Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Katherine C. Chen
Electronic textiles are the integration of small electronics into a textile foundation. This means that the material can function as an electronic conductor or device while retaining all the properties expected of tradition textiles including flexibility, washability, and strength. With the increasing integration of these materials into clothing it becomes important to consider the life span of material. Three varieties of conductive thread were chosen, one silver plated nylon and two stainless steel, sized thick and thin. 12” samples were cut and hand sewn in to pieces of muslin cloth. Samples were divided into groups of hot or cold water, and soap or no soap. Washing tests were performed to record the change in resistance over ten cycles with measurements taken after each cycle. An increase in resistance was observed in the silver plated nylon samples due to delamination caused by the abrasive forces of turbulent water; this effect increased when laundry detergent was added to the system. The stainless steel samples are made completely of 316L and their resistance was not affected by any of the factors. SEM Images were taken to confirm these changes. However, the final decision on which thread should be used needs to be made based on the user’s skill level.