Electro-Active Textile Materials (Ilda Kazani) (2011 - 2012)

Over the last years, the combination of textiles with electronic devices introduced the so-called smart textiles or wearable computing. The challenge for textile researchers is to make as many components as possible out of textile materials. Since the intelligent ambient is becoming popular as a concept, more and more conductive textiles are needed for these applications. Therefore, it is necessary to develop electro-conductive textiles, which besides conductive have to be lightweight, flexible and washable.

 Screen printing with conductive silver inks on textile substrate for different applications: circuit with LED light and textile pressure sensor, microstrip inset-fed patch antenna, polypyrrole-coated polyester fabric for heating element and thermographic image of heating circuit

The PhD work focuses on screen printing with silver-based inks in order to obtain electro-conductive textiles which meet the requested properties. Through this technology, different substrates, either woven, nonwoven or foam, have been screen-printed. Moreover four silver-based inks were applied.

The electrical properties were evaluated by measuring the square resistance of the printed textiles during different stages, such as after printing, abrading and washing. Since the electrical properties were not so good after washing, it was decided to put a protective layer on top of the conductive layers. Again, the electrical properties of the samples were assessed before and after washing.

Supported by: BASILEUS [2008-1799/001 – 001 MUN ECW] and Ghent University’s Special Research Fund (BOF)

Contact: Prof. Dr. ir. Lieva Van Langenhove