Introduction: Technical Textiles (02:38)
Scientists are using new technologies to create smart textiles that sense and react to changes to their environment that are engineered to perform a function. (titles)
Carbon Fiber Composites in Airplanes (01:32)
Structural components of airplanes are being made of smart textiles like carbon fiber. David Phipps, head of Airbus composites, notes the composites of exterior metal alloys and inner carbon fiber make the airplane lighter.
Carbon Fiber Thread (01:30)
Unlike metals, carbon fiber isn't susceptible to fatigue. Carbon fiber thread is made by oxydizing a polymer, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN),drawing it into filaments and heating to 2000 degrees. Although it has tensile strength, carbon fiber thread is brittle, requiring a special weaving process.
Weaving Process (03:14)
For tensile strength, filaments must go in one direction, layer matting. Airbus designer, Richard Adams, discusses the material of the wing ribs that resists shear forces. Resin is forced into a mold, giving the fibers dimensional stability.
Monocoque Disintegration (01:39)
Carbon fiber parts can be designed to disintegrate when too much force is applied, as in a Formula One car. Scott Tolson explains the advantages for driver safety.
Ultrasound testing using jets of water searches for hidden defects in carbon fiber materials.
Smart Material QTC (02:49)
Inventor David Lussey developed a material called QTC or Quantum Tunneling Composite. It is a polymer with embedded pieces of metal that don't touch, but when its resistance is altered, it can sense change in sound, smell, temperature, or pressure.
QTC Soft Switches (03:37)
NASA makes use of QTC and studies its use for soft switches in spacesuits. Consumer applications include soft switches for apparel, touch sensitive toys, flooring,car seats and airbags.
Electroluminescent Textiles (02:27)
Electroluminescent posters are replacing billboards and advertising displays, and may soon come to textiles. Researcher Kay Politowicz discusses possible uses for own source lighted materials, , like EL lamps.
Electro Luminescent Posters (02:29)
Electro luminescent posters are composed of conductive transparent layers separated by insulation and a non conductive layer, then covered with a polyester sheet. Transfer to textiles is difficult.
EL Wallpaper (01:57)
Kay Politowicz researches textile substrates that can take the printing process and flex enough and become a lighted fabric. EL wallpaper is already available, but very expensive. In time, lighted clothes, curtains and other fabrics will also be available.
Credits: The Science of Smart Materials (00:30)
Credits: The Science of Smart Materials
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