Development of the core technology for the creation of electronically-active, smart yarn

Rathnayake, A.S., 2015. Development of the core technology for the creation of electronically-active, smart yarn. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The general use of textiles began twenty-seven thousand years ago. However, today, textiles are used, not only in the production of clothing but are also found in numerous applications in medicine, the military, transport, construction sectors and in many industrial applications. Normally textiles are passive, however active textiles have been developed that exhibit the capability of adapting their functionality according to changes in their surroundings, i.e. environment. Such textiles are known as Smart and Interactive Textiles (SMIT) and are capable of sensing and being active. The integration of semiconductor devices into textiles has enormous potential in the creation of SMIT. Such SMIT structures will pave the way for the creation of truly-wearable electronic systems in the near future. The aim of this research is the development of a core technology for embedding functional semiconductor devices within the fibres of a yarn, in order to create electronically-active yarns (e-yarn). Such electronically-active yarns will be the building blocks of the next generation of wearable electronics. Moreover, this will facilitate the creation of innovative solutions able to overcome current problems and difficulties which the manufacturers of wearable textiles are experiencing and open the doors for designers to develop the next generation of truly-wearable computers which are comfortable to wear, flexible and washable. The e-yarns could be used in medical applications such as monitoring of ECG, respiratory patterns, blood pressure and skin temperature. They could be adopted by industries such as automotive, retail, manufacturing, military, the internet of soft things, consumer products, sports, fashion and entertainment. The development of the core technology required raw materials analysis in terms of physical, mechanical and electrical properties; creation of interconnections of electronic semi-conductor chips with copper filaments; encapsulation of the interconnections to improve washability and provide extra mechanical strength to the core filaments prior to making the final yarn. The final step was the process of manufacturing yarns using the knit braiding technique. A number of prototypes of e-textiles were produced including illuminated yarns, thermistor yarns, RFID yarns, magnetic yarns, vibration sensor yarns, illuminated garment, illuminated car seat, RFID-intergraded garments, a temperature-monitoring fabric mat and temperature-monitoring socks in order to investigate the manufacturing viability, identify practical issues, and to promote the technology to attract further funds and potential commercial partners.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Rathnayake, A.S.
Date: October 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Nov 2016 11:39
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 11:39

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