Kyorene® graphene composite fiber produced by Graphene-One of Las Angeles is a revolutionary application. Kyorene® fiber has “bacteriostatic, mite repellency, UV resistance, deodorant properties, heat dissipation, and increased mechanical functions,” according to the company’s website, and can be used in knitted and woven fabrics and non-woven materials.
NGA2D reached out to Matt Reid, Director of Sales, for an overview of Graphene-One and update on applications in which Kyorene® is being used. Following is his response.
“Graphene-One is a division started by the owner and founder of QS Group, Mr. Xiaolin Sha and his daughter Lynn Sha Deligny, who is Managing Director of QS Group and Graphene One. QS Group is a collection of companies that was started in 1993 that includes QS Safety a safety products manufacturing division, QS Solar a solar panel manufacturing division, and Graphene-One a graphene fiber technology and manufacturing division.
Graphene fiber technology research and development began in 2010 for QS Group. By 2015 QS had thirty-plus patents registered (five are international patents) for our process and for our methodology involved in graphene fiber technology and solar panel production. Also, QS had invested in two operations making its own graphene oxide <GO> to be used solely for the production of graphene fiber branded Kyorene®.
In 2016 the Graphene-One division was created to focus on Kyorene® graphene fiber technology development. We initially commercialized a graphene polyamide (or nylon) filament yarn, and a graphene polyamide staple fiber for making blended yarns. Our technology is unique because we are combining a GO and a polymer material together at a molecular level creating a covalent bond between the materials to make a “master material” that eventually gets extruded into a fiber and yarn. The GO is inside and permanent to the yarn, and in a fabric, this means it can’t be washed out or worn away like topical coatings of graphene. The benefits that the GO gives to a common polymer like a polyamide is bacteriostatic, odor control, and thermal regulation from FIR (both heating and cooling) among other properties. We perform a chemical exfoliation which leads us to the above-mentioned performance properties, but the initial yarns do not show other properties like electrical conductivity.
The future of graphene infused yarns is very bright and the pipeline of ideas is very extensive. The issue today is actually trying to narrow the focus so as to not spread our resources too thin because there are so many applications to this technology. Also, there are many other polymers to combine with, methods of producing GO, etc., that lead to expanded performance properties. For example, we have just commercialized an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (i.e. like Dyneema or Spectra) with graphene that significantly increases the cut resistance of that yarn and is being used in industrial knitted cut resistant gloves produced by our first customer Armor Guys and branded as made with Kyorene® Pro. We are now working on a Flame Resistant fiber.
There are many other knitted glove products made with the Kyorene® graphene polyamide by Amor Guys that are available today. Also, Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops are now offering socks with Kyorene® as part of the content to help with odor control and with increased durability.
Currently, in Asia there are sportswear products, denim products, and now water filtration products commercially available with Kyorene®. There is a large global outdoor brand who will be offering a thermally regulating base layer shirt coming to the US in August of this year and another large global denim brand that will start in Asia with a jean and jacket for increased durability and cleanliness from bacteria control.
The barriers have been plentiful. It has taken ten plus years to get to where we are today with some commercial success. There is high interest from a R&D and product development perspective in textiles. However, the process of getting customers to understanding the benefits of the technology, be willing to work and develop with the technology, finding partners willing to test and work through both the positive and negative results to find a pathway, deal with the long product development process of the Brands, and then be willing to lead the way with this technology is not an easy task.”