Elastomers are widely used in applications such as tires, gloves, clothing, medical devices, etc. We have demonstrated that the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of elastomers can be enhanced by graphene. I will present the specific case of athletic footwear, where the rubber-graphene composite gives markedly improved grip on tough terrains while simultaneously improving durability. The graphene-enhanced athletic shoes from Inov-8 Ltd. have been available for purchase, worldwide, since July 2018. I will also talk about the future potential of graphene-enhanced elastomers and a new spin-out company Grafine Ltd. for this purpose.
The University of Manchester is recognised as the Home of Graphene. Following the award of the Nobel Prize to two of its staff in 2010, the graphene and 2D materials team at Manchester has grown to over 300 researchers, with 30 active research groups, working with over 100 industry partners and is home to the $100m National Research Institute (NGI) and the new $100m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).