NTU Singapore team develops fabric to convert motion into electricity

June 09, 2022 - Singapore

A Nanyang Technical University (NTU) Singapore team has developed a stretchable and waterproof ‘fabric’ that turns energy generated from body movements into electrical energy. A crucial component in the fabric is a polymer that, when pressed or squeezed, converts mechanical stress into electrical energy. Washing, folding and crumpling does not degrade its performance.

It is made with stretchable spandex as a base layer and integrated with a rubber-like material to keep it strong, flexible and waterproof, a university press release said.

In a proof-of-concept experiment reported in the scientific journal ‘Advanced Materials’ in April, the NTU Singapore team showed that tapping on a 3cm-by-4cm piece of the new fabric generated enough electrical energy to light up 100 LEDs.

The fabric could maintain stable electrical output for up to five months.

The scientists envision that their prototype could be woven into T-shirts or integrated into soles of shoes to collect energy from the body’s smallest movements, piping electricity to mobile devices.