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Printed conducting polymer strain sensors for textiles

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We have used inkjet printing to deposit silver conducting lines and small PEDOT (conducting polymer) sensors onto fabrics. The printed conductors penetrate into the fabric and can be shown to coat the individual fibers within the yarn, through the full thickness of the cloth. The PEDOT sensor has a resistance in the region of a few kilo-ohms and is connected to measuring equipment by printed silver lines with a resistance of a few ohms. In this way, local strains can be measured at different sites on a fabric. The PEDOT responds to a tensile strain by a reduction in resistance with a gauge factor (change in resistance/strain) from –5 to –20. This compares with conventional strain gauges where the gauge factor is normally +2. These sensors cycle to strains of over 10%. We have measured gauge factors as a function of the orientation of the sensing line to the fabric axes, to the strain axes for different fabric structures. We can correlate the gauge factor with the extent to which the twisted multifilament yarns are expected to become laterally compressed. In preliminary tests we have shown that these printed sensors can be used to monitor knee and wrist motions and so could be used to provide information in applications such as rehabilitation from joint damage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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