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APRIL 2019 I FLEX007 MAGAZINE 49 no-flow prepreg actually does flow, and that flow can vary from manufacturer to manufac- turer and lot to lot. There will be some vari- ability, which means that the line of your tran- sition can be up to ±0.030". If that dimension is critical to your design, it would be best to consider another method for that flex arm other than pouching it. In my next column I will discuss other rigid- flex design and manufacturing techniques that may not be the most straightforward, but can definitely be new tools in your tool- kit for answering challenging customer design requirements. FLEX007 Bob Burns is national sales and marketing manager for Printed Circuits LLC. To read past columns or contact Burns, click here. Researchers in the Smart Electronics and Materials (SEMS) Group in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and the Synthesis, Catalysis, and Flow Group in chemis- try at the University of Southampton are investigating a new technique for achieving light-emitting textiles which could be used in future medical, performance sports, automotive, architecture, and fashion materials. The new project, funded by the Engineering and Physi- cal Sciences Research Council, is formulating light-emit- ting films on the surface of standard textiles through elec- tronically functional inks and spray coating, along with cutting-edge inkjet and dispenser printing processes. "Textiles are demanding substrates for device printing due to their rough surface topology, porosity, and the nec- essary low processing temperatures. The achievement of suitable functional materials along with reli- able, consistent fabrication processes will enable a huge range of new textile products," says Professor Steve Beeby, head of SEMS and the principal investigator. The research is investigating the fabrication of textile organic light emitting electrochemi- cal cells (OLECs) that can selectively operate at visible and UV wavelengths, representing a step change in e-textile capability. OLECs are electrochemically stable in air, require a low turn-on voltage, and have demonstrated a high luminance level, allowing them to be clearly visible in everyday lighting. The use of UV-OLEC technology will enable photochromic color-changing textiles capable of fast color change and low operation voltage and power consumption with a more diverse choice of colors and a clearer, more pronounced change in appearance. UV- OLECs will also support textiles to perform ultraviolet ger- micidal irradiation (UVGI), which is a disinfection method that uses short wavelength UVC light. Textile-based UVGI can be incorporated into medical applications, such as smart bandages, to treat or prevent infection and reduce reliance on antibiotics. Co-investigators Dr. John Tudor and Professor David Harrowven are drawing upon their groups' complemen- tary expertise in e-textiles, printed devices and process- ing, the chemical synthesis of complex molecules, and materials formulation. (Source: University of Southampton) Electronic Textiles Research Develops Color-changing and Antibacterial Fabrics

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