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Sensors 2017, 17(4), 673; doi:10.3390/s17040673

How to Make Reliable, Washable, and Wearable Textronic Devices

1
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles, 2 allée Louise et Victor Champier, 59056 Roubaix CEDEX 1, France
2
Taiwan Textile Research Institute, No. 6, Chengtian Rd., Tucheng Dist., New Taipei City 23674, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 February 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics and Sensors)

Abstract

In this paper, the washability of wearable textronic (textile-electronic) devices has been studied. Two different approaches aiming at designing, producing, and testing robust washable and reliable smart textile systems are presented. The common point of the two approaches is the use of flexible conductive PCB in order to interface the miniaturized rigid (traditional) electronic devices to conductive threads and tracks within the textile flexible fabric and to connect them to antenna, textile electrodes, sensors, actuators, etc. The first approach consists in the use of TPU films (thermoplastic polyurethane) that are deposited by the press under controlled temperature and pressure parameters in order to protect the conductive thread and electrical contacts. The washability of conductive threads and contact resistances between flexible PCB and conductive threads are tested. The second approach is focused on the protection of the whole system—composed of a rigid electronic device, flexible PCB, and textile substrate—by a barrier made of latex. Three types of prototypes were realized and washed. Their reliabilities are studied. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable textronic device; wash test; ECG device; conductive yarn wearable textronic device; wash test; ECG device; conductive yarn
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tao, X.; Koncar, V.; Huang, T.-H.; Shen, C.-L.; Ko, Y.-C.; Jou, G.-T. How to Make Reliable, Washable, and Wearable Textronic Devices. Sensors 2017, 17, 673.

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