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Smart Textiles

By: Saroja Mhanta


By- Saroja Mhanta

Abstract Since the nineteenth century, revolutionary changes have been occurring at an unprecedented rate in many fields of science and technology, which have profound impacts on every human being. Inventions of electronic chips, computers, the Internet, the discovery and complete mapping of the human genome have transformed he entire world. The last century also brought tremendous advances in the textile and clothing industry. Smart textiles represent the next generation of fibers, fabrics and articles produced from them. Many intelligent textiles already feature in advanced types of clothing principally for protection and safety and for added fashion or convenience. In this paper the latest developments and innovations of Smart clothing has been addressed. In the world of professional sport, the innovation tempo is high, says OSCAR FRIERE the world cycling champion. The particular application came into limelight especially after 1996 Olympics where almost all swimming champions used of SPEEDO fabrics as their swimwear and the sports community was enthralled by usefulness of performance supporting textiles. The shark-suits, the burrows-flame, the jogging suit which turns to climatic conditions after exercise and further advised the jogger for the balanced action. The athletes call it as energy conserver. So smart textiles can really make even an ugly man look smart though its performance and developed technology. Introduction People are already carrying around more and more electronic products; mobile phones, laptops, personal hi-fis and more one the way. It makes perfect sense to actually start integrating products into clothes. Smart clothing is a combination of electronics and clothing textiles. New fiber and textile materials and miniaturized electronic components make it possible to create truly usable smart clothes. These intelligent clothes are worn like ordinary clothing providing help in various situations according to the designed application. A piece of clothing works and helps actively to carry out a mission such as drying. A piece of clothing usually dries hanging, it requires a certain time to dry, so this means a passive drying. An active drying can be accomplished with humidity sensor, which notices proportional humidity growing up and puts heating on. Therefore dissipating of water becomes more effective. Active characters of smart clothing can be heating, cooling, active changing of colour and active drying. 2 Since the 19th Century, revolutionary changes have been occurring at an unprecedented rate in science and technology with a profound impact on our lives Inventions of ICs, computers, the Internet, discovery and complete mapping of the human genome, and many more have transformed the entire world We have learnt a lot from nature! Solid foundations of scientific understanding have been laid to guide the improved usage and processing technology of natural fibers and the manufacturing of synthetic fibers. The technology has progressed so that manufactured fibers and their products surpass natural fibers in many aspects Textiles can now be designed for specialized applications Biological routes for synthesizing polymers or textile processing represent an environmentally friendly, sustainable way of utilizing natural resources.

Textiles Materials for Every Need Optimized moisture management Better heat flow control Improved thermal insulation Breathability High performance in hazard protection Environmental friendly Increased abrasion resistance Health control and healing aid Body control Easy care High aesthetic appeal Enhanced handle High/low visibility Engineered Textiles Engineered textiles are materials that are developed and/or designed for a special need or application where a very high performance is required Engineered textiles may combine fabrics with glass, ceramics, metal, or carbon to produce lightweight hybrids with incredible properties. Sophisticated finishes, such as silicone coatings and holographic laminates, transform color, texture, and even form. Smart Technology We are inspired to mimic nature in order to create clothing materials with higher levels of functions and smartness Cloning silk fibers was a first step Can the skin -a smart material- be mimicked? The skin has sensors that can detect pressure, pain, ambient conditions,etc. and intelligently function with environmental stimuli Smart/interactive textiles (SIT) are materials and structures that sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli, such as those from mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical, magnetic or other sources SIT are no longer a science-fiction fantasy. For example, there are in the market selfcleaning carpets, memory-shaped and environment-responsive textiles, and anti-insomniac micro-fibers. can

Share of Smart Clothing in U.S Textile Market The U.S. market for smart and interactive textiles is valued at an estimated $64.4 million in 2004 and is expected to rise at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 36% to $299.3 million in 2009. Consumer products that include low-tech items such as photo chromic t-shirts and swimsuits account for the bulk of the U.S. market. Phase change and conductive textiles accounted for the rest of the market. Military, biomedical, and vehicle safety and

comfort applications are projected to grow rapidly.

According to the manner of reaction, SIT can be divided into: Passive smart materials-which can only sense the environmental condition or stimuli, Active smart materials- which sense and react to the condition or stimuli, Very smart materials-which can sense, react and adapt themselves accordingly, and Intelligent materials- which are those capable of responding or activated to perform a function in a manual or pre-programmed manner How does a smart material work?

