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  • Author: Lieva Van Langenhove x
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Abstract

Electroencephalogram (EEG) is the biopotential recording of electrical signals generated by brain activity. It is useful for monitoring sleep quality and alertness, clinical applications, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with epilepsy, disease of Parkinson and other neurological disorders, as well as continuous monitoring of tiredness/ alertness in the field. We provide a review of textile-based EEG. Most of the developed textile-based EEGs remain on shelves only as published research results due to a limitation of flexibility, stickability, and washability, although the respective authors of the works reported that signals were obtained comparable to standard EEG. In addition, nearly all published works were not quantitatively compared and contrasted with conventional wet electrodes to prove feasibility for the actual application. This scenario would probably continue to give a publication credit, but does not add to the growth of the specific field, unless otherwise new integration approaches and new conductive polymer composites are evolved to make the application of textile-based EEG happen for bio-potential monitoring.

Abstract

This paper presents the experimental and numerical analysis of the potential of a braided fabric for flexor tendon repair. Numerical models of tubular braided fabrics were generated using a python script interface and imported into ABAQUS® while Flexor tendon models were represented as silicone rubber rods. Experimental tests and Finite Element Modelling (FEM) of the flexor tendon repair was undertaken by deploying two tendon ends from opposite sides of a tubular braided fabric. This was done such that the tendon ends meet at the midpoint within the fabric. The tendons were tightly held to emulate a realistic repaired tendon. A displacement driven uniaxial loading was induced on the tendon-fabric assembly sufficient to cause a 2mm gap between the tendon ends. Numerical analysis of the repair potential of a braided fabric in tendon repair was done by analyzing selected fabric parameters that were crucial in tendon repair applications. The results show that changing the parameters of the braided fabrics significantly affected the potential of the fabrics during tendon repair.

Abstract

The idea of wearable electronics automatically leads to the concept of integrating electronic functions on textile substrates. Since this substrate type implies certain challenges in comparison with their rigid electronic companions, it is of utmost importance to investigate the application of materials for generating the electronic functions on the textile substrate. Only when interaction of materials and textile substrate is fully understood, the electronic function can be generated on the textile without changing the textile’s properties, being flexible or stretchable. This research deals with the optimization of the dielectric layer in a fibrous organic field effect transistor (OFET). A transistor can act as an electrical switch in a circuit. In this work, the polyimide layer was dip-coated on a copper-coated polyester filament. After thoroughly investigating the process conditions, best results with minimal thickness and roughness at full insulation could be achieved at a dip-coating speed of 50 mm/min. The polyimide solution was optimal at 15w% and the choice for the solvent NMP was made. In this paper, details on the pre-treatment methods, choice of solvent and dip-coating speed and their effect on layer morphology and thickness, electrical properties and roughness are reported. Results show that the use of polyimide as a dielectric layer in the architecture of a fibrous OFET is promising. Further research deals with the application of the semiconductor layer within the mentioned architecture, to finally build an OFET on a filament for application in smart textiles.

Abstract

In today’s research, smart textiles is an established topic in both electronics and the textile fields. The concept of producing microelectronics directly on a textile substrate is not a mere idea anymore and several research institutes are working on its realisation. Microelectronics like organic field effect transistor (OFET) can be manufactured with a layered architecture. The production techniques used for this purpose can also be applied on textile substrates. Besides gate, active and contact layers, the isolating or dielectric layer is of high importance in the OFET architecture. Therefore, generating a high quality dielectric layer that is of low roughness and insulating at the same time is one of the fundamental requirements in building microelectronics on textile surfaces. To evaluate its potential, we have studied polyimide as a dielectric layer, dip-coated onto copper-coated polyester filaments. Accordingly, the copper-coated polyester filament was dip-coated from a polyimide solution with two different solvents, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and dimethylformaldehyde. A variety of dip-coating speeds, solution concentrations and solvent-solute combinations have been tested. Their effect on the quality of the layer was analysed through microscopy, leak current measurements and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Polyimide dip-coating with polyimide resin dissolved in NMP at a concentration of 15w% in combination with a dip-coating speed of 50 mm/min led to the best results in electrical insulation and roughness. By optimising the dielectric layer’s properties, the way is paved for applying the subsequent semi-conductive layer. In further research, we will be working with the organic semiconductor material TIPS-Pentacene

