Lubrizol collaboration produces commuter jacket with warmth on demand powered by flexible electronics
The MTC Jacket is the result of impressive multiple-partner collaboration between leading experts including Lubrizol, Principled Design, ACI Materials, and Butler Technologies that took the project from concept to completion in just nine months. The project underscores the importance of systems thinking in the development of novel wearable electronics – combining design, material science, applications know-how, and value chain partners having the right mindset and capabilities – to quickly turn innovative ideas into prototypes and then commercial scale realities.
The process began with Lubrizol (Wickliffe, Ohio) commissioning Despina Papadopoulos from Principled Design (New York, New York) to design and oversee development of Lubrizol's Multi-Tech Commuter Jacket, including development of the supply chain and contract assembly of jacket components into final garment form. "First and foremost, our jacket had to look good, feel good and be easy to maintain. In other words, we designed this jacket for humans," states Papadopoulos. The jacket showcases innovative technologies from Lubrizol's Engineered Polymers and Performance Coatings portfolios especially well-suited for electronics including flexible hybrid electronics, wearables, mobile devices and accessories, and 3D printing.
To incorporate Lubrizol's highly flexible material solutions into a wearable platform, Principled Design then selected ACI Materials (Goleta, California) for their expertise in conductive inks, encapsulants and resistance heater flexible circuit technology and Butler Technologies, Inc. (Butler, Pennsylvania) for their proven capabilities in developing printed electronics, proof of concept and prototyping. Each member of the team brought a deep understanding in their area of expertise and contributed to problem-solving relating to the advanced design, materials and the interplay between technology to deliver form, comfort and functionality.
Designed for stylish and functional street-to-office wearability, the Multi-Tech Commuter Jacket features Lubrizol materials that ensure function, comfort and durability over the life of the garment. Stretch denim and polyester fabrics move and breathe with the wearer for comfortable motion and mobility. ACI's flexible circuit heating element with stretchable encapsulation providing protection for conductive traces located across the inside of the jacket's back provides warmth on demand – without the bulk of additional clothing layers. Fabric treatment at the elbows and palms with Lubrizol coating technology enhances garment durability both in-use and when laundering.
Caption: The Multi-Tech Commuter Jacket (photo: Butler Technologies)