New fabric is responsive to both heat and electricity

Monday, April 24, 2023

A new smart material developed by researchers at Waterloo Engineering is activated by both heat and electricity, making it the first ever to respond to two different stimuli.

The unique design paves the way for a wide variety of potential applications, including clothing that warms up while you walk from the car to the office in winter and vehicle bumpers that return to their original shape after a collision.

Dr. Milad Kamkar is a professor of chemical engineering.

Dr. Milad Kamkar is a professor of chemical engineering at Waterloo.

Inexpensively made with polymer nano-composite fibres from recycled plastic, the programmable fabric can change its colour and shape when stimuli are applied.

“As a wearable material alone, it has almost infinite potential in AI, robotics and virtual reality games and experiences,” said Dr. Milad Kamkar, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo. “Imagine feeling warmth or a physical trigger eliciting a more in-depth adventure in the virtual world.”

Go to New programmable smart fabric responds to temperature and electricity for the full story.

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