The coming revolution in textiles: electronics will be soft and silky
The idea of integrating electronics into fabrics and clothing is not new, but the implementation has not yet formed. Manufacturers have learned to incorporate those devices into clothing is a headset, measuring heart rate, sweating, and other, but all this is done at the stage when clothing is stitched and looks more like a “crutch” and not a harmonious tailoring of clothing. To create electronic textiles of the XXI century must learn to release the thread with integrated semiconductor devices to the loom he worked with her as with an ordinary thread. Such a thread is created in lab at MIT. But most importantly, developed the process of mass production “electronic” thread, and it will be launched in commercial production at the beginning of next year.
Production technology of “electronic” filament developed at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT). Adapting technology for mass production on modern weaving machines helped make the researchers from the company AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America). Fabric of filaments with embedded semiconductor devices manufactured in the heart of the textile industry of the USA in Inman mills in southern California. The technology was working and not costly to manufacture. The developers believe that this invention would become something like Moore’s law for the development of electronic fabrics.
Traditionally, the fiber is made from polymer sheets by heating (softening) and stretching. For manufacture of polymer filaments of the proposed process without stretching. To the blank add two of the finest copper wire the thickness of human hair and soldered them to the LEDs or photodiodes (two threads). In the heating process, the polymer coats the wire with diodes and then freezes. Stated that the process is fast and suitable for mass production of the filament. After this the yarn you weave fabric and sew clothing. Such clothes can be washed and ironed. Semiconductors in this thread are not damaged.
As an experiment the fabric with the photodiodes immersed in the aquarium water and using an external light source (lamp) started to pass her the signal sequence with the encoded music. Signals taken from the thread in real time reproduced musical composition. Fabric and fish in the process does not hurt. Such tissues can be done smart bands and wristlets, and many more. Report that the Pentagon is already interested in the invention for the use of electronic filaments in uniform.