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Researchers at the University of Bolton are pioneering developments into 3D textile structures using piezoelectric energy harvesting fibres.

These fibres can generate electricity by harnessing the energy created by an impact or movement, for example a footstep on a carpet, then converting that mechanical energy into electrical power.

The University of Bolton’s Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) post-doctoral research fellow, Dr Navneet Soin, the main co-author of the published paper, said: ‘We believe that this is just the first step in the creation of true wearable energy harvesting structures which do not look and feel any different from the conventional fabrics and yet provide the highest level of functionality.’

The research into continuous piezoelectric yarns, which show high flexibility and high mechanical strength, has now made it possible for piezoelectric fibre to be woven into intricate and complex structures, such as 3D spacer textiles.

The University says this is “opening a new horizon for commercial applications”.

Leigh Stringer

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