Electrotextiles: A Novel Product for the Textile Industry

Electrotextiles: A Novel Product for the Textile Industry

Georgios Priniotakis
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6232-2.ch015
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During the last decade, the textile Industry in Europe collapsed due to the competition with the low labor countries. The textile industry in Europe refused to adapt to the new market conditions. The competitive advantage of the design and the quality were not enough to keep it in the leading position. Nevertheless, in the last few years, the textile industry has completely changed. New products have been launched in the market. Electrotextiles is one of them: a new category of textile products that has conducting properties contrary to the traditional textile products but keeps the “textile” properties like softness, lightness, and “washableness.” Fabric is the best intermediary between the human being and a computer. Fabrics and cloths are almost all the time in contact with our body. Therefore, they can “feel” us and “cure” us. A fabric can also cover a large space, having low weight and cost, so it could be perfect if it can have electrical properties and work as photovoltaic. This chapter explores electrotextiles.
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2. Electro-Textile Structure And Production Methods

There is a wide variety of structures in electro-textiles, which are mainly based on the technology used to produce such fibers.

  • Production of pure metallic fibres. The structure is the one of the metal and charge conduction is obtained through the entire fiber.

  • Metallization is a process in which a metal ion is absorbed by a conventional fibre, followed by chemical reduction of the absorbed metal ions to its metallic phase. In this case also conduction is obtained through the entire fibre but with a limited rate, dependent of the density of metal ion absorbed in the fibre and adsorbed at the surface of the fiber.

  • Chemical deposition, is the method that conductive materials are deposited through chemical methods, thus the conductivity properties are obtained exclusively at the surface of the fibre.

  • Inclusion of conductive material, such as carbon particles, during melt spinning production of the fibres.

Fibres obtained by these methods are then further manufactured in yarns, clothing and garments. The production methods are described more in detail in the sections below.

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