How many hours is your car sitting idle outside in your driveway or a parking lot? What if your car was used for solar harvesting—converting heat to energy? What about biometric sensors in automotives: skin sensors for preventing DUI, posture identification to monitor driver fatigue, monitoring exposure to hazardous materials in a load for truck drivers. Consider adjustable lumbar, using fabric that changes shape on demand or carbon fiber knit to shape components with shape memory (NiTinol) embedded that change shape to improve aerodynamics. What do all these automotive applications have in common? They are all supported by e-textiles.
E-textiles are a hot topic right now with exciting, emerging applications, and efforts to bring together the textiles industry and electronics industry in new, innovative ways. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Connie Huffa, textile engineer and principal of Fabdesigns, Inc. She is an alumna of The Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, where she was also an adjunct professor of textiles in the master’s program. Connie’s specialties are comfort, anatomically correct compression, sustainable materials development, protective support structures, elastomers, inlaid kinetics, building infrastructure and best practices for nearly zero waste manufacturing. Her current work is focused on photovoltaic, conductive and smart fabrications. Connie shared some thought-provoking e-textile applications and her experience in this developing market.
To reaad the full version of this article which appeared in the April 2018 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.