By adding electrically conductive components, the silicone can be produced as a stretchable conductive foil, usable e.g. as flexible heating element. If alternating layers of conductive and insulating silicone are laminated together, stretchable capacitors are created that can be used to measure strain and pressure. Depending on the application, the design and softness of the sensors can be adjusted.
The sensors convert mechanical strain into an electrical signal and are therefore also suitable for measuring signals of the human body, e.g. breathing, movement or muscle contraction.
In a current project CeSMa has further developed its elastomer sensors and their processing for integration into textiles. The stretchable sensors and actuators can now be applied to textiles by printing techniques or ironing.
The elastomer sensors can be applied permanently to polyester and cotton – the most commonly used textiles in the artificial and natural fiber sector – with a conventional iron in a short time (about 1 minute) even at low temperatures of 80°C. textiles.
With direct textile printing processes, sensor structures can be imprinted on the desired material in the shortest possible time. The process can be integrated very well into the further processing of the textiles. Very large quantities up to mass production are possible. The printing process is technically more complex compared to ironing, but due to the higher number of produced pieces it is more cost-effective and therefore particularly interesting for larger manufacturers of textile goods.