Active Intelligent Textiles: Something For Future

Active intelligent textiles are the fabrics which can be used to wear in summer and could also be worn winters too. There is no need to ha...

Active intelligent textiles are the fabrics which can be used to wear in summer and could also be worn winters too. There is no need to have separate clothing for different environment conditions. You don’t need to change clothing according to environment but the clothes will change themselves for your comfort. It seems impossible but technically it’s not. Yes, clothes can change themselves according to you. These active intelligent textile products can be formed from a special range of thermo sensitive polymer from the shape memory polymers (SMP’s) group.

Smart Textiles
SMP are the polymers which are designed to memorize their “shape”. They are set in a given configuration and then an external stimulus is subjected resulting in a different configuration of the polymer. As soon as the external factors are withdrawn, shape memory polymer comes back to its original shape in which it was mold.

The phenomenon occurs due to its ability to exhibit rigidity and elasticity depending upon its external environment. When external stimuli (let’s consider heat) is applied to the polymer in rigid state, it changes its state to a very elastic one and after the removal of heat comes back to its memorize “shape”. This phenomenon is possible due to the fiber structure itself.

As normal fabrics have a structure which helps the body to remain insulated from the atmosphere i.e no heat transfer should occur between body and environment. This is achieved due to the ability of fibers to not conduct heat being an insulator but as moisture should be there and air permeability should be there, this is achieved due to the fabric structure.

Fabrics made from SMP have fibers which are thermal conductors. They are having pores on their surface. These pores are heat sensitive and change their shape according to the heat in external environment. Let’s consider the case of summer. Fabrics made from these fibers would have their pores opened leading to more air permeability and moisture regain. In case of winter, pores will become small and hence you’ll feel warm.

Since this type of clothing is not economical at this point of time. So this is a something which is for future. Although we have different fashion trends which changes after some months. So, it’s not a demand of present era. As research is going in this field, with a span of time we’ll be having active intelligent textiles which would be helpful in different applications if not in daily apparels. I hope this is helpful to you. Happy reading J

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