Smart Textile Transducers: Design, Techniques, and Applications

Chapter

Abstract

Smart textiles are emerging technologies with numerous applications and technical advantages. These are textiles which have undergone alteration in order to be utilized as sensors, actuators, and/or other types of transducers. Sensing and actuation features can be imparted to fabric substrates by applying intelligent coatings such that they will be sensitive and/or reactive to more than one type of stimulus, (e.g., chemical or physical). Smart coating polymers applied to fabrics include inherently conductive, semiconductive, and particle-doped polymers. These coatings can be piezoresistive, magnetoresistive, piezoelectric, photochromic, and sensitive to chemicals, gases, changes in humidity, and temperature, among others. In this chapter, an overview of the smart textile transducer elements, textile platforms, application techniques, and construction methods will be presented. Multiple applications have been inspired by the lightweight and compliant characteristics of smart textiles: industrial (i.e., uniforms), aerospace (i.e., space suit liners), military (i.e., soldier gear), and medical (i.e., patient garments), among others. These applications will define the current development of smart textile technologies and will be further discussed in this chapter. Furthermore, design principles and challenges associated to coating technologies as applied to textiles including surface treatment for strong adhesion, durability, and environmental/mechanical constraints are introduced. Future trends will arise from the integration of novel technologies into portable platforms with intelligent polymer coatings, alongside development of wearable technologies for fast input/data processing and streamlined user interfaces.

Keywords

Textile transducers Polymer transducers Smart textiles E-textiles 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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