Electronic textiles currently still have a low degree of integration, i.e. commercial electronic components are usually attached to textile materials. A further disadvantage of yarn or filament based components is the increasing electrical resistance of the coatings with the running length. As a result, it has not yet been possible to implement extensive thread-based energy storage devices or sensors.
This invention by a German university describes a spraying process for the structured coating of a yarn with functional materials in a continuous process. The yarn passes through two coaxially arranged cylindrical stencils, the outer one of which has a slit-shaped opening and the inner one a helical one. By rotating the outer cylinder at a speed adapted to the yarn speed, a ring-shaped structure that is limited in an axial direction can be applied to the yarn surface. This is highly advantageous for the production of what are known as smart textiles, as electronic components can be produced directly at the level of a yarn. The substances applied in several layers can have different electronic or electrochemical properties and can be used in a variety of ways.
The process is suitable for the structured coating of yarns using sprayable coating agents or PVD to produce functional yarns or filaments for electronic or active textiles such as electroluminescence, energy storage or sensor technology in textiles. An application within medical technology is also possible as active substances can also be applied. It can be used as a stencil in yarn sputtering systems as an offset coating of two zones of different material can take place both on top of each other and next to each other.
The university would like to bring this invention to the market via a license agreement with companies active in e.g. medical textiles, geotextiles or intelligent textiles. If a further development of the application is desired and the know-how of the university is required, a technology cooperation agreement is also conceivable.