The combination of electrically conductive material with textiles opens up a wide range of new possibilities, especially in the sports sector. The analysis of mobility through sensors, for example, helps to avoid incorrect overload to the body and to increase the fun factor during physical activity. The work of a consortium consisting of component and sports product manufacturers, service providers, and research institutions, including the University of Salzburg with its sports, movement, and computer scientists as the scientific lead centre, aims to demonstrate how the potentials can be utilized through specific, marketable products.
As a partner from the textile production chain, the Grabher GROUP is involved in the cooperation. A milestone was celebrated at the research subsidiary of the leading manufacturer of high-tech products, V-Trion GmbH, in Lustenau on 3 May 2023: Managing Director Günter Grabher inaugurated the MJ 52/1-S from KARL MAYER, a key machine for project work in the smart textile sector. On the Raschel machine with jacquard and multibar technology, electrically conductive yarns can be worked into warp-knitted fabrics directly and placed as required in order to easily implement functional elements such as sensors, conductors, and coils. The textile properties remain unchanged. The integrated production method saves additional process steps and reduces environmental pollution compared to other processes, such as conductive printing pastes.
The MJ 52/1-S will also be used for projects of the Smart Textiles Platform Austria. This network association brings together more than 80 international companies and research institutes. The Grabher GROUP and the KARL MAYER GROUP are members.