Automated insertion of package dies onto wire and into a textile yarn sheath

Hardy, D.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-6028-7555, Anastasopoulos, I., Nashed, M.-N. ORCID: 0000-0002-3152-4320, Hughes-Riley, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-8020-430X, Komolafe, A., Tudor, J., Torah, R., Beeby, S. and Dias, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-3533-0398, 2019. Automated insertion of package dies onto wire and into a textile yarn sheath. Microsystem Technologies. ISSN 0946-7076

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Wider adoption of electronic textiles requires integration of small electronic components into textile fabrics, without comprising the textile qualities. A solution is to create a flexible yarn that incorporates electronic components within the fibres of the yarn (E-yarn). The production of these novel E-yarns was initially a craft skill, with the inclusion of package dies within the fibres of the yarn taking about 90 minutes. The research described here demonstrated that it is possible to produce E-yarns on an industrial scale by automating the manufacturing process. This involved adapting printed circuit board manufacturing technology and textile yarn covering machinery. The production process started with re-flow soldering of package dies onto fine multi-strand copper wire. A carrier yarn was then placed in parallel with the copper wire to provide tensile strength. The package die and adjacent carrier yarn were then encapsulated in a polymer micro-pod to provide protection from moisture ingress and from mechanical strain on the die and solder joints. The process was then completed by surrounding the micro-pod and copper interconnects with additional fibres, held tightly together with a knitted fibre-sheath. This prototype, automated production process reduced the time for embedding one micro-device within a yarn to six minutes, thus increasing the production speed, demonstrating that automation of the E-yarn production process is feasible. Prototype garments have been created using E- yarns. Further developments can include automated transfer of the yarn components from one stage of production to the next, enabling greater increases in speed of manufacture of E yarns.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Microsystem Technologies
Creators: Hardy, D.A., Anastasopoulos, I., Nashed, M.-N., Hughes-Riley, T., Komolafe, A., Tudor, J., Torah, R., Beeby, S. and Dias, T.
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Date: 4 March 2019
ISSN: 0946-7076
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 06 Feb 2019 09:59
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 16:32

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