Implementation technologies

Hochschule Niederrhein. Your way.

Coating systems

Ring-shaped slot die coating for smart yarns

 

 

The slot die technology is a well-established process in the film coating industry for packaging materials. The transfer of the slot die technology in the form of a ring to the textile and clothing industry enables the coating of filaments and yarns in a vertical arrangement, and ensures a uniform coating of electrically conductive layers or even colour changing layers.

 

 

Sputtering is a well-known technology in the field of mechanics, optics and electrical engineering, especially in the semiconductor industry. Hochschule Niederrhein utilizes this technology for filament and ribbon coatings with silver. Using a hollow cylinder as magnetron and cathode configuration allows to coat three-dimensional substrates because the sputtered particles come from all sides.

Compared to other thin film processes sputter deposition has some advantages, e.g. as a dry process sputtering is more environmentally friendly compared to typical chemical processes because it does not use any solvents and produces no waste water. Above that, nearly every material can be sputtered, no matter if conductive or not (using an RF diode).

Magnetron Sputtering Machine for filaments and textile ribbons

Joining methods

Smart seams

 

For functional seam materials, such as electrically conductive thread or electroluminescent wires, conventional industrial sewing machines are not sufficient to process these delicate materials. For this purpose, a machine with a laying thread device is ideal. In this way, the functional threads can be used as a laying thread and are subjected to minimal mechanical stress during the seam formation process.

The Dutch company Habraken developed a machine that can produce continuous seams in 3D. The machine with the designation HM 835 is based on a two-needle post bed machine of the M-Type series of the company Dürkopp Adler, type 867.

On the hardware side, the machine has a rotating needle bar, two thread layers and a special control and programming unit. Functional materials can thus be laid and are not subject to abrasion or mechanical stress.

Technical embroidery technology

Multifunctional Embroidery Machine

 

The multifunctional SGVA embroidery machine from ZSK Stickmaschinen GmbH is a special machine that has three different technical embroidery heads for different embroidery processes.

The F-head is a standard embroidery head with nine needles. This head has the technique of double lockstitch embroidery and also enables embroidery applications such as sequin appliqué, drilling embroidery, double roller cord embroidery, as well as loop, cap and ribbon embroidery.

The embroidery processes of the K-head, the moss and chain stitch, are single-thread systems with a hook needle that allows the formation of loops.

The embroidery process of the W-head is based on a three-thread system with upper and lower thread and a laying medium. The laying process is divided into three main technologies: Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP), Tailored Wire Placement (TWP) and Tailored Tube Placement (TTP).

3D knitting machine

Innovative knitting technology for Smart Textiles

 

 

The knitting technology offers a wide range of design possibilities for processing electrically conductive yarns in several layers of a knitted fabric, so that resistive and capacitive textile sensors can be implemented in the knitted fabric by combining it with hygroscopic materials or semiconductive coatings.

Additive manufacturing

3D printing is a generative and additive manufacturing process in which models, samples, prototypes, tools and end products can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Additive manufacturing is based on 3D CAD models, or “digital fabrication”. The principle of 3D printing is based on building up almost any shape in layers, which is why the 3D printing process is also known as additive manufacturing.

3D printing enables printing with a wide variety of materials. These include plastics for the well-known extrusion printing in numerous colors, with cellulosic or mineral components, as well as flexible thermoplastic polyurethanes, conductive plastics with metallic components and water-soluble polymers. In addition, many other interesting materials for experimental 3D prints such as sugar, salt, concrete, graphene or chocolate can be processed.

Development of printed multilayer circuit boards using 3D printing

 

 

With a new and special 3D printing technology, multi-layer circuits are printed, pastes are applied and components are placed on the circuit board.

This 3D printing technology enables the printing of conductive and insulating inks for a multilayer circuit board structure. Conductive adhesive is applied using a dispenser. An integrated pick and place print head detects electronic components that have been submitted, activates the conductive adhesive applied using integrated UV lamps and places the components on the previously printed circuit board. In this way, individual and flexible PCBs can be produced.