Design and Product Development

Thermal Massaging Elbow Brace using Knit-Based Shape Memory Alloys

  • Soo-Min Lee (Seoul National University)
  • Woo-Kyun Jung (Seoul National University)
  • Sung-Hoon Ahn (Seoul National University)
  • Juyeon Park (Seoul National University)


Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs), which possess has the unique property of returning to their original shape when applying the heat, have expanded their practical application not only to medical and industrial products, and further but also to functional clothing. We aimed to develop a thermal massaging elbow brace by applying not only the physical deformation and mechanical property characteristic of the SMA-based knitting fabric but also the mechanical property of the heat generation during its physical deformation phase, and analyze the device’s wearability based on the three quantitative measures – clothing pressure, skin temperature, and blood flow. We found that the clothing pressure at the arms did not exceed the allowable value allowance in the arm area to be worn on the human body, the skin temperature and blood flow gradually increased and then maintained sustained. The results of this study demonstrated that the prototyped brace could be appropriate as an appropriate wearable massaging device that could help increase the skin temperature and blood circulation of a wearer by providing desirable compression and thermal regulation only using only knitting fabric without additional auxiliary equipment.

Keywords: blood flow, skin temperature, clothing pressure, thermal brace, shape memory alloy

How to Cite:

Lee, S., Jung, W., Ahn, S. & Park, J., (2020) “Thermal Massaging Elbow Brace using Knit-Based Shape Memory Alloys”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 77(1). doi:



Published on
28 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed