Panasonic Corp. says it has developed a stretchable plastic film for electronics that overcomes shortcomings of conventional stretchable and flexible films.
The Osaka, Japan, consumer electronics major said its newly developed film enables its use in soft and stretchable electronic devices such as those to be worn in clothing or on the body. Other potential applications include sensors, displays and robots.
Panasonic notes the proprietary film is very elastic, with a tensile elongation of 250 percent or more. The film relaxes internal stresses resulting from stretching, returning to 98 percent of its original shape and allowing it to withstand repeated use.
The film is based on an undisclosed thermosetting resin with a 3-D cross-linked structure that makes it flexible and stretchable. It outperforms other films based on thermosetting polymers such as polyurethane and rubber by retaining mechanical properties after repeated deformation. The film also is an insulator, adding to its potential in wearable devices as well as in transparent, stretchable electrodes.
The new film is aimed at growing demands for stretchable film that does not feel odd to consumers wearing a new generation of devices. It allows smaller size devices with more aesthetically pleasing designs.
Panasonic's thermosetting film has both soft and rigid components without the addition of an elastomer, the conventional approach to such films.
The company will exhibit the new film at the 17th Printed Wiring Boards Expo to be held Jan. 13-15, 2016 in Tokyo.
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