Development of Smart Wearable Body Warmers Using Graphene Coated Conductive Fabrics

Student of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Nagarjuna Neella, Vaishakh Kedambaimoole won the award for research work of Development of Smart Wearable Body Warmers Using Graphene Coated Conductive Fabrics . She carried her project work under guidance of Prof. K. Rajanna, Prof. M. M. Nayak, Prof. N. S. Dinesh.

Body warmers are generally used to combat cold weather conditions across the globe. Also, they find use in biomedical i.e. electrotherapy treatments, medical blankets for patients to maintain their body temperatures and military worn jackets for soldiers in the defense forces. Moreover, some of the flexible beds employ air cushion which serves as good heat insulator to retain heat but they do not function as body warmer. Additionally, blankets/jackets made up of pure woolens/pashmina from cashmere, caprinae family animal’s fiber may prove to be good body warmer, but quite expensive and hence not affordable for middle class person/common man. Also, no control of warming is available with such garments. Warmers presently available in the market consists of fine wires/films made of metal alloys, ITO and Ga doped Zinc Oxide woven to form high resistances and consumes higher power than proposed RGO. Today’s rapid growth and progress of work in the area of wearable miniaturized electronic devices using nanoscience and engineering concepts have led to the new generation of device technology. Nanomaterials used in elements designed for creating flexible electronics/electrical and fabrics/garments due to their unique properties i.e. large SA/V and dimensionality. Commercial heaters have disadvantages: complicated fabrication and monotonous which leads to special machinery, opacity, heavy and rigidity, intolerance to acid/base, fragile, lower heating efficiency and also bulky, expensive, limited flexibility. So, looking for innovative devices with effective body warming functionality, compatible/flexibility, lower energy consumption & manufacturing costs. Presently developed/invented RGO based cloth fabrication is straight forward either by dipping/pouring solution onto the cloth and curing it suitably. Therefore, our aim is to overcome the above-mentioned drawbacks, wherein the invention provides heating device formed into required shapes, corrosion free, flexible and biocompatible.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation to Nagarjuna Neella, Vaishakh Kedambaimoole, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.

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