, bus stop, non-slip coating with built-in Amperetex heating elements and built-in automatic heating sensors.

“The application market for these fibers is huge,” Pogrebnyakov said. “This includes the medical, agricultural, construction, oil and gas, automotive and aerospace sectors. We have already started production of synthetic heating fabrics at industrial scale volumes and this year we plan to launch a range of products for heating in previously unavailable areas. We try to reduce energy consumption and create solutions for the B2B sector in response to specific demands. The next step is the use of these elements for heating hard-to-reach objects and products with complex geometric configurations.

Based in Luxembourg, OCSiAl is the world’s largest manufacturer of graphene nanotubes with a current annual production capacity of 90 tons, which represents 97% of the world’s production capacity of graphene nanotubes. OCSiAl has developed more than 40 graphene nanotube products to improve polymeric materials, including thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers, and electrochemical power sources.

www.amperetex.ru

www.ocsial.com

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