Smart Materials

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  • Inspiration comes from nature's response to external stimuli such as the way that pine cones open and close according to air pressure 
  • Stomatex
    • allows the skin to breathe like a leaf 
    • but at the same time acts as a barrier against rainwater 
    • keeps the body at an even temperature so perspiration does not occur 
    • when the body is active, tiny pumps within the fabric remove perspiration vapour 
  • Fastskin-reducing drag by up to 4%. It is meant to resemble shark's skin; therefore, it has tiny triangular projections that point backward so that the water spirals off the athlete's body.
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  • Micro encapsulated fragrances 
    • Welbeck offer around 40 different aromas 
  • Can be applied to any finished fabric with an adhesive additive that is thermally fixed 
  • Capsules release their fragrance during movement 
  • Last up to 40 washes 
  • Common for lingerie 
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Modern or Smart materials for high performance spo

  • use biomimetics that imitate nature, e.g. Fastskin, Stomatex
  • monitor body functions /give warnings, e.g. when blood pressure is raised or body becomes too cold / hot
  • maintain a personal micro-climate, e.g. Stomatex, Outlast
  • provide buoyancy and support, e.g. bodysuits / lifejackets
  • have chromatic properties and change colour in response to specific situations, e.g. if body is too hot
  • can generate solar power when exposed to sunlight to power GPS or other systems
  • interactive materials such as those with tracking devices
  • are laminated to be water and wind proof, eg Gore-Tex
  • allow stretch and freedom of movement, eg elastanes. 
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Wearable Electronics

  • Phillips Laboratories have produced
    • a business suit with a mobile phone built into the fabric 
    • a child's anorak that has a tracking device 
    • discowear that will change colour and shape in response to sound 
    • golf jacket with sensors in the sleeves to monitor the performance of the golfer's swing when hitting the ball 
  • Soft switches 
    • sewn into the product using printing, coating, embroidery 
    • washable, durable 
    • incorporated into interior textiles to control lighting, appliances 
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Thermochromic, Photochromic, Phosphorescent

  • Thermochromic- changes with heat 
  • Photochromic-changes with light 
  • Phosphorescent- glow in the dark 
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