- Apparel heating
- Wearable electronics and lighting
- Power conduits
- Wire integration into fabrics
- EMI shielding
- Textile antennas
Electrical conductivity is a basic functionality of every electronic circuit and is required in every electro-textile. Various approaches can be used to incorporate electrical conductivity into textiles, including integrating wires or metal-plated yarns into fabrics and printing conductive pigments onto fabric surfaces. More recently, intrinsically conductive polymers have been developed.
Integrating Wires and Plated Yarns Into Fabrics
The best approach is based on integrating wires and plated yarns into fabrics, but this approach has significant deficiencies related to the durability of the wires or conductive plating. For example, wires that are fine enough not to significantly impair the textile’s aesthetics are not durable enough to withstand elongation stresses normally encountered during textile manufacturing or use. The same is true for metal plated yarns, where the cladding develops stress cracks leading to failure when the yarns are strained.
By inventing a new yarn structure, Textronics, Inc has solved many of the problems associated with using wires and plated yarns in textiles. Using standard industry stretching and bending tests, our Textro-Yarns® maintain their properties beyond 25,000 cycles.
We can use this technology to create many different species of elastic conducting yarns with various physical and electrical properties. This flexibility in product design stems from the yarn’s underlying structure and because the yarns can be produced on standard textile processing equipment.
A variation of this technology can be used to incorporate other functional fibers, such as fiber optics, into elastic yarn structures.