Smart Textile Materials

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Educational Unit: Technology and Engineering


Keywords: basic sensor and principles, conductivity, electrical resistance


Smart textiles, also known as electronic textiles (e-textiles), smart garments, smart clothing or smart fabrics, are fabrics that enable digital technologies (components/electronics) to be embedded and interwoven in them, and provide added value to the wearer reacting to body and environmental stimuli (mechanical, thermal, chemical, biological, and magnetic). Smart textile materials can entail materials such as electric sensors, shape memory polymers, phase change materials and conductive polymers: all able to interact with the stimuli in their environment according to the design and purpose of the material. The aim of this unit is to provide the students with an understanding of which materials and how give smart textiles the functionality to react to the body and environmental stimuli.

Indicative Content

  • Definition and standardisation

  • Textile electronics: resistive networks, complex impedance and sheet resistance

  • Basic sensors and principles: sensing principle, textile transducer, ordinary transducer, characterisation of resistive and capacitive sensors

  • Conductive coatings and prints

  • Electrical resistance measurements

  • Impedance sensors

See also