Melt spun piezoelectric textile fibres : an experimental study

Abstract: Melt Spun Piezoelectric Textile Fibres - an Experimental Study ANJA LUND Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology Chalmers University of Technology ABSTRACT The manufacturing and characterisation of piezoelectric textile fibres are described in this thesis. A piezoelectric material is one that generates an electric voltage when deformed, a property which exists in a number of materials. The polymer with the strongest known piezoelectric effect today is poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF), however it must be processed under certain conditions to become piezoelectric. This study shows that piezoelectric bicomponent PVDF-based fibres can be produced by melt spinning, which is a common and relatively simple fibre spinning method. The melt spinning process must include cold drawing, as this introduces a polar crystalline structure in the polymer. The fibres must also be electroded, which is done by producing bicomponent fibres with a core-and-sheath structure. The core is electrically conductive and constitutes an inner electrode consisting of a carbon black/polymer compound, whereas the sheath is PVDF and constitutes the piezoelectric component. Being sensitive to both deformation and temperature changes, these fibres are anticipated to be useful in a number of sensor applications. The flexibility and small size of the fibres makes it possible to include them as miniature-sensors in structures or garment without affecting the shape or comfort.