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Title: Three-dimensionally deformable, highly stretchable, permeable, durable and washable fabric circuit boards
Authors: Li, Q
Tao, XM 
Issue Date: 2014
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society A : mathematical physical and engineering sciences, 2014, v. 470, no. 2171
Abstract: This paper reports fabric circuit boards (FCBs), a new type of circuit boards, that are three-dimensionally deformable, highly stretchable, durable and washable ideally for wearable electronic applications. Fabricated by using computerized knitting technologies at ambient dry conditions, the resultant knitted FCBs exhibit outstanding electrical stability with less than 1% relative resistance change up to 300% strain in unidirectional tensile test or 150% membrane strain in three-dimensional ball punch test, extraordinary fatigue life of more than 1 000 000 loading cycles at 20% maximum strain, and satisfactory washing capability up to 30 times. To the best of our knowledge, the performance of new FCBs has far exceeded those of previously reported metalcoated elastomeric films or other organic materials in terms of changes in electrical resistance, stretchability, fatigue life and washing capability as well as permeability. Theoretical analysis and numerical simulation illustrate that the structural conversion of knitted fabrics is attributed to the effective mitigation of strain in the conductive metal fibres, hence the outstanding mechanical and electrical properties. Those distinctive features make the FCBs particularly suitable for next-to-skin electronic devices. This paper has further demonstrated the application potential of the knitted FCBs in smart protective apparel for in situ measurement during ballistic impact.
Keywords: Electromechanical properties
Fabric circuit board
Metal fibres
Wearable electronics
Publisher: The Royal Society
Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society A : mathematical physical and engineering sciences 
ISSN: 1364-5021
EISSN: 1471-2946
DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2014.0472
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