Portuguese discover technique that will allow to create intelligent clothes

Researchers at the University of Aveiro (UA) participated in the team that created a “pioneering technique” to interweave fully electronic fibers into textile fabrics, an academic source announced today.

The work, developed in partnership between the Institute of Materials of the University of Aveiro (CICECO), the textile research center CENTEXBEL (Belgium) and the University of Exeter (England), integrates the electronic devices in the fabric, coating electronic fibers with components lightweight and durable, that will allow images and light signals to be displayed by the fabric itself.

The researchers say the discovery could revolutionize “the creation of wearable electronic devices” for use in a variety of everyday applications, whether in email access through clothing or health monitoring, through sensors that measure, for example, your heart rate and blood pressure, and tell you when something is wrong.

“It’s a technique that allows you to integrate graphene-based devices directly into textile fibers while maintaining the look, flexibility and feel of the fabric.” For the time being, we’ve created touch sensors, such as those used in touch screens, explains Helena Alves, a CICECO researcher.

“The combination of these devices allows, for example, to create ‘touchscreens’ in fabrics or objects coated with textiles, to visualize information.”

As the devices were manufactured using methods compatible with industrial methods and requirements, it makes possible their industrial production.

Electronic clothes are now manufactured by gluing devices on the fabrics themselves, “making them rigid and susceptible to being easily damaged.”

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