The TCCV Approach: Enabling technology TCCV
Advanced textile products are used as functional elements in other industries.
Textile materials and processes carry and initiate innovative developments. Derived from classical garment and home textiles, nowadays textiles are present in many technical applications however often the usual textile appearance has gone and functionality is achieved from a composite of different materials. This opens new avenues for improved resources efficiency and product performance.
Important drivers which determine the emerging demand in technical products are:
Mobility with reduced consumption of non-regenerative resources
Communication techniques – integration of electrical circuits in flexible structures
Health related applications, which are also influenced through the demographic situation of an Ageing population in Europe
Safety through optimised personal equipment and protective clothing
Digitalisation in almost all industries and areas of life with the need of integrated (invisible) textile sensors, e.g. in wearables
The use of high-tech textile materials contributes to the competitiveness of the many other producing industries, adds value to these products and strengthens the position of such innovative products in the competitive international markets. Relevant examples are:
Lightweight construction materials for automotive industry, sports equipment and consumer goods
Flexible conductive materials, sensors and heaters
Integration of electronic devices in textiles, to communicate to electronic networks
High performance materials for safety and sports applications
Fibre reinforced material for construction
3D-structured textile materials for electrodes, filters and technical applications
Research in technical textiles and fibre/textile reinforced composites thus will be of distinct value to provide a wide range of different producing industries with access to this key-technology. Products derived from technical textiles and fibre reinforced materials are of interest for a wide range of applications thus the textile manufacturing industry provides production knowledge which is of value for practically all branches of industrial production, e.g. metal working industry, plastics industry, construction industry and architecture, electro- and electronics industry but also for future mobility solutions (lightweight materials) as well as health and medical applications.
Textile reinforced structures and technical textiles will significantly contribute
to emerging fields by providing flexible and advanced production technology e.g. for load bearing lightweight structures and by use of high performance electrodes in geometric challenging battery and fuel cell constructions.
Automotive industry already has recognised the potential of qualified textile producers as partners for joint development, thus intensive research interaction between the German automotive industry and technical embroidery producing companies already takes place.
Integration of textile reinforcement into concrete structures and elements for construction of buildings is already being investigated intensively. Due to the size of the market and the enormous range of different products and new solutions the process still is at its beginning.
Integration of flexible and miniaturised electronics in textiles will form the basis for the further development of the Internet of Things. Substantial interdisciplinary research will be required to embed the devices for network activities and communication in clothing and textile structures.
Textile structures gain importance in many fields of technical application e.g. flexible sensor elements, heating elements, medical electrodes and devices (including implants), advanced hygiene products and a growing share of products will base on textile production technologies in the near future. High performance textiles will contribute to the further development of functional sports textiles, protective textiles, and hygiene products with membranes and barrier function as lead markets for functional textiles.
Area 1. From analysis of the behaviour of reinforcement fibres under simulated conditions of processing a basic understanding will be provided to identify promising material concepts. This will include development of strategies for surface modification of reinforcement fibres and development of appropriate analytical methods for surface characterisation of reinforcement fibres and modified fibres.
Processing concepts which integrate fibre selection / fibre modification / textile processing and textile chemical modification for optimisation of overall performance of composites will be delivered. An adaptation of technical textile fabric production will lead to near-net-shaped 3D-pre-forms which represents a basis for efficient and automated production of parts. To optimise the performance per weight ratio of parts, the weight of reinforcement in the composite will be maximised, and in an ideal case the reinforcement structure will represent more than 70 % of the total weight.
Scientific models delivered will lead to design rules how to construct a textile reinforced composite beginning with reinforcement/matrix selection, to 2D- and 3D-endshaped preform construction and conditions for thermal consolidation of composites.
The material requirements for use in a textile reinforced concrete application will be defined with regard to fibre properties, sizing and resination. The potential of a textile reinforcement of extruded aluminium profiles will be analysed with scientific methods describing the adhesion behaviour between aluminium surfaces and reinforcement structures and identifying strategies to optimise adhesion in hybrid concepts with regard to modification of the aluminium surface and selection of textile reinforced composite. Integration of sensor concepts in hybrid material will provide information about critical conditions during use.
Scientific results describing modifications of fibre ropes with regard to increase their capacity to withstand critical stress requirements during use will be delivered. Strategies to optimise adhesion in of material used in fibre ropes for improved load transfer in the draw bar will lead to new concepts to form draw bars with high mechanical load capacity using concepts of tailored fibre placement and technical embroidery. Integration of sensor concepts in fibre ropes will provide information about critical conditions during use, ageing and risk of failure.
Area 2. From analysis and evaluation of micro-electronic devices, sensors and potential actuators a basic toolkit of techniques and hardware to implement “smart” elements in textiles will be available. Besides the demonstration of a functional principle the results will include information describing performance, range of application and durability.
In direct exchange with activities from area 1 (composite technology) and area 3 (micro-composites and coating) suitable concepts to integrate miniaturised electronic devices in textile structure will be developed. Results will include a detailed analysis of the performance of textile integrated electronics under conditions of simulated use and maintenance.
From research in smart home applications functional concepts and performance data for selected intelligent textiles for application in Smart Homes will be delivered, which will also include functional concepts for ambient assisted living. In cooperation with the industrial partners an assessment of quality of data will be performed, leading to an evaluation of devices and sensors to predict unexpected behaviour and identify critical situations e.g. in AAL.
Results delivered in the field of sensors in care and AAL formulate a modular concept for a road-map for integration of sensors, actuators and devices in bedding. Beginning with integration of sensors, actuators in bedding from improvement of comfort and quality of sleep the smart bed can be advanced further through integration of supportive structures to provide functionality for ambient assisted living and for support of care work. Devices in a smart bed concept will be fully integrated into smart home applications.
Activities will deliver a science based road-map for integration of sensors, actuators, devices in clothing, and formulate a modular concept for integration of sensors, actuators in garment for improvement of safety, comfort, reduction of work load (stress), and support therapy and care work. The devices will be fully integrated into the garment, and will be used in connectable smart home and care applications.
Area 3. For the strategic approach to elaborate scientific concepts for controlled modification of fibre polymers by formation of molecular, nano- and micro composites the fundamental analysis of modifications by analytical methods will enable the formulation of theoretical models. This will also allow an assessment of technological value of achieved modifications with regard to effect and stability of modification and an analysis of potential methods to be transferred on technical scale machinery and production level.
Relevant concepts to develop controllable effects of coating / barrier formation will be identified and methods to produce barrier membranes in-situ on the textile support will be assessed in cooperation with the industrial partners. Thus characteristic textile properties and technological data for selected material combinations and a description of the applicatory value of the performance of a layered composite including silicon based polymers in a defined environment will be delivered. Results will combine knowledge about basic fibre and textile properties with basic conditions and requirements to achieve resilient joints. Innovative techniques for energy transfer in hot melt seaming / reactive adhesive use will lead towards new technologies in seam formation.
New conceptual work for improved understanding of functional high performance sports textiles will be available. This will include knowledge about the influence of different base layer concepts (e.g. variation of fibre amounts and ventilation openings) on human thermoregulation, performance and comfort. Development of new multi-layered outdoor clothing systems based on fundamental knowledge about their influences on human thermoregulation, performance and comfort will initiate new product design.
Studies from human wear trials will help to find out how moisture accumulation and heat loss in clothing systems can be minimized and thermoregulatory mechanisms can be improved during activities in the cold.