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What are Smart Textiles? Categories Materials Working Applications

Textiles that can sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli from mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or magnetic sources, through the incorporation of electronic devices or smart materials.
Smart textiles featured in advanced types of

clothing, principally for protection and safety and for added fashion or convenience.

According to functional activity smart textiles can be classified in three categories:Passive Smart Textiles: The first generations of smart textiles, which can only sense the environmental conditions are called Passive Smart Textiles. Active Smart Textiles: The second generation of smart textiles that can sense and react. Active Smart textiles are shape memory, water-resistant and heat storage, thermo regulated, vapour absorbing, heat evolving fabric and electrically heated suits. Ultra Smart Textiles (Intelligent Textiles): The third generation of smart textiles, which can sense, react and adopt themselves to environmental conditions. Intelligent textile essentially consists of a unit, which works like the brain, with cognition, reasoning and activating capacities.

How it Works?
There are two main ways of integrating electronics with fabrics. 1. The first is to attach premade electronic components and circuits to a textile substrate, e.g. by sticking an LED display to the front of a t-shirt. 2. The second method is to construct electronic functionality at the fibre level, and weave these e-fibres together with conventional fibres. Use of functionalized fibres - conductive or optical fibers, E fibers.

Smart Materials
Smart materials respond to differences in temperature or light and change in some way. They are called smart because they sense conditions in their environment and respond to those conditions.
1. Colour Changing Materials

Photochromic, Thermochromic 2. Light Emitting Materials Electroluminescent, fluorescent, LEDs 3. Conductive Materials Conductive polymers, Polymer Gel, Shape Memory Alloy 4. Temperature Changing Materials Thermoelectric Material (paraffin)

Conductive materials There are two methods to create electrical or thermal conductive fabrics and two types of materials, the metals and the polymers. Use of high wicking finishes (ink) with a high metallic content that still retains the comfort required for clothing. Use of conductive yarns. The yarn could constitute metal such as silver, copper, etc or conductive polymer such as polythiophene, polyaniline, and their derivatives.

Examples of conductive yarns and inks used in textiles

Luminescent Materials
Are those that emits light. Electroluminescent Yarn (EL) The concept of electroluminescent (EL) materials is based on the exposure of an electroluminescent substance to a high frequency electrical field, in contrast to photoluminescence in which a light source is needed to provide stimulation. EL polymer sheets are created using micro-encapsulated phosphors and by screen-printing the above on to plastic sheets. Current EL sheets are manufactured by sandwiching the EL ink (electroconductive polymer binder and microencapsulated EL powder) between two conductive coating layers.

Electroluminescent Curtains

Luminex Fabric
Light emitting fabric which has

as its light element fiber optics woven into conventional textiles. Light, delivered by a tiny battery-powered light emitting diode (LED), is transported down the fibre optic from a battery the size of a small matchbox (which can easily be worn). As the light is transported down the fibre, it is emitted intermittently through breaks in the surface of the fibre, where it has been sandblasted or roughened by laser treatment,

Common uses currently include:
Military Medical Communication


and Interaction Fashion and Convenience Soft Interfaces

Smart Shirt
Sensatex company currently manufacturing it for commercial applications such as:
Medical Monitoring Disease Monitoring Military Uses

Fabric Keyboard
The keypad shown here has been mass-produced using ordinary embroidery techniques and mildly conductive thread. The result is a keypad that is flexible, durable, and responsive to touch.

Temperature Sensitive Fabrics:

Smart fabrics- the electronic wearables! This can not only keep the wearer warm or cool but also dry, moisturized, free from bacteria, allergy, odor and stains and at the same time monitor the heart rate, blood count and oxygen. These heat modifying textiles are mostly used to make outdoor garments such as hats, beanies, windbreakers and jackets. There are many techniques for making such clothes, one of which is- treating the fabric with paraffins. As the body gets hot, the paraffins become more liquid to let the heat pass out and as the body gets cold, it solidifies so that it keeps back the heat with the wearer.

Fashion Industry

Enlightened Power Tie

Philips made Jacket



materials/ ut ery-smart-textiles/ ds/smarttextiles.pdf