Category Archives: Featured Articles

Novel Fibers as Base Technology for Smart Textile Integration

R. HUFENUS, S. GAAN, D. HEGEMANN, M. HEUBERGER
Empa, Advanced Fibers, Switzerland

The main obstacle of electronic smart textiles to enter a wider market is the still absent total textile integration. This includes desired properties like textile processability (spinning, weaving, embroydery, finishing etc.) as well as customer expectations (textile haptics, ease of use, washability) and finally an increasing need for a sustainable textile life cycle. The potential, however, for novel applications is very large, given the fact that textiles are accepted life-long accompaniments of us. Much effort is thus put into research and development for a better integration of electronic components into the textile substrate.
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Feasibility of Printing Woven Humidity and Temperature Sensors for Integration into Electronic Textiles

T. KINKELDEI, G. TRÖSTER,
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ),
Electronics Laboratory, Zurich, Switzerland;
C. ATAMAN, G. MATTANA, F. MOLINA LOPEZ, D. BRIAND, N.F. DE ROOIJ,
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),
Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Sensors,
Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory (SAMLAB), Neuchâtel, Switzerland;
D. LEUENBERGER, G. NISATO,
Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (CSEM SA),
Muttenz, Switzerland

We demonstrate a woven textile with integrated humidity and temperature
sensors on flexible PET and PI substrates. We discuss the fabrication
process of the smart textile and compare two methods of sensor fabrication, first conventional photo lithography and second printing using an ink jet or gravure. The humidity sensor is based on a capacitive transducer covered with a sensing layer while the temperature sensor is made of a resistive metallic line.
Continue reading Feasibility of Printing Woven Humidity and Temperature Sensors for Integration into Electronic Textiles

Textile Sensor Applications with Composite Monofilaments of Polymer/Carbon Nanotubes

A. FERREIRA, F. FERREIRA
Department of Textile Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal
M.C. PAIVA
Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal

The aim of this work was to develop polymer matrix/carbon nanotube (CNT) composite monofilaments to incorporate in textile products, to be used as sensors. The carbon nanotube polymer composite (CPC) monofilaments were produced with the required electrical and mechanical properties for the development of textile sensors for water vapour and temperature, respectively.
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The Power Conversion Characteristics of Woven Organic Photovoltaic Wire Fabrics

A. AGRAWAL, YONG K. KIM, P. CALVERT
Bioengineering Department, University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA, US
AM. LEE
Konarka Technology Inc. Lowell, MA, USA

Recently there has been growing interest in developing smart photovoltaic fabric devices. These devices could be used as a sustainable and ubiquitous power source for wearable and other electronic devices.

Three woven photovoltaic fabric structures were constructed with fiber-shaped organic photovoltaic wire (OPW) from Konarka Technologies, Inc. (Lowell, MA, USA). The OPW is flexible, lightweight and wire shaped organic photovoltaic fiber based on bulk hetero-junction nanocomposites.
Continue reading The Power Conversion Characteristics of Woven Organic Photovoltaic Wire Fabrics

An Elastomeric Ionic Hydrogel Sensor for Large Strains

P. MANANDHAR, P. CALVERT, J.R. BUCK
University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA, USA

Strain gauges attached to elastic fabric sleeves to monitor body motions could be used in rehabilitation from injury, training and health monitoring. This paper describes a soft hydrogel strain gauge where conduction is via salt solution in the gel. Use of AC sensing eliminates electrochemical effects.
Continue reading An Elastomeric Ionic Hydrogel Sensor for Large Strains

Integration of Small Diameter Wire form SMA for the Creation of Dynamic Shape Memory Textiles

P. DYER
University of Brighton, Brighton, UK

The integration of Nitinol wire directly into flexible textile structures has seen limited successful research outcomes. This has mainly been due to issues with shape training and the accurate positioning of the Nitinol components.
A new approach is investigated here, which utilises small diameter (0.15mm-0.03mm) Nitinol components and the manipulation of the woven structure.
Continue reading Integration of Small Diameter Wire form SMA for the Creation of Dynamic Shape Memory Textiles

Halochromic Textile Materials as Innovative pH-sensors

L. VAN DER SCHUEREN, K. DE CLERCK,
Ghent University, Department of Textiles, Zwijnaarde (Ghent), Belgium

Recently, an increasing interest in pH-sensitive textiles is recognized. These chromic textiles can be used as flexible sensors for various applications. The aim of the current research is to develop textile pHsensors through the application of pH-sensitive dyes on various textile materials using different techniques. The results of our study show that halochromic dyes can be incorporated into conventional textiles by a standard dyeing technique. Also coating the fabrics with a sol-gel layer containing the halochromic dye proved to be successful. The majority of these developed materials showed a clearly visible colour change with a pH-variation. The response of the sensors was dependent on the density of the fabric but was generally relatively fast, especially for the sol-gel treated fabrics. Continue reading Halochromic Textile Materials as Innovative pH-sensors

Additive Colour Mixing on Textiles with Liquid Crystal Dye Systems

S. ROBERTSON, R. CHRISTIE, W. IBRAHIM
Heriot-Watt University, Galashiels, Scotland

There are two types of thermochromic dye systems which change colour in reaction to temperature variation that are suitable for application to textiles; the leuco dye type (which change from coloured to colourless) and the liquid crystal type (which change through a spectrum of colours). Continue reading Additive Colour Mixing on Textiles with Liquid Crystal Dye Systems

Cosmeto-textiles: State of the Art and Future Perspectives

P. PERSICO, C. CARFAGNA
Institute of Chemistry & Technology of Polymers – National Research Council of Italy, Pozzuoli (NA), Italy

The skin is the largest human organ. Its care and health are, therefore, essential. The skin can only be healthy and attractive when it is in balance. The pre-requisites for healthy skin are: the moisture content, the protective function, elasticity and cell renewal. All of these parameters are supported by applying pharmaceuticals and wellness substances. Continue reading Cosmeto-textiles: State of the Art and Future Perspectives

Interactive Electronic Yarns by Novel Electrochemical and Plasma Treatment

A. NEUDECK, Y. ZIMMERMANN, U. MÖHRING,
TITV Greiz, Textile Research Institute Thuringia-Vogtland e.V., Greiz, Germany

The number of application fields of micro systems and microelectronic components are increasing continuously. International fairs clearly show smaller and compact circuits on foil substrates. Especially the sensoric
and actuatoric sensor systems become more flexible . However, non
rigid and extremely loadable and bendable may only be manufactured
from textiles. The galvanic and electrochemical finishing of textiles is
one way to build textile based micro systems. A concept for the production of electrically highly conductive, functionalized and interactive yarns is proposed. The first step of the concept, the highly conducting yarns, are already transferred into an industrialized production and is commercially available. Silver coated polyamide yarns are already on the market since the end of the seventies. Continue reading Interactive Electronic Yarns by Novel Electrochemical and Plasma Treatment