Abstract

Protective and sport clothing is governed by protection requirements, performance, and comfort of the user. The comfort and impact performance of protective and sport clothing are typically subjectively measured, and this is a multifactorial and dynamic process. The aim of this review paper is to review the contemporary methodologies and approaches for measuring ergonomic wear comfort, including objective and subjective techniques. Special emphasis is given to the discussion of different methods, such as objective techniques, subjective techniques, and a combination of techniques, as well as a new biomechanical approach called modeling of skin. Literature indicates that there are four main techniques to measure wear comfort: subjective evaluation, objective measurements, a combination of subjective and objective techniques, and computer modeling of human–textile interaction. In objective measurement methods, the repeatability of results is excellent, and quantified results are obtained, but in some cases, such quantified results are quite different from the real perception of human comfort. Studies indicate that subjective analysis of comfort is less reliable than objective analysis because human subjects vary among themselves. Therefore, it can be concluded that a combination of objective and subjective measuring techniques could be the valid approach to model the comfort of textile materials.

Abstract

Electro-conductive (EC) yarns can be woven into a hybrid fabric to enable electrical current to flow through the fabric from one component A to another component B. These hybrid fabrics form the bases of woven e-textiles. However, at the crossing point of an EC yarn in warp and in weft direction, there is a contact resistance and thus generation of heat may occur in this area. Both phenomena are inseparable: if the contact resistance in the EC contact increases, the generated heat will increase as well. Predicting this electrical and thermal behavior of EC contacts in hybrid woven fabrics with stainless steel yarns is possible with a mathematical model based on the behavior of a metal oxide varistor (MOV). This paper will discuss in detail how this can be achieved.

Abstract

Fabric Touch Tester (FTT) is a relatively new device from SDL Atlas to determine touch properties of fabrics. It simultaneously measures 13 touch-related fabric physical properties in four modules that include bending and thickness measurements. This study aims to comparatively analyze the thickness and bending measurements made by the FTT and the common standard methods used in the textile industry. The results obtained with the FTT for 11 different fabrics were compared with that of standard methods. Despite the different measurement principle, a good correlation was found between the two methods used for the assessment of thickness and bending. As FTT is a new tool for textile comfort measurement and no standard yet exists, these findings are essential to determine the reliability of the measurements and how they relate to the well-established standard methods.

Abstract

Electrically conducting inks were screen printed on various textile substrates. The samples were dry cleaned with the usual chemicals in order to investigate the influence of the mechanical treatment on the electrical conductivity. It was found that dry cleaning has a tremendous influence on this electrical conductivity. For several samples, it is observed that the electrical resistance increases with the square of the number of dry cleaning cycles. In order to explain this observation a theoretical model and a numerical simulation have been carried out, by assuming that dry cleaning cycles introduce a crack in the conducting layer. The theoretical analysis and the numerical analysis both confirmed the experimental observations.

Abstract

The stability of wearable textile antennas after 20 reference washing cycles was evaluated by measuring the reflection coefficient of different antenna prototypes. The prototypes’ conductive parts were screen-printed on several textile substrates using two different silver-based conductive inks. The necessity of coating the antennas with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) coating was investigated by comparing coated with uncoated antennas. It is shown that covering the antennas with the TPU layer not only protects the screen-printed conductive area but also prevents delamination of the multilayered textile fabric substrates, making the antennas washable for up to 20 cycles. Furthermore, it is proven that coating is not necessary for maintaining antenna operation and this up to 20 washing cycles. However, connector detachment caused by friction during the washing process was the main problem of antenna performance degradation. Hence, other flexible, durable methods should be developed for establishing a stable electrical connection.