San Colombano, Italy – Italian shoe company Fadel and Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, one of the members of the EU Graphene Flagship, have collaborated on a new graphene-containing polyurethane for footwear applications.
Flakes that contain several layers of graphene are added to the polyurethane used to make the sole, giving improved heat dispersion, waterproofing and antibacterial properties. The prototype shoe made its debut at the International Footwear Exhibition in Milan.
‘One of the main properties of graphene is its ability to dissipate heat, so we began to think of combining graphene produced by liquid phase exfoliation, which produces large quantities of graphene at a low price, into polyurethane,’ said Vittorio Pellegrini, director of IIT Graphene Labs. ‘We improved the thermal properties with a tiny amount of graphene (around 1%), which is significant in delivering a product whose cost is not significantly larger than before.’
The technology has been patented by Fadel, and given the brand name GET.