PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Apr2018

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44 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2018 How many hours is your car sitting idle out- side in your driveway or a parking lot? What if your car was used for solar harvesting—con- verting heat to energy? What about biometric sensors in automotives: skin sensors for pre- venting DUI, posture identification to mon- itor driver fatigue, monitoring exposure to hazardous materials in a load for truck driv- ers. Consider adjustable lumbar, using fabric that changes shape on demand or carbon fiber knit to shape components with shape memo- ry (NiTinol) embedded that change shape to improve aerodynamics. What do all these au- tomotive applications have in common? They are all supported by e-textiles. E-textiles are a hot topic right now with ex- citing, emerging applications, and efforts to bring together the textiles industry and elec- tronics industry in new, innovative ways. I re- cently had the opportunity to sit down with Connie Huffa, textile engineer and principal of Fabdesigns, Inc. She is an alumna of The Phil- adelphia College of Textiles and Science, where she was also an adjunct professor of textiles in the master's program. Connie's specialties are comfort, anatomically correct compres- sion, sustainable materials development, pro- tective support structures, elastomers, inlaid kinetics, building infrastructure and best prac- tices for nearly zero waste manufacturing. Her current work is focused on photovoltaic, con- ductive and smart fabrications. Connie shared some thought-provoking e-textile applications and her experience in this developing market. Here are some of the things we discussed: First, how do you define E-Textiles? E-textiles include woven textiles, knitted tex- tiles, non-woven textiles, laminated textiles, braided textiles, embroidered textiles, and printed textiles that have electronically-inte- grated components. These can include con- E-Textiles—the Wild Frontier Flex Talk Feature Column by Tara Dunn, OMNI PCB

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