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DuPont Introduces Stretchable Inks for Wearable Technology

With the wearable tech trend taking off, innovators are getting savvier about ways to make smart wear seamless and simple to manufacture.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials, a leading innovator and electronic ink supplier, has introduced a suite of stretchable electronic ink materials that can be used to make smart clothing that’s more moveable, washable and wearable.

The new materials have been used to create thin, form-fitting circuits that can be seamlessly bonded with standard fabrics, making for comfort and freedom in wearable electric design.

DuPont’s manufacturing-ready flexible inks provide “stable performance despite repeated elongation,” the company noted, and wash tests have shown fabrics with the materials are capable of withstanding up to 100 was cycles. The materials can be used to produce smart clothing like fitness and outerwear without a significant investment.

Tommy Hilfiger recently tapped in on the smart outerwear trend with a solar powered jacket made in partnership with Pvilion that can recharge mobile devices and tablets.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials segment manager Michael Burrows said, “We believe that this new line of DuPont stretchable electronic inks can be used in wearable electronics applications to make clothing more capable and comfortable.” He added, “Imagine how smart athletic wear could help contribute to healthier, more active lifestyles by continuously monitoring vital information such as heart and breathing rates, calories burned and even stress level.”

Emphasizing the trend toward lifestyle improving wearable gear, Victoria’s Secret recently unveiled its heart-rate sensing bra, with built-in electrodes that connect to the wearer’s skin. The bra does not come with a heart monitor, but does include clips to attach the device.

DuPont said intends to offer a full material suite of conductors, encapsulants and sensors for further use in wearables.