Our research has application primarily for aerospace, but also for maritime and land vehicles.
The rapid development of embroider electronics has found many unique applications, from biomedical sensors and electronics to body antennas.
The embroidery of conductive threads into textiles is a growing area. Our research is investigating the embroidery of conductive threads directly into a class of aerospace grade composite called Pre-Impregnated (Pre-Preg) materials.
These differ from traditional textile materials as they contain a b-stage cured epoxy resin and are baked in an autoclave at temperatures greater than 170?C and pressures upwards of 700 kPa.
The high strength of the aerospace composite materials makes this type of embroidery useful for a range of conformal load-bearing applications, not only for aerospace applications but also for maritime and land vehicles.
There are three aspects of this project that are being considered:
- The application of embroidery in developing high impedance ground planes (HIGP’s), which are used to attenuate surface waves.
- Conformal load-bearing antenna structures (CLAS) coupled with electrically small antennas (ESA) (work carried out in conjunction with the University of Arizona).
- How active elements such as amplifiers, pin diodes and microcontrollers can be embedded into pre-pregs to create complex multilayered circuits.
This work has led to the development of pre-preg embroidered electronics, or pregtronics.
The embroidery of conductive threads into pre-pregs allows for the development of storable, flexible, long shelf-life electronics for use in structural applications within the aerospace industry.