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There are only so many areas that smart textiles can't cover

Time : 2022-06-13 Hits : 16

In addition to health monitoring, which is widely used, intelligent textiles can also be found in various occasions and fields, such as personal protection, entertainment, professional sports venues, energy and transportation.

Personal protective

(1) Improve athletic ability

SRI has developed a flexible mechanical exoskeleton called Superflex, which uses motion sensors, acceleration sensors and gyroscopes to detect the speed and Angle of the user's limbs and body and adjust their movements based on that. Originally intended for use by military soldiers to reduce injury and enhance combat effectiveness, the Superflex exoskeleton is now available to people with limited mobility due to injury or illness to help them achieve greater mobility. When users need Superflex's help, they just need to turn on the power and it can accurately complete the required movements, reducing the burden of labor on the body.


(2) Ensure thermal comfort

Intelligent textiles play a positive role in maintaining the thermal balance of human body. A new intelligent textile, fabric Heat flux Meter (THF), can be used to detect, analyze and monitor heat and mass transfer. It consists of a thermocouple network (two different conductors or semiconductors assembled together) and is a yarn-based sensor, with the yarn itself acting as a sensing element and therefore suitable for traditional knitting and weaving processes.

In addition, phase change materials (PCM) provide an intelligent solution for temperature regulation of personal protective equipment, which can be used in a wide range of physiological applications such as protective clothing, gloves and footwear.

(3) shock absorption protection

Shear thickening materials have become the first choice for intelligent shock absorbers. It is generally composed of dispersed phase and dispersed medium, including shear thickening liquid and shear thickening gel. Shear-thickened materials are soft under normal conditions, but when hit or squeezed at high speed, they harden to absorb the force. When the external force disappears, the material will return to its original soft state, which has a strong ability to absorb impact. Currently, such materials have been introduced into personal protective equipment to protect against ballistic threats and stab wounds. Such as short track speed skating and other dangerous sports, intelligent textiles become the last line of defense to protect competitors. "DEFLEXION" shock absorbing material developed by Dow Corning in the United States, among which TP series normally appears as fabric, which is soft and easy to bend, but when impacted, silicone molecules will gather at the impact point, making the fabric hard and play the role of armor.


Emotional satisfaction & entertainment experience

Emotional satisfaction & entertainment experienceHug Shirt from CuteCircuit? Sensors embedded in the shirt in a streamlined texture design using digital printing technology capture the intensity, duration and location of touch and recreate the feeling of a hug. It connects the phone APP to the shirt through Bluetooth, records the relevant parameters of the hug like a video, and transmits them to relatives and friends who also own the product far away through the Internet or Bluetooth, so as to reproduce the touch feeling of the hug. The shirt supports multiple people hugging simultaneously in real time.


In addition to Hug ShirtTM shirts, CuteCircuit has also released SoundShirt shirts equipped with 28 tiny tactile actuators that can be used to experience concerts, hugs and video games in an immersive way to create a more immersive augmented and virtual reality experience that will allow the deaf community to sense music through touch.



Smart textiles have become a big boost for athletes in major sports events. In 2017, Samsung Netherlands, Jeroen Otter, head coach of the Dutch short-track speed skating team, and scientist Bjorn de Laat developed the SmartSuit, which is equipped with five sensors to track a short-track speed skater's body posture. Coaches and sports scientists can view telemetry data of athletes' body dynamics in real time on companion mobile devices. In addition, the SmartSuit kit can be operated in conjunction with a smart bracelet worn by an athlete during training. If the coach needs to issue certain instructions during training, such as alerting the athlete to certain movements that are not standard, the smart wristband can generate vibration feedback through the built-in function of the app.


Energy and Power

Under the trend of safe and environmentally friendly energy and low carbon emission reduction, renewable energy has become the focus of people's attention. Among the many applications of renewable energy, wind power has become one of the technologies with more promising and rapid development because of its mature technology, good infrastructure and low cost. Especially with the rapid expansion of offshore wind farms, the rapid development of large turbine blades.

Turbine blades undergo more than 108 load cycles over their 20-year expected life. During this period, due to wind, humidity, wear, thermal stress, lightning strike, fatigue and other reasons, the blade will appear fiber fracture, crack, delamination and other damage, such fatigue damage will lead to catastrophic failure, so accurately predicting the fatigue life of the blade is a difficult problem at present.

Using traditional structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques such as imaging ultrasound, X-ray, thermal imaging, eddy current scanning, etc., it is often necessary to discontinue the target component for extended periods of time for post-injury examination and evaluation. SHM is used for components that are not in the regular maintenance cycle. Although acoustic emission (AE) method and optical fiber method have broad application prospects, they are not suitable for SHM of turbine blades due to their high price and special operation and analysis techniques. In contrast, resistance measurement is relatively simple. Carbon fiber is electrically conductive, providing real-time strain and damage information on the material through electrical measurement signals.


Turbine blade material composition


Common strain or damage information for turbine blades

In addition, some flexible photovoltaic cells embedded in fabric structures can be integrated and manufactured flexible chargers, tents, awnings, solar films, etc., to meet the daily needs of consumers.

Most of the flexible charging devices available on the market are equipped with CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenium) PV cells based on amorphous silicon, which are often used while camping or boating and are portable automatically; Photovoltaic cells can also be integrated into luggage to charge electronic devices; Or integrated on the roof surface as a roof photovoltaic film. Compared to traditional single - or multi-crystal PV cells, PV membranes are lighter and easier to install, and their flexibility allows them to better adapt to complex roof shapes.


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