Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) and Tsinghua University have developed a stretchable and waterproof ‘fabric’ that turns energy generated from body movements into electrical energy. The fabric contains a polymer that, when pressed or squeezed, converts mechanical stress into electrical energy. It is also made with stretchable spandex as a base layer and integrated with a rubber-like material to keep it strong, flexible, and waterproof.
The 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 can withstand washing, folding and crumpling without performance degradation, and it could maintain stable electrical output for up to five months, demonstrating its potential for use as a smart textile and wearable power source.