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Electric Weave

DuPont researchers have developed a flexible textile that conducts electricity. The advance could facilitate the seamless incorporation of electronic devices into clothing. Each fiber of the new textile consists of a core of DuPont’s ultrastrong polymer Kevlar covered with a layer of electrically conductive material such as silver or nickel. Bundles of these fibers are coated with a second polymer for protection during washing. Although many textiles for wearable electronic devices are under development, the DuPont material is the first that combines high electrical conductivity with flexibility sufficient for weaving and embroidery. DuPont’s fiber is now commercially available and was recently used by a Finnish sportswear company to make a prototype cold-weather survival suit-complete with an embedded heart monitor, a body-temperature sensor, and a Global Positioning System device.

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