MICROFLEX - Micro fabrication production technology for MEMS on new emerging smart textiles/flexibles
The project concerns flexible materials in the form of high added value smart fabrics/textiles which are able to sense stimuli and react or adapt to them in a predetermined way. The challenge for the European textile industries is to add advanced functions to textiles and the recent progress of new technologies such as electronic inks provide an opportunity for a breakthrough by incorporating MEMS on flexible textiles/fabrics. The project will exploit microfabrication to produce, using custom printing processes, active functions cost efficiently. We propose to develop fundamental micro fabrication production technologies for MEMS on fabrics/textiles using flagship demonstrator applications. This will result in a cheap, easy to design, flexible, rapid, way to manufacture multifunction smart textiles/garments for a large set of multi-sectorial applications. The project will undertake a number of initial demonstrators of the underlying basic technology. These will be based on: light emission, cooling/heating, anti-static effect, gas sensing, energy harvesting, micro-encapsulation and actuation.