Recently, a research team of Fudan University has developed a large-area flexible display fabric and an intelligent integrated system that can turn clothes into displays and even be washed by integrating the preparation of display device with knitting process of fabric.
They realized a large-area display textile with a length of 6 meters and a width of 25 centimeters, containing 500,000 luminescent units spaced at a minimum of 0.8 millimeters, which can meet the requirements of a high resolution display. This "large-area flexible display fabric" is a kind of luminescent fiber material. That is to say, we can use clothes as display.
In addition, the integration of clothing and intelligent system also changes the human computer interaction mode. By adding keyboard, power supply and other sensor components, it can be applied in communication, medical treatment and other scenarios.
Therefore, the team has developed two kinds of functional fibers: polymer composite fiber loaded with luminescent active materials and transparent conductive polymer gel fibers. First, two kinds of functional fibers use interweave to form an electroluminescent unit, and then use circuit control to create a new flexible display fabric.
The luminescent fiber material is less than half a millimeter in diameter and looks just like that of the common yarn. But once they are electrified, they become luminescent yarns.
Of course, an important problem in the practical application of luminescent materials is how to make them as resistant to friction and washing as ordinary clothes? Generally, when the fibers with high curvature surface contact each other, the contact area will form an uneven electric field distribution, which can disrupt the stability in the deformation process.
The research team prepared a transparent polymer conductive fiber with high elasticity by melt extrusion. By adjusting the modulus of this kind of fiber, it can produce adaptive elastic deformation in the weaving process to maintain its stability.
The final experimental results show that when the two fibers slip, rotate and bend, the range of interweaved luminous intensity can still be controlled within 5%, and the fabric can be washed by washing machine for hundreds of times. In addition, the comfort of this kind of luminescent fiber is comparable to that of ordinary fabric.
The researchers believe the flexible fabric could be used as a communication tool and accessory equipment if combined with advanced brainwave technology.
For example, check the navigation on your sleeve while riding a bike.
Decoding brain waves to provide real-time communication tools for people with voice or language disorders.
Although this material is currently not available to ordinary people in their daily lives, flexible fabrics will play an important role in many industries, such as health care, industry and other fields in the future. IDTechEx, a British market analysis company, predicts that the global flexible electronics market is expected to reach US $301 billion by 2028.