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Razvan Popescu
Razvan Popescu
Board Member & COO

Interview with Razvan Popescu

Smart textiles are the future of the textiles industry

Directa Plus is one of the largest producers and suppliers worldwide of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial products. The company's graphene-based products are natural, chemical-free and sustainably produced. They are found in commercial applications such as smart textiles, tyres, composite materials and environmental solutions. Razvan Popescu, board member and COO of Directa Plus SpA discusses the growing applications of graphene in textiles.

TT: Please tell us about the G+ product range of Directa Plus.

One of the characteristics of our production process is the ability to create market-ready products at each step of the process. We start from intercalated graphite, produced from natural graphite, and we progress through three steps-the plasma super-expansion, exfoliation and concentration phases-to create our pristine graphene nanoplatelets (the purest form of our Graphene Plus). The first product obtained is Grafysorber G+, which is still a 3D product and is used for environmental applications. Our product line also includes powder, paste, ink and masterbatch G+ forms; each form can be developed with different graphene morphologies to meet our partners' needs. With specific regards to the Directa Textile Solutions product range, we offer a unique range of Graphene Plus enhanced PU membranes.

TT: Smart textiles is one of the major application areas for Directa Plus. How is it evolving globally, and what are the opportunities in this segment?

We at Directa Plus were among the first to understand and, after more than two years of hard work, to prove the extraordinary benefits that graphene can bring to the textiles industry. Smart textiles are the future of the textiles industry-which also applies to the fashion world, not just the technical textiles sector. We want to play a significant role in enhancing the properties of existing products, for example by replacing metal wires for data transmission, as well as developing new ones such as the "planar thermal circuit".

TT: Sportswear and athleisure are on the rise. What new innovations can one expect from Directa Plus in the near future?

Sportswear and athleisure were the first sub-sectors we focused on and also have the greatest near-term potential in bringing high performance materials, such as Graphene Plus, to the end consumer. There are several other areas we are now targeting, notably protective wear, where we are working with a new commercial partner, Alfredo Grassi SpA.

TT: Wearable technology is creating a lot of buzz today. As an organisation, how does Directa Plus view this technology, its applications and growth prospects?

Wearable technology will require some more time before it reaches the end user. We are carefully looking at, and trying to understand, the real needs of the industry in order to offer the correct solutions. An example would be substituting wires (metallic yarns) with Graphene Plus containing tapes for data transmission. This development would offer some concrete advantages, such as easier application, simpler maintenance and lighter weight.

TT: Lycra, Tencel, etc, have become household almost generic names the world over. What is your communication strategy and how do you plan to go about it?

We have just launched our "G+ Certified Experience" label, which guarantees to the end user that the graphene contained in the purchased product is the right type and quantity of Graphene Plus to ensure the best performance. Some of our partners, such as Vittoria and Colmar, are already using the G+ logo on their hi-tech products. The new label will not only assure the presence of Graphene Plus in the final product, but also explain and certify it.(HO)

Published on: 26/07/2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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