Trigger or Stimuli Sensing
The sensors provide a nerve system to detect signals


The processor analyzes and evaluates the signals

Response or Action

The actuators act upon the detected and evaluated signal either directly or from a central control unit

reas of R & D (1) For sensors - actuators: photo-sensitive materials fibre optics conductive polymers thermal sensitive materials shape memory materials intelligent coating materials chemical responsive materials micro-capsules micro- and nano-materials Areas of R & D (2) For signal transmission, processing and control: neural networks and control systems cognition theory and systems

For integrated processes and products: o wearable electronics and photonics o adaptive and responsive structures o bio-mimics o tissue engineering o chemical/drug releasing Reflective Technology A technology has been created to convert proprietary materials into miniature reflectors that, when imbedded into fabric by the millions, reflect oncoming light, such as automobile headlights, in a way that illuminates the full silhouette of a person, bicycle or any other object.The reflectors are smaller than a grain of sand and finer than a human hair. They can be imbedded into the weave of almost any fabric. The end result is a fabric that remains soft to the touch and retains its function and fashion. During the day, the treated fabrics are indistinguishable from untreated fabrics. Thermal Performance Enhancing Fabric Hydroweave provides extraordinary protection against heat, actively cooling the wearer through evaporation, and helping to maintain the core body temperature in high-heat environments. It is a three-layer design that combines special hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibers into a fibrous batting core. The batting is sandwiched between a breathable outer shell fabric and a thermally conductive, inner lining.

Flash Dried Fabrics 3XDRY finishing technology was developed to provide a treatment that retains water resistance on the face of a fabric and increases wicking on the back. The two functions are truly separated within the fabric, which remains highly breathable.3XDRY uses a special process to apply a hydrophilic finish on the back that wicks perspiration away from the body, spreading it over the fabric, and evaporating it quickly on the face. It also has a hydrophobic finish that repels water and dirt.The fabric dries six to eight times faster than untreated fabric. 3XDRY also incorporates a hygienic treatment to control odor. Protective Flex The new smart response fiber is proving to enhance passenger safety because of its unique energy-management properties. Securus is the first in a new category of polyester copolymer fibers being developed for managed-load applications. It combines polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which provides restraining properties, and polycaprolactone (PCL), which provides flexibility and cushioning. During a collision, Securus fiber seat belts protect the passenger in a three-step process: holding the passenger securely in place; elongating and cushioning the body as it absorbs the energy of its forward motion; and restraining and limiting that motion. Thermal Sensitivity Smart Skin hydrogel is a new technology involving a

hydrophilic/hydrophobic copolymer, which is embedded in an open-cell foam layer bonded to the inside of a closed-cell neoprene layer in a composite wet suit fabric with nylon or nylon/Lycra outer and inner layers. Smart Skin absorbs cold water that has flushed into the suit and expands to close openings at the hands, feet and neck, preventing more water from entering. Water trapped inside the suit heats up upon body contact. If the water warms up past a transition temperature determined by the proportion of hydrophilic to hydrophobic components, the hydrogel releases water and contracts, allowing more water to flush through the suit. This passive system constantly regulates the internal temperature no batteries or mechanical action are needed.

Phase Change Materials Outlast temperature-regulating technology effectively recycles body heat, keeping the wearers skin temperature within a comfortable range. Outlast was first developed for use in astronaut uniforms and as a protection for instruments against the severe temperature changes in outer space. The technology is now used in apparel, footwear, equipment and linens. Outlast is a paraffin wax compound that is micro-encapsulated into thousands of miniscule, impenetrable, hard shells. It recycles body heat by absorbing, storing, distributing and releasing heat on a continuous basis, keeping the wearers skin temperature within a comfortable range. Nano Technology Nano-particles are permanently attached to cotton or synthetic fibers. The change occurs at the molecular level, and the particles can be configured to imbue the fabric with various attributes. Nano-technology combines the performance characteristics associated with synthetics with the hand and feel of cotton. Nano-fibers 1/1000 the size of a typical cotton fiber are attached to the individual fibers. The changes to the fibers are undetectable and do not affect the natural hand and breathability of the fabric Wearable Technology Clothing is currently supposed to have more functions than just certain climatic protection and good look. These functions can be referred to wearing and durability properties. A revolutionary new property of clothing is to exchange information.Clothing is now capable of recording, analyzing, storing, sending and displaying data, which is a new dimension with intelligent systems. Clothing can extend the users senses, augment the view of reality and provide useful information anytime and anywhere the user goes. Application fields are: Working: displaying helpful data, connecting to the internet or to other people Medicine: monitoring health parameters Security: detecting danger, calling for help

