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A smart clothing made of liquid metal

Time : 2019-10-24 Hits : 39

Metal has good electrical conductivity and is an important material used in the development of smart clothing. However, the hardness of metal itself is relatively large and cannot meet the flexible requirements of clothing, so it cannot be used in smart clothing in a large area.Liquid metal is a kind of alloy material with low melting point, which can maintain liquid form at room temperature.When liquid metal is combined with clothing, more intelligent clothing can be created.


A research team at tsinghua university has unveiled a new way to make smart clothing using liquid metal.Using this method, they were able to fabricate large areas of liquid metal circuits on cotton fabric that could be folded and stretched as they pleased with the garment.On this basis, the research team also designed a smart clothing system with man-machine interaction, wireless power supply, flexible display and human thermal management.


Traditional clothing fabrics are often made of yarn knitted or woven with a rough surface that makes it difficult for liquid metal to adhere to.So the researchers use silk screen printing method, first of all, the cotton covered a layer of poly (vinyl acetate (PVAC) film, PVAC film penetration into the space between the fibers, and the fabric surface smooth level interface, and this film of liquid metal has excellent adhesion, liquid metal can be firmly attached on the surface.


In addition, a semi-liquid metal slurry (cu-egain) doped with copper particles was used in this study. This slurry is highly conductive and its high shaping ability makes the circuit structure very stable even when stretched or folded, and can be quickly adhered to PVAC film by roller coating.Finally, to improve the stability and waterproof ability of liquid metal clothing circuit, the researchers covered the surface of liquid metal circuit with Ecoflex film to complete the circuit packaging.


The researchers demonstrated a series of liquid metal smart garments based on the technology.The preparation method of this liquid metal smart clothing is simple to operate and does not require complex and expensive equipment. Combined with rigid electronic devices, it can produce multifunctional and large-area wearable flexible electronic equipment, which provides a new solution for the development of customized smart clothing.


Relevant results to a "Semi - liquid Metal Enabled Highly Conductive Wearable Electronics for Smart Fabrics" title, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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