Yes, you read that correctly. A new study from Bath University states that scientists have discovered a way to generate electricity from nylon. Nylon is a fabric used in most sports and athletic apparel.
Imagine being out for a long run, listening to your favorite tunes, tracking your run on your preferred GPS tracking app, and also stopping to take photos of the scenery that surrounds you. Before long, that phone is out of juice. The feeling of being out alone with a dead phone is pretty terrifying for most of us. What if there was a way to put your phone inside a pocket in your shirt, and it would charge?
The science behind this fascinating discovery is called piezoelectricity. Piezoelectricity is electric polarization in a substance (especially certain crystals) resulting from the application of mechanical stress. Due to the application of mechanical stresses, an electric charge can build up in a number of solid materials, including select ceramics, crystals, and some biological materials like DNA, bone, and certain proteins. The resulting effect is a type of electricity produced because of pressure and/or latent heat — otherwise known as piezoelectricity.
Who Can Benefit From It?
You don’t have to be a long-distance endurance athlete to benefit from this phenomenon. Piezoelectric clothing has the ability to generate electricity from even simple movements such as walking and swinging your arms.
The Science Behind It
“Developing piezoelectric fibres is a major step towards being able to produce electronic textiles with clear applications in the field of wearable electronics. The goal is to integrate electronic elements, such as sensors, in a fabric, and to generate power while we're on the move. Most likely, the electricity harvested from the fibres of piezoelectric clothing would be stored in a battery nestled in a pocket. This battery would then connect to a device either via a cable or wirelessly.”, (University of Bath. "Swirl power: How gentle body movement will charge your mobile phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2020. (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201106113900.htm)
What This Means To Us
This is beneficial to the apparel printing industry because it opens up more opportunities for promotional apparel. Who wouldn’t want to put their logo on a shirt that will charge your device? We are looking forward to the day this becomes a reality.
Until then, how can we charge up your brand in other ways?
University of Bath. "Swirl power: How gentle body movement will charge your mobile phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201106113900.htm>.
APC International, Ltd. “What is piezoelectricity?” www.americanpiezo.com/knowledge-center/piezo-theory/piezoelectricity.html