Scientists invent a stretchable battery made of fabric

The gray striated section is the battery prototype. Credit: University of Houston

Scientists at the University of Houston have created a new kind of battery that can stretch and flex.

This invention could change the future of wearable technology, like smart clothes or fitness gear.

The idea came from Haleh Ardebili, a mechanical engineering professor. She dreamed of a future where clothes could be smart and interactive.

Her team’s new stretchable battery could be used to power things like sensors in clothes that keep track of a person’s health.

Current batteries for electronics have some problems – they’re stiff, and their liquid center can be unsafe because it’s flammable.

This new stretchable battery is different. It’s safe, flexible, and doesn’t limit the movement of the clothes it’s in.

The scientists used a silver fabric that can stretch but still lets electricity pass through. They took the solid parts of regular batteries and turned them into flexible, wearable parts that could go in clothes.

Ardebili had the idea for stretchable batteries a few years ago. She was curious about the science of making batteries that could change shape.

Though the scientists have a working model of the battery, they’re still making it better. They hope it will be used in smart clothes, like spacesuits or clothes that monitor health. But there’s still more work to do before these batteries can be sold.

The scientists need to make sure it’s safe, doesn’t cost too much, and can be made in large quantities.

No matter where these stretchable batteries end up being used, Ardebili’s goal is to make them as safe as possible.

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