It has already been established that graphene can significantly increase the most important properties of shoes, such as their grip, lightness, or elasticity.
The sporting goods industry, eager for innovation, has swiftly become interested in graphene for its ability to improve performance in a variety of sporting goods.
Why Head uses graphene?
Head is one of the world’s leading sporting goods manufacturers. The sporting goods industry has always been an arena for tough competition. So Head has always excelled in innovation in order to keep their place among the best.
It was not surprising when Head started to develop products with graphene in 2013. Making them the first sporting goods manufacturers to work with this new material.
The move is especially remarkable since only three years had passed since Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov had received the Nobel Prize in physics.
In order to launch their first commercial product containing graphene, Head collaborated with Graphene-XT to develop the next generation of tennis rackets.
Graphene-XT is a graphene producer that uses a mechanical exfoliation process to obtain a powder of graphene nanoplatelets (GNP).
Comparative tests performed by Head have shown that their graphene-enhanced tennis racket is up to 30% greater in mechanical strength and up to 20% lighter.
The effect? We’ll let Novak Djokovic explain:
From racket to ski
This high-performing tennis racket is based on graphene and a composite material made of arranged carbon fibers permeated with an epoxy resin.
However, it is difficult to fully attribute the rise of these performance levels specifically to graphene. (Source: Robert J. Young, The microstructure of a graphene-reinforced tennis racket).
Head is an innovation pioneer, which is why they didn’t stop there: The next step was graphene-enhanced skis.
Skiing comes with different expectations for high-performance sporting equipment from tennis. Here, the focus is on greater flexibility, sense of glide, lightness, and grip.
Head has developed several ski designs that integrate graphene in order to cater to these different needs. All of their skis are composed of a number of different layers. Graphene is often sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass.
In recent years, more and more graphene-enhanced sporting goods have hit the market. Just take a look at Callway’s golf balls: here. Clearly, all these different examples have one thing in common: They all use a form of graphene.
How can graphene enhance so many materials?
The fact that graphene serves as an additive simplifies its use and integration into different materials. Integrating it into composite materials, such as epoxy resin, carbon fibers, or glass, or different rubbers such as latex, is very easy.
Consequently, graphene is leading a new trend in the sporting goods industry. Because it allows for the development of new products with a true competitive edge. But the advantages of graphene are not limited to serving the needs of sporting goods manufacturers.
Due to its outstanding performance, graphene is being used by many other industries, such as aeronautics and space, to enhance their materials.
The clothing industry is also looking to develop more products like sportswear or underwear with improved properties. Currently the textile sector is investing more and more in graphene.
Graphene-enhanced fibers have better thermal regulation, and better antistatic and antifouling properties.
If you want to take full advantage of the possibilities graphene can offer, choose the best quality!