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Students investigate the science of Smart Textiles

31 March 2017

On Tuesday 28 March, a group of A Level Textiles and Physics students attended a lecture by Dr Celina Jones on the subject of Smart Textiles, at the Physics and Astronomy Faculty, University of Birmingham. 

Although modern and smart textiles is an area the Textiles students study from GCSE, there was a little trepidation that the content may be a little beyond A Level. However, the lecture was a great success and the students were pleasantly surprised with the range of smart fabrics discussed. Although the girls were already familiar with many of the fabrics, it was interesting to hear of the scientific basis behind their operation.

Although smart fabrics are being introduced and used in an ever-increasing number of industries, the lecture focused on medical and electronic uses. The speaker discussed the development of knitted heart valves using silver yarns, knitted bands incorporating pressure sensors used to monitor foetuses during pregnancy and gloves which heat up and stay warm for up to six hours! Phase-changing fabrics were also considered; great fun was had seeing who had the warmest hands to change the colour of the fabric.

As A Level examinations are just around the corner, this was an excellent opportunity for a different form of revision.

Mrs Mooney


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