Microbes Begone An anti-microbial technology has been developed by which it embeds AgION, a silver-based inorganic zeolite, in a solution-dyed polyester Fossfibre bicomponent fiber. Fossfibre with AgION is suitable for all textile applications in which anti-microbial protection is desired. The bicomponent fibers in Fossfibre are specially designed so that AgION is found only on the sheath, providing controlled release for optimum exposure to the destructive bacteria. The silver ions from the ceramic compound are released at a slow and steady rate. Ambient moisture in the air causes low-level release that effectively maintains an anti-microbial surface. As the humidity increases and the environment become ideal for bacteria growth, more silver is released. Bio-mimics Fibers have been developed that can quickly change their color, hue, depth of shade or optical transparency by application of an electrical or magnetic field could have applications in coatings, additives or stand alone fibers. Varying the electrical or magnetic field changes the optical properties of certain oligomeric and molecular moieties by altering their absorption coefficients in the visible spectrum as a result of changes in their molecular structure. The change in color is due to the absence of specific wavelengths of light; it varies due to structural changes with the application of an electromagnetic field. Tissue Engineering Tissue engineering uses living cells and their extracellular components with textile-based biomaterial scaffolds to develop biological tissues for human body repair. The scaffolds provide support for cellular attachment and subsequent controlled proliferation into predefined tissue shapes. Such an engineering approach would solve the severe shortage problem associated with organ transplants. Textile-based scaffolds have been used for such tissue engineering purposes. The most frequently used textile-based scaffolds are non-woven structures, preferably of biodegradable materials, because then there is no permanent foreign-body tissue reaction toward the scaffolds

and, over time, there is more volume space into which the engineered tissue can grow. Implications for Research Protective textiles materials benefit from the development of a myriad of high-performance, thermal-stable fibers, and structured woven composites (passive systems) Also, protective clothing can greatly improve performance by adding smart/interactive features

Smart thermal protective clothing: Detection of vital signals Global Positioning System (GPS) Wireless, hands-free communication Cooling warming system Incorporated warning signaling
3-layer interlock woven structure

Multi-layered woven structures can increase thermal and fire protection by adding controlled air gaps. They can be tailored to provide other features such as an anti-static system, and physiological comfort

air gaps

5-layer interlock woven structure

In a structured layered system, smart features may be added and supported by the matrix formed

Detection of Vital Signals Sensatex is developing a Smart Shirt System specifically for the protection of public safety personnel, namely firefighters, police officers, and rescue teams. Used in conjunction with a wireless-enabled radio system, the Smart Shirt can monitor the health and safety of public safety personnel/victims trapped in a building or underneath

rubble with the ability to detect the exact location of victims through positioning capability. In addition to monitoring vital signs, the system can detect the extent of falls, and the presence of hazardous gases; it also offers two-way voice communication.

Global Positioning System (GPS) Textiles integrated with sensory

devices driven by a GPS can detect a users exact location anytime and in any weather. Interactive electronic textiles with integrated GPS enhance safety by quickly locating the wearer and allowing the suit to be heated. GPS can provide added safety for firefighters and emergency personnel by facilitating offsite monitoring of vitals 10 Anti-Static Wipers: Incorporating conductive fibers in a carpet or mats, even as isolated conductors, results in greatly reduced static charge accumulation on people as they walk across the carpet .This keeps the materials free from dust and remains unaffected by multiple washes .The anti-static materials are widely used in household textiles ,packaging electronic components, industrial textiles , etc. Wireless, hands-free communication

Fabric area networks (FANs) enable electronic devices to exchange digital information, power, and control signals within the users personal space and remote locations. FANs use wireless RF communication links using currents measuring one nanoamp; these currents can transmit data at speed equivalent to a 2400-baud modem. Cooling Warming System A new high-tech vest has been developed to help keep soldiers, firefighters, etc. alive in the searing temperatures of deserts, mines and major fires. The vest uses a personal cooling system (PCS), which is based on heat pipe technology which works by collecting body heat through vapor filled cavities in a vest worn on the body. The heat is then transferred via a flexible heat pipe to the atmosphere with the help of an evaporative cooling heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is similar in principle to a bush fridge where a cold cloth is put over a container and the temperature drop caused by evaporation keeps the food cool. It is designed to be worn by personnel underneath NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) clothing, body armor and other protective clothing. Warning Signaling A combination of sensors and small flexible light emitting displays (FLED) can receive and respond to stimuli from the body, enabling a warning signal to be displayed or sent. The sensors can monitor EKG, heart rate, respiration, temperature, and pulse oximetry readings. If vital

