A collaboration between Graphene Flagship partner Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Italian luxury design company Momodesign has presents an early success story in translating graphene’s properties to marketable technologies. A commercial launch of a safe and luxury motorcycle helmet that benefits from the inclusion of graphene.
“I started to read publications about graphene with curiosity and interest,” (Marco Cattaneo, president of Momodesign)
Marco Cattaneo, who was looking to “improve products in which safety is the most important aspect”, sees that by coating graphene onto the exterior shell of the helmet, the result is a helmet with improved thermal comfort and safety:
Graphene distributes the impact force better than any other material. This allowed us to produce a more durable helmet, improving the safety.
The impact resistance is guaranteed even in extreme conditions of environmental heating.
Graphene due to its high thermal conductivity allows a reduction of the internal heat and in collaboration with improves thermal comfort
In keeping with its reputation for innovation, Momodesign, since the ‘80s a pioneer in the production of everyday objects using hi-tech materials like carbon fibre, magnesium and titanium, continues today on its evolutionary journey thanks to graphene.
The graphene coating allows better distribution of impact force, making the helmet less susceptible to damage compared to helmets without graphene, even in high temperature conditions. It is the excellent thermal conducive properties of the graphene coating which dissipates heat quickly across the helmet and not only protects the inner materials from degradation caused by heat, but also provides a more comfortable user experience.
A spin-out company, called Bedimensional, enables IIT to support expansion of graphene technology into the market. An initial run of 3000 helmets have been produced for sale in specialty markets and major motoring showrooms. The helmets are fabricated in a manufacturing plant in northern Italy, where the graphene-coating procedure has been integrated directly into the existing production line.
“We developed a process fully compatible with that used by Momodesign for their standard helmets,” (Vittorio Pellegrini, Director of IIT Graphene Labs and Chair of the Executive Board of the Graphene Flagship).
Without the support of the Graphene Flagship to design of the graphene helmet – from concept to production in only 18 months – would not have been possible. The Graphene Flagship funding enabled an accelerated transition from lab to fab.
Andrea Ferrari, Chair of the Graphene Flagship Management Panel and the Flagship’s Science and Technology Officer stated: “This is an excellent example of what is at the core of the Graphene Flagship mission: to take graphene, related layered materials and hybrids from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries, with a manifold return on the European investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic exploitation. Over the next few years we will see more and more products enabled by graphene reaching the market, thanks to the support of the Graphene Flagship”. (Read more updated at: https://phys.org/news/)