Washing Durability of PDMS-Conductive Fabric Composite: Realizing Washable UHF RFID Tags

Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 2019, 18, (12), pp. 2572-2576
Issue Date:
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In this letter, we present experimental investigations on washing durability of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-conductive fabric composite to validate its applicability for the realization of flexible wearable antennas that can withstand multiple washing cycles. For this purpose, we designed an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification (RFID) passive tag antenna and fabricated several prototypes using such materials combination. Understanding the challenge of having a robust integration of a lumped electronic component (e.g., RFID IC) on a flexible antenna, a new way to improve the interconnection has also been investigated. The tag prototypes were subjected to recurrent machine-washing tests, and after each washing cycle, their performance was analyzed mainly in terms of the read range. The results reveal that, with a proper treatment on the antenna-IC fixture interconnection, the tag antennas developed with the PDMS-conductive fabric composite can maintain their performance very well, showing a minimum degradation in the read range after 15 cycles of washing.
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