Performance Study of Screen-Printed Textile Antennas after Repeated Washing

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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.

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Autex Research Journal

The Journal of Association of Universities for Textiles (AUTEX)

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IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.957
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.027

CiteScore 2017: 1.18

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.448
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.465

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