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Full understanding of multifunctional intelligent textiles

Time : 2022-05-30 Hits : 18

The term "smart textile" is a broader, less clear concept. Intelligent textile was first proposed in Japan in 1979, and its concept was generally recognized in the late 1990s. At present, intelligent textiles usually refer to a new type of textiles that are capable of sensing changes in human body or environment signals through multidisciplinary technologies such as textiles, electronics, information, biology, medicine and new energy, and actively respond through feedback mechanisms, while retaining the inherent style and technical characteristics of traditional textiles.

There are many classification methods for intelligent textiles, but there is no unified classification method, only superficial classification. Generally according to the way of reaction to external stimuli, intelligent textiles can be roughly divided into "passive" intelligent textiles and "active" intelligent textiles. The former refers to textiles that can change their properties after being stimulated by the environment, such as shape memory materials, hydrophobic or hydrophilic textiles, etc. The latter refers to textiles equipped with sensors and actuators that convert internal parameters into information. It is able to sense different signals from the environment, such as temperature, light intensity and pollution, to decide how to react to external signals, and ultimately to respond to environmental signals using a variety of fabric-based, flexible, miniaturized actuators. Embedded electronic devices (e-textiles) and smart textile structures can make local "decisions" and wirelessly connect smart textiles with clouds containing databases and servers using artificial intelligence software to make remote "decisions".

Smart textiles play a key role in our daily life, covering areas such as health monitoring, personal protection, military use, transportation energy, entertainment and music

Intelligent materials

Connotation and Definition

In recent years, with the development of information, materials and engineering technologies, scientists and engineers are inspired to learn and think about nature and biological evolution.Just as living organisms are made of various biological materials, intelligent systems are made of organic combinations or integrations of materials. Scientific practice has shown that it is possible to inject "intelligent" properties into non-biological materials. All kinds of information (such as force, sound, heat, light, electricity, magnetic and chemical information) can be exchanged and transmitted through various materials with sensing properties.

Some smart materials, such as magnetostrictive materials, piezoelectric materials and shape memory materials, have both sensory and executive functions. These materials are commonly known as Smart materials, which can adapt to changes in the environment. But the material itself does not have the information processing and feedback mechanism, does not have the adaptability to the environment. It is generally considered that smart materials are the "lower level" of intelligent materials and the "primary stage" of the development of intelligent materials. Smart materials can only be called smart materials if they are combined with control functions.

Component materials for building smart materials

The component materials of smart materials can be divided into sensing materials, information materials, execution materials, adaptive materials (bionic materials), and two supporting materials -- energy materials (used to maintain the power required to work the system) and structural materials (basic materials or components that support functional materials). Several common basic components are shape memory materials, optical fibers, magnetostrictive materials, electrorheological fluids, magnetorheological fluids, piezoelectric materials and intelligent polymer materials.

In general, the actuator can be started only after the force is input into the actuator. At present, the implementation material is not limited to output force or displacement under different information excitation, its output function has been extended to digital display storage, color change, frequency change, switch on and off, etc. Such materials have found wide application in electronic technology.

Common basic components of smart materials

1. Shape memory materials

Shape memory materials include shape memory alloy, memory ceramic and shape memory polymer (including shape memory fiber and shape memory polymer gel). They undergo thermoelastic (or stress-induced) martensitic transformation or vitrification transformation at a specific temperature, can remember a specific shape, and the elastic modulus, resistance, internal friction and other significant changes. NiTi shape memory fiber, for example, can be used in a variety of scenarios.

Intelligent curtain: such as the choice of nickel-titanium fiber woven curtain fabric, when the temperature reaches 50℃, the fabric automatically respond to close the sun.


Fashion design: such as the integration of nickel-titanium fiber in clothing design, to achieve innovative aesthetic effects and comfortable experience. When the temperature outside is warm, the hem on one side of the skirt will automatically curl up and the flowers will automatically close in seconds.


Safety protection: if air pocket module is added into protective clothing through structural design, the air pocket area will not change at low temperature; As the temperature increases, the air pocket area expands. Such suits can be used to protect firefighters and reduce the risk of being burned in a fire.


Moisture absorption: Mitsubishi has developed Diaplex®, a new polyurethane material with shape memory function. This film is laminated with coat fabric, which has high water resistance and microbrowne movement of molecules with temperature change, moisture absorption.


2. Optical fiber

Optical fiber is a photoconductive element made of the principle of total reflection of light on two dielectric surfaces. Through the analysis of the transmission characteristics of light (light intensity, equal), available around the fiber force, temperature, displacement, pressure, density, magnetic field, composition and the change of the parameters such as X-ray, and thus widely used as the sensing element, or "neurons" in intelligent materials, responsive, strong anti-interference ability and low energy consumption.

Optical fiber sensing systems have been widely developed for biomedical diagnostics, food technology, military and industrial applications, and civil engineering. For example, smart fiber optic sensors integrated into geotextiles can monitor highway Bridges and send data to maintenance agencies to detect deterioration and premature failure of civil infrastructure in a timely manner.


Image credit: University of Massachusetts, Lowell

3. Piezoelectric materials

Piezoelectric materials include piezoelectric ceramics (BaTiO3, Pb (ZrTi) O3, K (Na) NbO3, PbNb2O3, etc.) and piezoelectric polymers. Piezoelectric materials change the size of the material through the self-current arrangement of electric dipoles in the electric field, and produce stress or strain in response to applied voltage. The relationship between electrical and mechanical properties is linear, and it has the characteristics of fast response, high frequency and small strain. When stimulated by pressure, the material generates an electrical signal, which can be used as a sensor. Piezoelectric materials can be crystal and ceramic, but they are both brittle.

The mechanical strength and sensitivity to stress changes of polymer piezoelectric materials are superior to many other sensors and are very suitable for use as sensors and actuators in intelligent structures and devices. Can be used to detect human papilloma, vaccinia, dengue fever, Ebola, influenza A, human immunodeficiency and hepatitis B virus.


(a) Working principles of piezoelectric biosensors; (b) Voltage and time relationship during detection; (c) The relationship between amplitude and frequency during detection.

Basic concepts for virus detection using piezoelectric materials

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