Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) and National Research Council Canada (NRC) have co-developed High Stretchable Conductive Ink. TTRI has achieved two further developments.
Firstly, High Conductive Ink is textile-applicable, stretchable, washable, and flexible, easy to apply on a printed circuit. Secondly, it shortens producing time from 2 months to 5 days with 5-8 kg per day.
High Stretchable Conductive Ink withstands six main washing tests, including twisting, stretching, flexing, extruding, peeling, and oxidation. Its high washability allows more applications such as printed motion capture textile, display/optical fabric, and sensing modules. The conductive ink can easily facilitate the combination of other fields for different applications such as printed motion capture textile, display fabric, a sensing module, LED chips, conductive circuits, or display on the fabric. In addition, current conductive ink products in the market require highly toxic chemicals such as toluene and acetone to clean, High Stretchable Conductive Ink could be cleaned with environmentally and health-friendly ethanol as a cleaner in the future.
High Stretchable Conductive Ink has already been patented and licensed to San Fang Chemical Co., one of international sportswear brands’ top ten global suppliers as well as the world’s largest flexible film producer, to mass-produce the stretchable conductive ink with nearly 40% of the global market.
Gold Edison Award: RFID Yarn®: new method for data management and application
Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) has developed the world’s first Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) yarn, not tag but yarn. RFID Yarn® passes five major washing tests: anti-laundry, anti-acid, anti-alkali, anti-high temperature, and anti-roller pressure. We initiate the RFID Yarn® Technology Industry Alliance to set up testing standards for newcomers, jointly drafted the industry specifications for the’ Yarn Type RFID Dyeing and Finishing Field Evaluation Test Method, and continued to develop various business applications.
The RFID Yarn® is thin, soft, easy to hide, and can be woven into textiles. It has passed five major durability tests in the textile field, broadening as many application possibilities as possible. RFID changed from the existing label style to the yarn mode, which can be hidden in consumer clothing. When the clothing is discarded, the materials used can be easily tracked, identified, and classified. In the future, the comprehensive introduction of RFID can apply to zero inventory, zero waste, and recyclability of goods for brands and retailers. When dealing with post-consumption, clothes can be easily classified, which is of great help to upcycling and reusing.
Silver Edison Award: Digital Tex®: Functional Ink instead of Functional Fabric
TTRI has developed Digital Tex®, which contains two opposite functions of inks: water repellent and water wicking, especially suitable for sweaty sports activities. Digital Tex® provides new methods to deliver functionality in sportswear. It is not about fabrics, but ink.
In the current market, we need two-component composite fibers to achieve moisture-absorbing and sweat-wicking effects on fabrics. But our Digital Tex® has both moisture-sensitive inks and hydrophobic inks functions for choosing, and it is possible to be jetted on a mono-material fabric.
Digital Tex has benefits as below:
(1) Saving various energy costs:
Digital Tex® has a flexible production capacity, effectively simplifying the traditional production of chemical additives by reducing 30%, saving 85% energy usage, lowing 80% water consumption, and avoiding 60% carbon emissions.
(2) Saving manpower and time costs:
Digital Tex® functional ink is flexible when applying different functions in different parts of the fabric, so it is suitable for customized small amounts and various designs trend. Furthermore, digital inkjet is highly automatic. Thus, it could provide a quick response to the customers by changing the program setting.