FLEXITEX – A RESEARCH PROJECT INTO ELASTIC SUBSTRATES WITH EMBEDDED SENSORS
Electronics that imitate the natural world by bending, stretching and flexing are becoming more and more meaningful as technology is integrated into our lives, our environments and even our bodies.
The printing of electronics on flexible substrates has attracted growing interest among the scientific community in recent years thanks to its great potential in terms of possible applications; from flexible screens to devices that adapt to the skin. An added advantage is that printed electronic circuits are cheaper to manufacture than current standard techniques. The technological approach is similar to that used in other methods such as screen printing, but using conductive inks.
Its use in textiles however is still in its infancy, despite the great opportunities posed by the boom in smart textiles design. The decision on the type of substrate to be used as a base for printing or protection is critical in the design of the electronic printing system. Each component has characteristics that will have an impact on the final application. Likewise, the type of inks, the way they are applied and circuit design, with the added complexity of allowing for flexibility and elasticity, pose further challenges to their use.
These are the challenges facing the FLEXITEX project, which aims to obtain the knowledge for the application of electronic inks on organic materials in flexible and stretchable substrates, to develop a range of textiles with integrated sensors.
The stated objective of the project is to undertake the research and development of sensorised fabrics combining electronic printing techniques with flexible materials.
The successful execution of the project will involve printing multilayer circuits to obtain a range of sensors using inks with conductive, dielectric and resistive materials. The resulting embedded electronic designs will be characterised and operational aspects including their ability to flex and stretch will be analysed.
In order to avoid the problems posed by fabrics in terms of flexibility and stretching, newly-available inks based on conductive polymers will be used to improve the elasticity of the printed circuit. Challenges such as the encapsulation of printed circuits will also be addressed to improve their durability and level of protection.
The successful completion of the project will produce all the knowledge necessary for the application of electronic inks in the development of different substrates with electrical properties.
This will translate into two results: the development of complete sensors including an electronic haptic 3D sensor for gesture detection, a temperature sensor and a heatable surface and the other significant result will be the publication of the results in the most relevant indexed scientific journals. Likewise, different publications will be made in the most popular digital technology media (blogs, web pages, newsletters) to increase the impact of the results of the project.
This Project is supported by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius i Treball, through the IVACE (Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial)
GRANT NUMBER: IMAMCI/2018/1
MORE INFORMATION IN THE NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES PLAN
- Año: 2018
- Estado: finalizado
- Entidad: IVACE