Fabric harnessing energy from sun and motion is here

Over the past few years, textile sector has been witnessing a gamut of innovations that has changed the face of the industry. Right from glowing fabrics to self-cleaning fabrics, every innovation in textiles has made people stand up and take notice.

In a new development, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, US, have woven a new fabric that can harvest energy from the sun and motion. This can be indeed called a turning point in the history of textiles innovation where scientists have woven photoanodes (solar cells made from lightweight polymer fibers) and triboelectric nanogenerators ( generate small amounts of electricity from motion) together to produce a piece of cloth called, ‘hybrid power textile’. The new textile is 320 micrometers thick and said to be ‘highly flexible, breathable, light-weight and adaptable to a range of uses’.

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Image Curtesy: inhabit.com

According to Georgia Tech, the oldest polytechnic universities in the United States, the team used a piece of fabric about the size of a standard sheet of paper, and then attached it to a rod, similar to how a flag is mounted.The textile ‘flag’ was then allowed to blow in the wind while being driven in a car with the windows down, which generated ‘significant power’, even on a cloudy day. The output of a 4 cm x 5 cm piece of the power textile was said to be capable of charging a 2 microfarad capacitor to 2 V in one minute from motion and sunlight, essentially showing “a decent capability of working even in a harsh environment’.

The team published its findings in the journal Nature Energy under the theme, ‘Micro-cable structured textile for simultaneously harvesting solar and mechanical energy’.

This innovation in textiles open up a way for future textile, which is both viable and environment friendly. The best part is that the textile is made of commonly-used polymer materials, which are economical and environment friendly, thus, creating a possibility of large-scale manufacturing. At present, the team is working on improving the durability of ‘Hybrid power textile’ over the long term and optimizing it for industrial purposes, including developing ways to protect the electrical components in it from moisture.

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LG Develops Flexible Pressure Sensors: An innovative textile technology

LG Innotek, a LG’s subsidiary, has developed a textile pressure sensor that could be used in industries like healthcare and manufacturing. Commercialisation of the innovative textile sensors is yet to begin but the South Korean company (LG) claims to invent these textile sensors that are superior to the existing inflexible and stiff pressure sensors.

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Image Courtesy:  bsal.com

The sensors are made from elastic polyurethane material that enables it to be integrated into other products seamlessly and they can be used in cars to detect driver’s posture, body type, weight, and automatically adjusting the seat or pressure of an airbag.

The sensors can be used to make pressure-sensitive shoes or carpets to detect a patient’s movement or to make pressure-sensitive golf club to improve a golfer’s grip.

Centre to set up textile technology park in Arunachal Pradesh

The Centre has assured Arunachal Pradesh of funds for establishment of a textile park in the state. Santosh Kumar Gangwar said he would be visiting the state next month to inaugurate the garment manufacturing unit at Pasighat in East Siang district and also would announce some developmental packages for the state in the textile and handloom sectors.

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He further stated the state government would be informed as and when the proposal would be cleared by the ministry. Establishing weaver service centre in Itanagar is also in the agenda. At present, the Weaver Service Centre at Guwahati has been providing services to the state. Manipur and Nagaland too have such centres