Wearable tech is moving beyond accessories like smart glasses and watches to be integrated into the fabric of our clothes.
Researchers from Nanjing University and the University of Fukui, Japan, have created electrospun fibers known as EF-TENGs that can be easily integrated with regular cloth.
Dr Hiroaki Sakamoto is the corresponding author of the study.
Static electricity is generated by a mixture of fibres
One of the electrospun materials, polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF), is used. The other material is a type nylon. Silver nanowires are used to coat the layers. These layers are so clever because they can be worn as a breathable, comfortable, and conductive fabric that can also harvest energy from the body.
Dr Sakamoto says that the power generation device is flexible and breathable because all parts are made of fiber materials. This device has great potential to harvest static electricity from clothes.
The layers are charged by the mechanical motions of the body when walking and running. The mechanical energy can then be converted to electrical energy which can be used for powering electronic devices.
Electrospun fibers are one of the most promising materials for TENGs. They are light, strong and have desirable electrical characteristics. Electrospinning involves the use of electrical charge to draw solutions of polymers into fibers. To increase the charge-trapping and electrostatic potential of electrospun fibers, there are ongoing efforts to add metals. Brighter Side News said that compromises have been made between comfort and material output performance.
According to TU Delft, a leading European tech university, smart textiles are increasingly being discussed. They aren’t widely used but everyone is interested in them.
Fashion designers are still not ready to embrace the idea of electronic clothing, but they promise a wide range of new uses. Smart clothes must be relevant beyond laboratories, where engineers focus on the ‘smart side of things and less on the fashion’.