Effect of Protective Coating on the Performance of Wearable Antennas
Current smart clothing faces challenges due to discomfort provided by some technological components. A wireless body area network using inductively coupled fabric antennas is suggested as one of the solutions to overcome this. Different types of fabric substrates (denim, broadcloth, and jersey) and protective coating (acrylic resin, polyurethane, and silicone) were selected and engineered to optimize the antenna performance – in terms of mechanical and electrical properties. Experimental results show that protective coating affects almost every mechanical property very significantly. Resistance of the antenna was recorded lowest on the polyurethane-coated antennas and inductance was minimized on the broadcloth substrates. Recognizing a trade-off between electrical performance and comfort, this research looks at ways to optimize the overall usability.
KeywordsSmart clothing Conductive printing Protective coating Fabric antenna Inductive coupling FAST
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