Mechanics of Electronic Textiles

The last decade showed an ongoing revolution in which electronic devices are becoming smaller and more sophisticated. Although it is easier to carry around such a device in your pocket or bag, there still remains a certain detachment between user and device. This detachment will reduce when your electronic devices become part of your daily outfit. This has led to the introduction of a new type of category: flexible electronics, in which electronic components are integrated in a stretchable medium.

MSc student: ing. Patrick Schoenmakers
Supervisors: dr. ir. Ron Peerlings & dr. ir. Olaf van der Sluis
Institutions: Philips Research Eindhoven, TU/e

A few possible mediums spring to mind, but in light of daily use, the most obvious one is textile. Conductive wires are hereby woven into the textile and electronic components on top of the fabric are connected to the wires. However, due to the compliant behavior of textile in comparison with the stiffer behavior of the wires and components, stress concentrations will occur, which presumably can lead to overall failure.

The aim of this Master thesis is to characterize the mechanical behavior of the textile with the interwoven conductive wires and the applied electronic components. Here for, different (existing) numeral models (ranging from a discrete and continuum character) will be used to come up with several design rules, which will also be verified with experiments.