Smart textiles are an emerging research field with applications in medical diagnostics, health monitoring, clothing, home fabrics, automotive textiles, tracking and packaging. Smart textile fabrics can be enabled by using graphene. This is done by incorporating graphene electronic fibres into the fabric itself.
An example is “electronic fibres with functional devices based on graphene directly fabricated on polypropylene (PP) textile fibres typically used in commercial applications. ”
“The quest to create affordable, durable and mass-produced “smart textiles” has been given fresh impetus through the use of the “wonder material” graphene.
An international team of scientists, led by Professor Monica Craciun from the University of Exeter Engineering department, has pioneered a new technique to create fully electronic fibers that can be incorporated into the production of everyday clothing.
Currently, wearable electronics are achieved by essentially gluing devices to fabrics, which can mean they are too rigid and susceptible to malfunctioning.
The new research instead integrates the electronic devices into the fabric of the material, by coating electronic fibers with lightweight, durable components that will allow images to be shown directly on the fabric.
The research team believe that the discovery could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices for use in a range of every day applications, as well as health monitoring, such as heart rates and blood pressure, and medical diagnostics.
The international collaborative research, which includes experts from the Centre for Graphene Science at the University of Exeter, the Universities of Aveiro and Lisbon in Portugal, and CenTexBel in Belgium, is published in the scientific journal Flexible Electronics.
Craciun, co-author of the research, says, “For truly wearable electronic devices to be achieved, it is vital that the components are able to be incorporated within the material, and not simply added to it.”
See also the research paper Graphene electronic fibres with touch-sensing and light-emitting functionalities for smart textiles …and go
here to read more – Graphene Offers Fresh Potential for ‘Smart Textiles’