Project Overview

Project general context
Throughout this project, the usage of welding technology as a technique for development of e-textile structures will notably be investigated and the optimization of welding parameters related with e-textiles’ sensing properties will also be performed. Although various forms of bonding and welding technology have had applications in other non-apparel sectors since 1940s, their growth in apparel sector has tended to be restricted to specialized high-value niche sectors of the apparel industry, which include intimate wear, close-fitting active wear such as running or cycling, outdoor performance apparel and work wear.  Additionally, up to now however, their use as a technique for construction of e-textiles has also not been explored despite their expected positive impact and advantages on interactive clothing such as protection against electrical transmission over garment, improved comfort, aesthetics, reduced bulk and weight, and enhanced waterproof performance etc. Thus, this proposal focuses on how welding technologies can be used for development of e-textiles structures while being compatible with a textile manufacturing process as well as electronics and informatics. Indeed, the broad aim is to achieve development of pre-ready e-textile products using welding technologies for interactive clothing applications.

Project objective
This project is the combination of welding, textiles, electronics and informatics technologies that aims to develop novel e-textile structures including transmission lines, sensors, actuators, microprocessors, personalized algorithms, on-body computing and user feedbacks in order to make a breakthrough towards development of interactive clothing.
In the frame of the project, prototypes of e-textile structures that include electronics integrated into textiles will be developed and compared with standard sensors when tested onto simulators besides, the existing techniques (weaving, knitting, embroidery, sewing) used for designing e-textile transmission lines including conductive yarns will be compared with newly proposed welding technologies.  A complete e-textile system with embedded sensors, actuator, processors and transmission systems shall then be produced and used for development of interactive protective garments that able to monitor health, activity, position and the environmental risky situations. The wearability and comfort of the whole e-textile system designed for protective clothing applications will also be assessed.
Consequently, specific developments of e-textile structures as well as custom designs for integration of electronics will be created using welding technologies in order to obtain an e-textile manufacturing compatible process.

Expected impact
The project includes a comprehensive study by combining textile materials and textile production techniques with welding, electronics and information technologies in order to develop novel e-textile structures composed of electrical transmission lines, sensors, actuators, microprocessors, specialized algorithms based on application type, on-body computing and user feedbacks. Thus, project draws on strong transitions of textiles, electronics and informatics researches and is internationally acknowledged for its pioneering contributions to design of textile transmission lines, integration of electronics methodology to textiles, interactive clothing system design, and optimization of welding parameters for e-textile structures.  The research programme addresses the potentially important role for advances in wearable electronics and smart textile researches, notably in interactive clothing system designs, to tackle challenges in future electronic textile products’ design, development and utilization.
The project activities are designed to develop innovative electronic textile products through the combination of textile technologies with welding, electronics and information technologies.  By bringing experts from different countries, sectors and disciplines together to focus their effort in innovative e-textile product designs, the proposed project is expected to enhance industry-academia cooperation in terms of research training and knowledge-sharing. This will not only help to develop future generations of entrepreneurial researchers more capable of contributing effectively to the knowledge-based e-textile research area, within and between public and private sectors, but also add to the inter sectorial and trans-national employability of these researchers and to the attraction of young people to a research career on textile/electronics area.