Statex and Laird Performance Materials have announced a joint and new capability which creates selective plating and high electrical conductivity onto both sides of stretchable fabrics. Potential uses will range from components found in consumer/professional wearable products to medical devices to military/aerospace and automotive critical systems. For more information see the IDTechEx report on E-Textiles 2019-2029: Technologies, Markets and Players.
The new approach creates an electrically conductive pattern and circuit directly onto both sides of a flexible fabric substrate. The procedure, accomplished through pure silver metallization, will enable improved component product performance and higher reliability combined with a lower total cost of ownership realized during manufacturing.
Design engineers who specify plating on stretchable fabrics or their eventual component designs will benefit from technical features of this process such as stretchability and washability. These improvements could solve issues in low amperage flexible circuits and in LED/lighting and sensors used in medical and automotive devices and wearable electronics.
According to Laird Product Manager Christophe Loret, the approach "features a much more robust technology compared to traditional screen printable conductive ink processes, which often fail over time in stress-use cases."
Plating on stretchable fabric successfully passes rigorous tests involving stretching and washing cycles without any noticeable negative effects on electrical performance.
Laird and Statex are making the capability available as pattern-plated on rolls or as ready-to-use finished items such as sensors. Value-added services include die cutting, multilayer lamination, wire connection, and LED population or battery implementation. The two companies will be supporting customers from feasibility and design stages through mass production.
"We regularly co-design, along with our customers, their high-performance systems," says Florian Heissmann of Statex. "The results are solutions which are both compliant and ones helping achieve an optimum manufacturing process."
For information, contact Christophe Loret of Laird at +33 (0) 645047275 or Florian Hiessmann of Statex at +49 (0) 421275047.
Statex Productions, founded in 1978 and headquartered in Bremen, Germany, supplies different textile producers for finished products within different markets. The focus is intelligent textile, conductive yarns and fabrics for technical applications in the automotive industry, high-tech sensor development and robotics. Antibacterial yarns and fabrics are made for medical applications like wound dressings or antibacterial clothes. EMI-shielding tents and pouches are made for the aerospace and aviation Industries and anti-static fiber for carpets. Another core product line is for individual customer needs.
About Laird Performance Materials
Laird Performance Materials, with global headquarters in Shanghai, China, enables high-performance electronics. LPM creates advanced protection solutions for electronic components and systems. World-leading technology brands rely on Laird for improved protection, higher performance and reliability, custom structural designs and faster time-to-market. We solve design issues through innovative products such as EMI suppression or absorption materials, thermal transfer materials, structural and precision metals and multi-functional solutions.
Source: Laird Performance Materials
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Opportunities for Printed & Flexible Electronics on 27 May 2020 at Online hosted by IDTechEx.