Electroluminescent Yarns

BACKGROUND The concept of electroluminescent (EL) materials is based on the exposure of an electroluminescent substance to a high frequency electrical field, in contrast to photoluminescence in which a light source is needed to provide stimulation. EL polymer sheets are created using micro-encapsulated phosphors and by screen-printing the above on to plastic sheets. Current EL sheets are manufactured by sandwiching the EL ink (electro-conductive polymer binder and micro-encapsulated EL powder) between two conductive coating layers. THE TECHNOLOGY The concept of creating washable and flexible EL textiles, however, is yet to be fully developed. A new technology is being developed in the William Lee Innovation Centre (School of Materials, University of Manchester) which enables truly wearable or fully integrated textile structures capable of emitting a range of coloured light in response to electrical stimulation (see opposite). KEY BENEFITS
• Increased durability, flexibility and washability.
• Yarns can be processed via existing manufacturing methods.
• Premium yarn product
• Versatility - range of textile structures can be fabricated. APPLICATIONS EL yarns can be integrated into textiles for wearable applications, which will impact on the way of life for many people. The demand for functional fibres is rapidly increasing. Some important application areas of our EL yarn are:
• Automotive & transport sector
• Building & construction
• Health & Safety (PPE)
• Effect Garments

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY An international patent has been filed. COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY The technology is currently at a ‘Proof-of-Principle’ status. The team would like to hear from companies with interests in:
• Clothing, e.g. safety, consumer
• Specialist yarn manufacture
• Electroluminescent lighting applications

CONTACT Frank Allison, Business Manager, UMIP, Fairbairn Building, PO Box No 88 Manchester M60 1QD, frank.allison@umip.com, Tel: + 44 (0) 161 306 8831 TURNING INNOVATIVE

Inventor(s): washable, flexible EL textiles

Type of Offer: Licensing

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