11 signals were below critical values, a FLED would automatically display, for example, a flashing red light, and a wireless communication system could send a distress signal to a remote location. Electronics and fabrics woven together will make smart dressers of firefighters, football players With cell phones hanging off shoulder bag straps, pagers hooked to our belts, digital cameras dangling from our necks, PDAs bulging in our pockets, and MP3 players clipped to our shirts, we're all beginning to look like electro gadget pack mules. Conductive fibers woven into the fabric using standard textile techniques carry power to sensors, actuators, and microcontrollers embedded in the cloth. Software controls the communications inside the on-fabric network and can send radio signals using Bluetooth .An Army commander shirt communicates vital signs in real-time, and when all hell breaks loose on the battlefield, the commander sees at a glance who's been hit and who hasn'tand who is gravely injured and in need of immediate attention. The jacket is embedded with a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) chip; sensors monitoring position, motion, and temperature; an electric conductivity sensor; and two accelerometers to sense impact. If a crash occurs, the jacket automatically detects it and sends a distress message to emergency medical officials via Short Message Service. The message conveys the rider's coordinates, local environmental embedded in the undershirt. Smart undergarments Functions of undergarments Home based monitoring of patients Controlling of room temperature conditions, and data taken from a heart monitor


physiological knitted


electrodes and flexible sensors has to be

integrated in under garments. Electrodes that are used in conjunction with electro conductive gels.

Garment requirements The garment should ensure the sensor is accurately placed. The electrodes must make good contact with the body. The garment must remain comfortable to wear with technology invisible to patient.

12 Controlling of room temperature Smart' ``underwear'' prototype: (a) Detail, showing ``underwear'' with sensor sewn into waistband. (This version is not actually underwear; a Jantzen bathing suit turned out to work better than underwear.) Transmitter at right has two cables entering it, one is to connect to the sensor, while the other is the transmitting antenna (hanging free). (b) Transmitter in use rests comfortably to left side of body. (c) Receiver, RF signal-strength meter, and bank of high-current (40 amp) relays, together with heater (operating off one of the relays). This form of interaction with the machine (heater) does not require conscious thought or effort. It differs from other bodily extensions (such as a bicycle) in the sense that it may be worn at all times (even in a gambling casino) whether or not it is being actually used (sensed). For example, the wearer might use it in the office (the base station can be replicated one for home, one for office), and then go home and continue to interact in this simple way, with the home heater. While traveling from the office, picking up groceries on the way home, one might completely forget that one is wearing such a device, so the interaction, after some time, does not require conscious thought or effort, and, I believe, comes closer to being cyborgian than even the bicycle that comes into conscious thought when it is time to park it outside the grocery store. Internet Connected Shoes Smart clothing includes internet-connected shoes which allow one to run with a jogging partner located in some distant place, but connected via the network. Viewpoints might also be shared using the "eye-to-eye" glasses (where a portion of each runner's visual field comes from the other runner. Some shoes, equipped with sensors, measure the impact of various parts of the shoe with the ground. This gives the wearer's computer a sense of the pace, so that, for example, joggers might pace themselves with a distant partner connected through wireless communications. Such technologies enhance one's capabilities of self-expression. The fishing vest The result of the research was the fishing vest, which can trace its position and help in navigation. Positioning has become an important function in personal devices allowing users to access information according to place and time, in addition to aiding navigation. Personal Position Manager (PPM) is a wearable application that is especially intended for fishing, but it is suitable for any activity where positioning is needed. The system is

13 constructed using a fishing vest and the functionality encompasses navigation help and notebook properties. The basic function of the system is to record good fishing places, so that fishers can find the best catch places again. It is also possible to ask the route to a desired destination point that is saved earlier into system memory, to record continuously the last 10 km of travelled route, and to follow a route travelled. Burton Amp jacket Burton Amp jacket, from snowboarding company Burton in collaboration with Apple, which allows riders to blast their favorite music while simultaneously racing down the slopes. Here is how looks the control panel on the jacket's sleeve (Credit: SOFT switch Ltd.). Conclusion By building much of what we normally interact with directly into our clothing, we, in some sense, become `smart people', with the potential to interact with external processes (computers, programs, things, other people, etc.) in a much more natural way. Exploring the concept of ``smart'' clothing, from the tip of antenna hat, to the bottom of electric shoes, in day-to-day living, Found that a much more natural form of interaction with external processes emerged. As an alternative to ``smart'' objects or spaces, `smart clothing' brings more control to the user. It suggests a future in which people, through prosthesis, might both overcome disabilities, and have improved abilities.


References Technical textiles international, jul-aug-2004 Smart fibers, fabrics and clothings, by-Xiaoping Tao Journal of textiles Committee, vol-4 no: 1, april-jun 2004 Smart Textiles, by Edward Menezes Electronics Today, Feb-2004