Directa Plus, a company selling Graphene-infused sportswear created with the help of 3D printing, is set for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to fuel its expansion.
The company was formed in 2005 and is based in Italy. Now it will seek admission of its Ordinary Shares on AIM, which is part of the London Stock Exchange. Cantor Fitzgerald is acting as the broker and nominated advisor.
Central heating for your body
Graphene can turn simple clothing into smart clothing that ensures that the wearer stays at the right temperature. The fabric disperses warmth around the body and then conducts it out of the fabric in hot climates. In colder climes the heat generated in hotspots, such as the armpits, is conducted around the clothing as a basic form of central heating.
It also allows increased waterproofing and the clothing to dry quicker than today’s materials when it does get wet. This has a number of applications for outdoor clothing and survival gear, as well, as the sportswear that Directa Plus has concentrated on thusfar.
Plasma Superexpansion, as cool as it sounds
This nanotech material is derived from Graphite and is made through an advanced technique called plasma superexpansion. This allows the company to separate out Graphene in a number of different ways, mixing it with polymers to apply it as a laminate or a coating that impregnates other material. It is working on incorporating the Graphene into the fabric at the start of the production cycle.
With Plasma Superexpansion, raw Graphite is treated with heat. The base element expands and forms unique macrostructures that have an accordion-like structure. This gives the material an additional layer of flexibility and creates the material called Basic G+. This is the simplest product that Directa Plus offers, but then further post production with exfoliation and even air shocks create more advanced forms of the G+ material.
Applications so far
Directa Plus has 12 patents on a variety of materials and textiles. It concentrates on making the materials, while third parties make the clothing under their own brands. Colmar has created a line of skisuits that the French national team wears for winter sports. Vittoria has also used this form of Graphene in high-end bicycle wheels and tires. Strength and weight are essential in both instances.
There is more to come, though.
In its purest form, Graphene is actually one of the strongest fibres known to man and it has the dual qualities of being exceptionally stiff and yet surprisingly ductile. It is supremely lightweight, it is an excellent conductor of electricity, as well as heat, and it has massive potential.
What does the future hold?
Directa Plus has barely scratched the surface, then, of a material that can go on to form the basis of smart clothing and wearable electronics. In truth the potential is endless. Graphene has been mooted as a potential smartphone replacement as it could carry all the relevant electronics in a wristband. It could form wafer thin television screens that hang freely on the wall and we could even carry around Graphene newspapers that download the latest edition and play video on the pages.
So there is a lot more to come from Graphene than just thermal insulation for our clothes and advanced bicycle accessories.
Direct Plus can produce up to 30 tonnes of Graphene each year right now, but if Graphene really is the material of the future than they may need to step that up. The IPO is an excellent start.