Would you consider wearing a battery ? Of course not, it might seem too dangerous. However, researchers from the Polytechnic School of Montreal in Canada under the leadership of Maksim Skorobogatiy have made the idea possible. They have created a prototype of a flexible battery that can be neatly entwined into fabrics.
Similar to the structure of a regular battery that enables it to produce electricity; the flexible battery consists of lithium titanium anodes and thermoplastic sheets of lithium iron phosphate cathode. Bracketing the materials are sheets of solid polyethylene oxide (PEO) electrodes. The layer is exposed to mild heat, allowing the materials to be stretched into singular fibers.
Strips cut from the sheet are integrated into fabrics, giving them electrical power storage capability. The conductive threads weaved into the fabric are responsible for connecting the series of batteries and so, the researchers have created smart textiles that will be very useful.
The conductive properties of the thread ensure the garment does not require liquid electrolytes, usually important for conductivity in regular batteries. Thus, it is safe for people to wear without fear of shocks.
The research team headed by Maksim Skorobogatiy, claims that the garment can provide hundreds of volts of electricity. It can feed power to charge many essential gadgets that are constantly being used in our daily life.
The technology is raising many hopes, but it will not be entering the market anytime soon until one chief flaw has been eliminated. Smart textiles has to be made waterproof to avoid problems when the material is exposed to any kind of liquids.
The biggest expectation from these smart textiles is that it can offer assistance to people with medical conditions, who depend on certain electronics. The fabric charge could power up medical electronic devices like a defibrillator that help people with cardiac arrhythmia. The defibrillator would be fully functional almost all the time and be able to deliver a dose of electricity to a faltering heart when needed.