Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that it has developed a stretchable film that builds on its REACTIS™ technology to deliver circuit mounts with exceptional resistance value stability. REACTIS™ is renowned for its excellent shape recovery and heat resistance. Diverse prospective applications for stretchable device circuit boards include biological and industrial sensors and robots. Toray has shipped samples to users, and will push ahead with research and development to start swiftly commercializing this film.
Recent years have increased the potential for developing stretchable devices with the elasticity of smartwear, which incorporates built-in biometric sensors that manage health and monitor biometric information during exercise. These devices must be able to bend and handle all sorts of complex movements. Circuit boards must accordingly be very flexible and shape recoverable and function consistently after repeated use.
Toray’s REACTIS™ stretchable film benefits industrial products in numerous ways because its proprietary polymer structure design and film-forming technique combines cross-linked and stretchable components. The film is very flexible. It recovers its shape between -20°C and 80°C. It also maintains heat resistance even after treatment at 200°C.
The newly developed film is a new grade of REACTIS™, and resulted from bolstering Toray’s polymer and surface design technologies to ensure circuit mounting with excellent resistance stability, shape recovery, and heat resistance.
Combining Toray’s new film with elastic conductive materials can accommodate the expansions, contractions, and torsional deformations of circuits and 3D curved surfaces, delivering half the resistance of conventional counterparts when circuits expand and contract. In test storage for 1,000 hours with a relative humidity of 85% at 85°C, the new film’s circuit shape was unchanged, while the resistance value remained stable.
Applying Toray’s new film as a circuit board for stretchable devices should help enhance movement followability during mounting and ensure stable functionality for diverse temperature ranges and repeated usage.
The film offers excellent potential in healthcare, medical, industrial, and other applications that improve the quality of life. These include stretch sensors for exercise analysis and tactile sensors for robotics.
Toray will keep leveraging its core technologies of synthetic organic and polymer chemistry, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to research and develop advanced materials that transform societies in keeping with its commitment to innovating ideas, technologies, and products that deliver new value.