FLEXITEX II – Research and development of sensors and electronic circuits on flexible substrates by additive manufacturing technologies.
Electronics that imitate the natural world by bending, stretching and flexing, are becoming more and more important as technology is integrated into our lives, our environments and even our bodies.
Printing electronics onto flexible substrates has aroused special interest in the scientific community in recent years thanks to its enormous potential for possible applications; from flexible screens to devices that adapt to the skin. In addition, this type of electronic circuit is cheaper than the current techniques. The method of applying the technology is similar to that used in other processes such as screen printing, but uses conductive inks.
However, its use in textiles, despite the opportunities offered by the boom that smart textiles are experiencing, is still in its infancy. The decision on which substrate to print on or how to protect the circuit is critical in the design of the printed electronic system. Each substance has characteristics that will have an impact on the final application. Likewise, the typology of the inks, their deposition and circuit design, added to the complexities posed by their properties of flexibility and elasticity, pose a challenge for their use.
The FLEXITEX II project intends to continue to expand our knowledge on the use of electronic inks with organic materials on flexible and stretchable substrates, to develop a range of sensorised textiles.
The stated goal of the project is the research and development of sensorised textiles through the use of electronic printing techniques on flexible materials.
Multilayer printing will be used to create different sensors using inks with conductive, dielectric and resistive materials. The electronic designs will be embedded into fabrics and characterised and analysed, along with the aspects regarding their operation and their ability to flex and stretch.
In order to overcome the difficulties presented by the need for flexibility and stretching, new inks based on conductive polymers will be used to improve the elasticity of the circuit. Challenges such as how to encapsulate printed circuits will also be addressed to improve durability and levels of protection.
During the first year of the FLEXITEX I project, sensors and functional textile surfaces were developed whose properties will be optimised throughout this coming year by FLEXITEX II. In addition, the project includes new developments and new manufacturing techniques.
The successful outcome of the project will create the knowledge necessary for the use of electronic inks in the development of different substrates with electrical properties, using additive technologies (screen printing, inkjet, 3D printing, rotary printing).
On the one hand, the work will result in the development of working sensors; 3D haptic sensors for gesture detection, controlled heating surfaces, motion-detection sensors and organic and flexible structures with new 3D printing materials.
On the other, another of the most significant results will be the publication of articles in the leading scientific journals. Likewise, press releases will be published in the most popular digital technology media (blogs, web pages and newsletters) to increase the impact of the results obtained.
This project is funded by the Conselleria d’Economia Sostenible, Sectors Productius, Comerç i Treball de la Generalitat Valenciana, through IVACE.
GRANT NUMBER: IMAMCI/2019/1
MORE INFORMATION IN THE NON-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES PLAN
- Year: 2019
- Status: Finished
- Entity: IVACE