Smart textiles and fibres are engineered to sense, monitor, track, measure, communicate, transform, conduct, protect, react, dispense and transport. They can be changed by exposure to stimuli, such as electric and magnetic fields, stress, moisture and temperature and to perform a myriad of functions. This broad and eclectic area of textile technology evolved to find solutions to new millennium expectations in apparel and industrial applications in health, aerospace or geotechnical.
Smart textiles and fibres have been explored by industry and been research themes for many years in Universities around the world.…..but where are they now and who is making a buck out of them?
This conference will provide an overview of current developments in smart textiles, including products under development and those that have reached commercial markets. Wearables as well as smart textiles in sports, medical care and military applications will also be covered.
The event will be followed by a networking function with light refreshments and canapés.
Dr Dieter Veit has been working in textiles for more than 20 years beginning with his Doctor of Engineering at RWTH Aachen University on the simulation of man-made fibre processing and including an internship with CSIRO in 1992. As a professional, he has worked in different areas of textile production including cotton spinning, weaving and man-made fibre. He is author and co-author of several books on a wide range of textile subjects. In 2001, Dieter returned to RWTH Aachen University where he now holds the position of Vice-Director of the Institut für Textiltechnik.
Topic: Electronic textiles – Market, applications and success stories – The world market for electronic textiles is estimated to exceed AUD 4 billion by 2025. The biggest share will go to sports & fitness followed by medical, industrial, military and lifestyle applications. A wide range of products was developed in recent years but only a few have reached the market on a large scale. Typical success stories for different applications in relevant fields are given, the obstacles that prevent a successful market entry are outlined and the most promising technologies to overcome them are explained.
Presentations also by…
Dr Joselito Razal an Associate Professor at Deakin University and a recipient of Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. He was awarded with a PhD in Chemistry in August 2005 by The University of Texas at Dallas for his work on supertough carbon nanotube fibers at The Alan G MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute. Prior to moving to Deakin University in March 2014, he spent 8 years at the University of Wollongong where he worked on various electromaterials including graphene for energy and bionics applications. His research focus is now on the development of novel nanomaterials and fibers for use in smart wearable devices and intelligent fabrics.
Topic: Multifunctional Fibres for Smart Textiles – Attaching off-the-shelf devices such as sensors and circuit boards onto fabrics do not only look awkward due to the obvious misfit but they are also heavy, rigid and uncomfortable. Printing devices directly onto fabrics provides better integration but coatings often make the fabric rigid and uncomfortable, are prone to flaking off and eventually fail. Thus, it is critical to develop new approaches that can better integrate electronic components into fabrics. Joselito will discuss why the development of multifunctional fibres are the ideal format for smart textiles, particularly if they can be integrated or embedded within a fabric by weaving or knitting with other fabric components. The key challenge in this regard is achieving flexible and tough fibres while preserving conductivity and strength because in textile processing (during knitting for example), these fibres experience varying degrees of stretching and bending.
Dr Lijing Wang an Associate Professor at RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles with nearly 30 year work experience in textile research and education. He worked nearly 2 years as the postdoctoral research fellow at RMIT University in 1999 and 2000, followed by 9 years as the Research Academic, then Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University. He has been a chief investigator for 8 Australian Research Council (ARC) grants, and 20 more other funded research projects. He has more than 200 publications with citation h-index 22. He leads the Smart Textiles research cluster within RMIT Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion. His key research areas are protective garments, clothing comfort, smart textiles, flexible sensors and batteries, and fibres and polymers material science, engineering and sustainability, as well as modelling and simulation. He received his PhD degree from UNSW, and M.Eng and B.Eng degrees from Tianjin Polytechnic University.
Topic: Smart Clothing With Wearable Electronics – A trend both in Australia and internationally that has potential to revolutionise the textiles and clothing industry is wearable electronic textiles technology or smart clothing. Textiles embedded with electronics, or e-textiles, possess electrical characteristics and provide aesthetics, protection and intelligent functions. Wearable electronic systems are being designed and engineered to meet innovative applications in the military, public safety, sports, healthcare, and improving quality lifestyle and wellbeing. Lijing will outlines advances in the field of e-textiles and introduces some concepts and examples of smart clothing research and products.
Professor Julie R Steele Professor Julie Steele, PhD, is a Senior Professor in Biomechanics, School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, Australia. She is also founder and current Director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory and Breast Research Australia, also known as “BRA”. Her research has focused on developing innovative strategies, based on rigorous applied biomechanics research, to decrease injury potential and optimise quality of life for individuals across the age spectrum. Julie has been actively involved in researching lower limb injuries in landings; the effects of obesity and ageing on lower limb structure and function with implications for footwear design to promote physical activity and reduce falls in the elderly; developing wearable technologies to enhance quality of life; and breast health biomechanics. She has published ~155 peer-reviewed journal articles, and presented over 325 scientific talks around the world. Julie has also been the recipient of numerous national and international research awards and fellowships, including the 2005 NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year. A current member of the World Council of Biomechanics, Julie has served on the Executive Council of several professional associations, including being President of the International Society of Biomechanics and the Australian & New Zealand Society of Biomechanics, and is currently Censor for the Fellows of Australian Sports Medicine Federation.
Topic: Biomechanics: A Vital Key in Developing Wearable Technologies – Wearable technologies include those technologies that are incorporated into the items that individuals wear on a daily basis. Smart garments include items that can sense and monitor specific vital signs, as well as those items that can respond to these signals for a given purpose. To be comfortably wearable the devices must suit the individuals for which they are designed, particularly taking into account the structure and function of the human body and the forces involves in an activity. Julie will describe development of a unique wearable technology, the “Smart Bra”, including an overview of the technology underlying the device, and how biomechanics has played an integral role in the development of this novel concept.
Mr Brendan Swifte Managing Director at Geofabrics Australasia, which manufactures & distributes technical textiles for the engineering construction sector across Australia, New Zealand & surrounding territory. Brendan has led Geofabrics since 2005, & has used a number of tools to drive organic growth. Geofabrics operates two factories in Australia, & with over 200 employees across ANZ, Geofabrics is Australia’s largest textile producer. Brendan is an optimist for innovative Australian companies.
Topic: Conductive Textiles – Geofabrics First Steps Towards Developing Smart Textiles For Civil Infrastructure – Brendan will outline how Geofabrics have transitioned since 2014 ending of the Australian resources boom, with innovation of the core pillars upon which their future is being built. One of their blue-sky innovation projects is developing “smart geosynthetics” – essentially looking to introduce additional capabilities to their existing products, including data collection. Geofabrics have been working with ImagineIM in the last few years, & recently completed a pilot project where graphene was used to enhance the performance of their bidim geotextile in a Queensland coal seam gas tank. Whilst there is much more development work to be done, Brendan will outline the journey to date & his aspirations for the future generation of smart textiles.
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