Electro-active textiles by means of conductive fibers
Today conductivities can only be achieved by using metal based fibres, but there is a clear need to have polymer based conductive fibres, due to similar textile properties as conventional fibres. In this project we will investigate the possibilities to obtain polymeric conductive fibres by either using conductive fillers or additives which are blended into the fiber, or by using inherently conductive polymers which are melt spun into fibres.
The project focuses on the melt spinning process, its optimization and on the characterisation of obtained fibres. The fibres will further be refined into technically usable textile materials (no-woven and woven fabrics), which then will be manufactured into textile demonstrator products. The design methodology will especially be addressed, as novel materials need new design approaches and methodologies.
Two industrially important demonstrator applications have been selected, non-woven air filtration media, and flexible textile sensors for smart textiles. In air filtration media conductivity is needed in order to create electrical charges which can collect particles in the filtrated air. This is conventionally done by using a metal mesh or threads, but a conductive textile media would be better from a weight and recycling point of view. Textile sensors for detecting pressure or stretching would have several interesting applications for example in textiles for health monitoring, and currently there are no such sensor made from 100 per cent of textile materials. Both applications represent novel solutions, which can be applied onto existing product lines, but the developed technology is also generic, and will not only be limited to these two applications. The project will thus also generate know-how and competences which will be utilized both by the academia in education and research, and also by the textile industry in Sweden.