Novel highly sensitive and wearable pressure sensors from conductive three-dimensional fabric structures

Jianfeng Li, Bingang Xu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Pressure sensors based on three-dimensional fabrics have all the excellent properties of the textile substrate: excellent compressibility, good air permeability and moisture transmission ability, which will find applications ranging from the healthcare industry to daily usage. In this paper, novel pressure sensors based on 3D spacer fabrics have been developed by a proposed multi-coating method. By this coating method, carbon black can be coated uniformly on the silicon elastomer which is attached and slightly cured on the 3D fabric surface beforehand. The as-made pressure sensors have good conductivity and can measure external pressure up to 283 kPa with an electrical conductivity range of 9.8 kΩ. The sensitivity of 3D fabric pressure sensors can be as high as 50.3110-3 kPa-1, which is better than other textile based pressure sensors. When the as-made sensors are pressed, their electrical resistance will decrease because of more conductive connections and bending of fibers in the spacer layer. The sensing mechanism related to fiber bending has been explored by using an equivalent resistance model. The newly developed 3D sensor devices can be designed to exhibit different sensing performances by simply changing the structures of fabric substrate, which endows this kind of device more flexibility in related applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125022
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015


  • 3D flexible fabric
  • equivalent resistance model
  • pressure sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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