Polyurethane/Cotton/Carbon Nanotubes Core-Spun Yarn as High Reliability Stretchable Strain Sensor for Human Motion Detection.ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Sep 21; 8(37):24837-43.AA
Smart yarns and textiles are an active field of researches nowadays due to their potential applications in flexible and stretchable electronics, wearable devices, and electronic sensors. Integration of ordinary yarns with conductive fillers renders the composite yarns with new intriguing functions, such as sensation and monitoring of strain and stress. Here we report a low cost scalable fabrication for highly reliable, stretchable, and conductive composite yarn as effective strain sensing material for human motion monitoring. By incorporating highly conductive single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) into the elastic cotton/polyurethane (PU) core-spun yarn through a self-designed coating approach, we demonstrated that the yarn is able to detect and monitor the movement of human limbs, such as finger and elbow, and even the wink of eyes. By virtue of the covered structure of the cotton/PU yarn and the reinforcement effect of SWCNTs, the composite yarn can bear up to 300% strain and could be cycled nearly 300,000 times under 40% strain without noticeable breakage. It is promising that this kind of conductive yarn can be integrated into various fabrics and used in future wearable devices and electronic skins.