Durability testing of electronic textile surface resistivity and textile antenna performance
As wearable electronics become more prevalent in everyday life, there is a growing desire to integrate circuits and antennae into clothing. One way that this integration may occur is through use of electronic textiles (e-textiles). However, changes in environmental and wear conditions may affect the conductive data communication performance of the e-textile, such as surface resistivity and antenna radiation characteristics. In this study, the effects of pilling, wrinkling, abrasion, and laundering of e-textiles were examined for resistivity performance. E-textile resistivity performance from both direct current (DC) and radiofrequency (RF) perspectives were measured following AATCC and ASTM standards. For DC performance, results indicate that pilling causes severe damage to e-textile resistivity, while laundering and wrinkling did not substantially affect e-textile resistivity performance. For RF performance in this study, an e-textile microstrip patch antenna was designed and data were collected under similar environmental and wear conditions. RF performance change corresponds with DC performance change. The findings of this paper highlight limitations of the evaluated e-textile performance, and provide new perspectives regarding improvements to e-textile fabrication for sustaining performance through environmental and wear operations.
This accepted article is published as Xu, B., Eike, R.J., Cliett, A., Ni, L., Cloud, R., Li, Y., Durability testing of electronic textile surface resistivity and textile antenna performance. Textile Research Journal, 2019, 89(18);3708-3721. Doi: 10.1177/0040517518819848. Posted with permission.