Advances in Improving Stretchable Batteries by Improving Durability

Advances in Improving Stretchable Batteries by Improving Durability

University of Columbia postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Ngoc Tan Nguyen, has said that stretchable batteries can further the development of wearable electronics. Although stretchable batteries already exist in some capacity, they are not washable. It was concluded that this needed to be amended to withstand the demands of everyday use.

Dr. Nguyen and his colleagues offer several engineering advances in their battery. In order to circumvent the rigidness of standard batteries, the UBC team made the key compounds from scratch. They crushed zinc and manganese dioxide into small pieces and then embedded them in rubbery plastic or polymer. Their creation comprises several ultra-thin layers of these polymers wrapped inside a casing of the same polymer. This resulted in an airtight, waterproof seal ensured that the battery's integrity through repeated use was never compromised.

The researchers are well underway to increase the battery's power output and cycle life, but commercial interest is already coming in as early as now. It is believed that when this new battery is for commercial use, its price would be similar to a rechargeable battery. Dr. John Madden, director of UBC's Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Lab, has gone on record to say that the materials used for the battery are incredibly low-cost and will be extremely cheap to manufacture in large numbers. Other than watches and patches used to measure a person's vital signs, the battery can also be developed further to be integrated with clothing that can actively change color or temperature.

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