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Sensor systems for intelligent textiles

Sensor intelligent systems for monitoring body and environmental conditions, integrated into intelligent textile products (work clothing, firemen uniforms, etc.). Features: nanofilms, data acquisition, personal alarm, building blocks, low cost.

The development of the EUROPEAN UNION depends on new, increasingly demanding requirements for optimised working conditions, productivity and work safety. New textile materials showing specific features and high performance for specific purposes are under development (work clothing, uniforms for firemen, police and soldiers, sick people clothing, etc.). There is a strong need for ways of getting information concerning the work environment and body and health conditions of the people using this new type of clothing. Information of this kind is important not only for the people fulfilling their tasks in different environments but also for management people delegating tasks. Along with the new textile materials reacting to certain situations intelligently, new sensor systems indicating or measuring and evaluating those situations are needed. It is not only a record of events but the ability to provide running information and to send warnings before hazardous situations are created (dangerous change of body and life functions, presence of poisonous particles in the air, presence of explosive gases, danger of terrorist attacks, etc.). New sophisticated textile products with integrated sensor systems exhibiting distributed intelligence will be produced and will help the textile industry compete with Far East countries. New sensor systems will also find broad application in stationary professional safety warning systems against terrorist attacks (underground and railway stations, airports, sport stadiums, etc.) and stationary consumer warning systems (explosive gases, poisonous gases, air pollution, etc.). The building block system approach will make it possible to design tailor made detection systems using large scale produced modules modified by selected sensor film structures bringing different sensing features. This is a target oriented R & D project for developing new material systems and technological principles that make it possible to create sensor systems for intelligent textiles in a compatible way. The project aims at advanced technology principles being applied to get signal sources of physical and chemical magnitudes that make it possible to monitor and evaluate processes in the areas of defence, safety, living conditions and medical care. It will make it possible to diagnose states in many human activity areas (mining, machinery and chemical engineering, farming, food industries, pharmaceutics, medical care, electronic industry, etc.). The practical consequences will result in break down advanced solutions for work clothing and uniforms showing a distributed intelligence of information processes concerning the work or other activities of people fulfilling dangerous tasks without direct supervision, commanders, etc. The project solution will be aimed at the miniaturisation of sensors and sensor arrays and their compatibility with the evaluation systems, data acquisition, data transfer, data bus and alarm system. As far as the functional films are concerned, the project solution is based on the principles of nano-layering, nano-structuring and nano-texturing, combining nano- and micro-technologies and integration of these technologies on dielectric and metal substrates. Materials of the functional films are based on inorganic and polymeric films and composite materials including nano-particles. The solution of the new technologies makes full use of the multidisciplinary approach combining microelectronic and textile technologies, organic and inorganic chemistry, macromolecular and physical chemistry, physical metallurgy, measurement techniques and working out of signals. The important features of the project solution are the technologies of assembly and packaging that ensure long system life, are compatible with the application in intelligent textiles and can withstand standard operations with textile products connected with hygienic use of the products (work clothing, uniforms). The topology of sensor structures, evaluation circuitry, communication parts and materials used will respect these demands. All parts of the integrated sensor systems in clothing have to respect the need for regular washing and cleaning of the clothing, which means the need for reliable connecting and disconnecting of the sensitive system parts. Keywords: sensor systems, intelligent textiles, safety.
Acronym: 
SENSIT
Project ID: 
3 653
Start date: 
01-04-2006
Project Duration: 
58months
Project costs: 
1 100 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Remote sensing technology
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.