Smart Textiles put to the test

This is another feature in conjunction with the International Textile Conference of Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf at the end of November 2017

TITV Greiz is developing new methods for product safety

The combination of textile and electronics is becoming more and more fruitful: In 2017, more than 131 millions of clothes with smart functions are expected to be produced worldwide. But such “smart textiles“ are also increasingly used in automobiles, safety-related components and in medical engineering. These are reasons enough for the Textile Research Institute Thuringia-Vogtland (TITV) to set up an efficient laboratory for developing test methods for conductive textiles in the interest of product safety and user safety

An insight into the test laboratory of TITV Greiz

„For the reliable use of conductive fibres, textile-based sensors, contactings and supply lines for heating applications and luminous applications, the industry needs new appropriate test methods even before the market launch“, says head of laboratory Volkmar Reichmann. At the TITV, which – as one of the first research institutes at all – started developing conductive threads 20 years ago, complex material tests, durability tests and dynamic stress simulations for the various kinds of smart textiles are to be developed in the new test rooms. There are, for example, new, specifically developed test methods which combine mechanical stress tests with electrical function tests.

With regard to luminous or warning protective clothing, smart-textile therapy products and biomonitoring via sports clothing and leisure clothing, it is necessary to help preventing possible cases of damage caused by faulty conductive tracks or damaged contacting. There has been only one test standard for smart textiles in Europe so far, which is DIN EN 16812.

Researchers from Greiz, like the deputy head of R&D Kay Ullrich, were actively involved in developing this standard and will support the work of the European Committee for Standardisation(CEN) in Brussels and of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) in Berlin in this testing field in the future.