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Teijin Introduces the First Piezoelectric Fabrics for Wearables

Teiijin Limited and Kansai University professor Yoshiro Tajitsu announced the development of the world’s first polylactic acid fiber and carbon fiber-based piezoelectric for wearables on Tuesday. The fabric will be showcased at The first Wearable Expo held in Tokyo, Japan on Jan. 14-16.

The new piezoelectric fabric blends Teiijin ’s polymer and textile technologies with Tajitu’s research on piezoelectric materials. The team produced plain, twill and satin weave versions for different applications. Plain weave detects bending, satin weave detects twisting, and twill weave detects shear and three-dimensional motion, as well as bending and twisting.

The function allows the fabric to be applied to the actuator or sensor to detect complicated movements, even three-dimensional movements.

Teijin describes piezoelectricity as “the ability of certain dielectric materials to generate an electric charge in response to mechanical stress.” Piezoelectricity also has the opposite effect—the application of electric voltage produces mechanical strain in the materials. Both of these effects can be measured, making piezoelectric materials effective for both sensors and actuators, the company explained.

Kansai University and Teijin plans to continue working on weaves and knits for fabric applications that can contribute to a wide range of applications, from elderly care to surgery to artisan techniques and space exploration.