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‘Part coat, part science experiment,’ a jacket made of graphene is on the way

It seems there is no end to the uses of graphene, the material that promises to revolutionize the world. We’ve already seen this substance integrated into a host of potential products, including body armor, batteries, and paint, not to mention trail running shoes, superconductors, and water purification systems. But now, outdoor performance apparel manufacturer Vollebak announced a surprising new use for graphene and we won’t have to wait years to see it come to market.

A brief, but intriguing, post on the Vollebak website indicates that the company is planning to release a jacket that incorporates graphene into its design sometime later this summer. The post trumpets some of the material’s more intriguing properties, including its high level of conductivity, its incredible strength-to-weight ratio, and durability. In fact, graphene is so strong that it has the ability to stop bullets, although Vollebak stops short of claiming the jacket will actually be bulletproof.

Beyond that, not much else is known about the graphene-infused garment that Vollebak calls “part coat, part science experiment.” A few images that presumably show the design of jacket can be found on the site as well and potential customers can join a waiting list simply by providing their email address. The price and actual release date of the jacket has yet to be revealed.

In its purest form, graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms connected to one another by tight atomic bonds. This makes it the thinnest and lightest material known to man, and yet it is still estimated to be more than 100 times stronger than steel. Because it is also transparent and conducts heat and electricity extremely well, researchers are intrigued by the possibilities that it presents for improved transistors, energy storage, nanotubes, and a host of other items. The rare and unique qualities of graphene helped to earn scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov — who discovered it in 2004 — a Noble Prize for physics.

This isn’t the first time that Vollebak has experimented with unusual materials when creating its products. In the past, it also created a hoodie made of Kevlar and black fabrics that are actually highly reflective at night. Still, a jacket made of graphene is new territory for pretty much everyone and it will be interesting to see how much it costs and how well it performs.

You can add your name to the waiting list on the Vollebak website.

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