Knitted Switches 'K-switch' Technology

BACKGROUND Touch and proximity sensing E-Textiles are being developed by a number of research groups. Several methods have been explored including printing electroconductive materials onto a textile substrate, the use of piezoresistive coatings, embroidering electroconductive fibres and attaching woven electrodes on to a textiles substrate. The disadvantages with such approaches include
• aging of electrodes (piezoresistive materials),
• damage with washing
• variable performance (time dependent deformations)
• poor repeatability and/or calibration difficulties (where required). THE TECHNOLOGY Research in the William Lee Innovation Centre (School of Materials, University of Manchester) has created a proprietary knitted switch constructed from electroconductive fibres via electronic flat-bed knitting technology. The knitted switch (K-Switch) can be activated by the touch of a finger. The K-Switch comprises of at least two electrodes created as an integral part of a knitted structure, which form contact faces on the surface of the knitted structure. The contact faces (electrodes) and all the necessary conductive pathways (connecting leads of the electrodes) are knitted integrally as shown in figures 1 and 2. KEY BENEFITS
• Increased durability, flexibility and washability.
• Existing manufacturing techniques are used.
• Versatility APPLICATIONS Textile structures having a touch sensing functionality will be of interest to the following industrial sectors:
• Automotive & transport sector
• Building & construction
• Health & Safety (PPE)
• Effect Garments INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY An international patent has been filed. COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY The team would like to hear from companies with interests in:
• Clothing, e.g. safety, consumer
• Specialist yarn manufacture
• Automotive & transport textiles

Type of Offer: Licensing

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