The Italian Institute of Technology and Fadel have joined forces to produce hi-tech footwear
Fadel, a shoe manufacturer based in the manufacturing district of Lucca was founded in 1975, and straddles the new “Made In Italy” frontier in the footwear industry. In collaboration with the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, the company of San Colombano has developed and created the first shoe integrated with graphene, making it more comfortable and hygienic.
In fact, graphene is a new material formed by two-dimensional carbon crystals that, when added to polyurethane – a material used to make the Fadel insoles – increases the comfort of shoes, thanks to greater thermal dispersion provided by graphene. Its crystalline lattice structure with hexagonal pattern also gives the insole greater impenetrability, while enhancing its antibacterial properties.
Previewed at theMICAM of September 2016, the Fadel models raised great interest in a market that is always looking for innovative technologies able to renew the footwear industry.
What is graphene?
It is an almost magical material, thin like an atom and strong like steel. A better conductor of electricity than copper, but very lightweight, antibacterial and biocompatible, with an affordable price. It can make everyday objects “smart” and technologically advanced, since only a small amount is required, combined with other standard plastic or fabric materials, to strengthen its mechanical and antibacterial properties. For example, inserting graphene in a t-shirt allows moulding electronic circuits that control the heartbeat, which can replace today’s rigid sensors.
Graphene is produced in Graphene Labs, part of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. The Labs also play a major role in the 2013-2023 European Graphene Flagship Project, and received one billion of funding to speed up the passage of graphene from the laboratory to the mass market.