(19)
(11)EP 3 517 666 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
31.07.2019 Bulletin 2019/31

(21)Application number: 19154405.5

(22)Date of filing:  30.01.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
D03D 1/00(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 30.01.2018 EP 18154178

(71)Applicant: Low & Bonar B.V.
6827 AV Arnhem (NL)

(72)Inventor:
  • MAHY, Jan
    6825 AB Arnhem (NL)

(74)Representative: CPW GmbH 
Kasinostraße 19-21
42103 Wuppertal
42103 Wuppertal (DE)

  


(54)MULTILAYER MATERIAL FOR SMART FUNCTIONALITIES COMPRISING A TEXTILE MATERIAL


(57) A multilayer material for smart functionalities comprising a textile material, a first electrically conductive pattern, a second electrically conductive pattern wherein the second electrically conductive pattern is separated from the first electrically conductive pattern by a separating material.


Description


[0001] The invention pertains to multilayer materials for smart functionalities in textile materials, such as lighting, heating and/or sensing.

[0002] Development of textile materials comprising smart functionalities are being actively pursued by many companies. However, most of these developments are focused on a single type of use.

[0003] There is a demand for textile materials prepared in such a way for smart functionalities connection which can be utilized for different types of use.

[0004] The object of the invention is achieved by the multilayer material of claim 1. Some advantageous embodiments of the invention are defined by claims 2 to 15.

[0005] The multilayer material for smart functionalities comprising a textile material, a first electrically conductive pattern, a second electrically conductive pattern and an electrically insulating and separating material separating the second electrically conductive pattern from the first electrically conductive pattern enables to electrically connect devices onto the multilayer material.

[0006] The term for smart functionalities is understood to mean functionalities requiring an electrically conductive connector grid or connector scrim for power transmission and/or data transmission.

[0007] Devices may be connected to the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern for electrical power, trigger signals, digital data transmission, etc. The devices may be connected onto the multilayer material comprising the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern such that connections can be made after the multilayer material has been manufactured, using a "plug and play", "pick and place" type of technology, wherein the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern are already present in the multilayer material, electrical conduction is provided as well as electrical insulation is maintained.

[0008] The first electrically conductive pattern comprised in the multilayer material may be comprised in the textile material as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric.

[0009] The second electrically conductive pattern comprised in the multilayer material may be comprised in the textile material as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric.

[0010] In an embodiment, the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern comprised in the multilayer material are comprised in the textile material, to form a connector grid which is integrated in the textile material.

[0011] A connector grid integrated in the textile material may be obtained by weaving conductive yarns or filaments of the first electrically conductive pattern into the warp of the woven fabric, and weaving conductive yarns or filaments of the second electrically conductive pattern into the weft of the woven fabric during the weaving process and providing a separating material between the conductive yarns or filaments of the first electrically conductive pattern and the conductive yarns or filaments of the second electrically conductive pattern at their crossing points in the woven fabric, thereby providing a connector grid integrated in the textile material as a woven fabric comprising conductive yarns or filaments in the warp and weft direction of the woven fabric.

[0012] In another embodiment, the first electrically conductive pattern is comprised as warp threads and/or weft threads in a first woven fabric and the second electrically conductive pattern is comprised as warp threads and/or weft threads in a second woven fabric to form a connector grid.

[0013] A connector grid integrated in the textile material may be obtained by weaving conductive yarns or filaments of the first electrically conductive pattern into the warp and/or weft of a first woven fabric, and weaving conductive yarns or filaments of the second electrically conductive pattern into the warp and/or weft of a second woven fabric during their respective weaving processes and providing a separating material layer between the first woven fabric comprising conductive yarns or filaments of the first electrically conductive pattern and the second woven fabric comprising conductive yarns or filaments of the second electrically conductive pattern, thereby providing a connector grid in the multilayer material.

[0014] The first electrically conductive pattern may be comprised in the multilayer material as a group of parallel threads in a connector scrim.

[0015] The second electrically conductive pattern may be comprised in the multilayer material as a group of parallel threads in a connector scrim.

[0016] A connector scrim is understood to be a structure composed of at least two sets of parallel threads, wherein the first group of parallel threads is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the second group of parallel threads. The first group of parallel threads may be placed on top of and may be connected to the second group of parallel threads by chemical bonding to form a laid connector scrim. The first group of parallel threads may also be interwoven with, and optionally connected by chemical bonding to, the second group of parallel threads to form a woven connector scrim. A separating material is provided between the conductive yarns or filaments of the first electrically conductive pattern and the conductive yarns or filaments of the second electrically conductive pattern at their crossing points in the scrim.

[0017] In an embodiment, the multilayer material may comprise the first electrically conductive pattern as a first group of parallel threads and the second electrically conductive pattern as a second group of parallel threads in a connector scrim, wherein the second group of parallel threads is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel threads.

[0018] In another embodiment, the multilayer material may comprise the first electrically conductive pattern as a first group of parallel threads in a first connector scrim and the second electrically conductive pattern as a second group of parallel threads in a second connector scrim, wherein the second group of parallel threads is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel threads.

[0019] A connector scrim integrated in the textile material may be obtained by using a nonwoven spunbond technology in which endless filaments are laid down onto a conveyor belt to form a web of filaments, which is consolidated by a bonding process to form a spunbonded nonwoven and connecting a connector scrim, preferably a laid scrim or a woven scrim, to the spunbonded nonwoven. The connector scrim may be built-in or embedded into the nonwoven, for instance by providing the scrim between sublayers of the laid-down filaments which form the spunbonded nonwoven.

[0020] The nonwoven of endless filaments may be produced by well-known single step and two-step spunbonding processes. In single step spunbonding processes filaments are extruded from a spinneret and subsequently laid down on a conveyor belt as a web of filaments and subsequently bonding the web to form a consolidated nonwoven layer of fibers. In two-step processes filaments are spun and wound on bobbins, preferably in the form of multifilament yarns, followed by the step of unwinding the multifilament yarns and laying the filaments down on a conveyor belt as a web of filaments and bonding the web to form a consolidated nonwoven of fibers.

[0021] The nonwoven of endless filaments may be composed of thermoplastic filaments for at least 50 wt.% of the total weight of fibers in the nonwoven of filaments, preferably for at least 75 wt.%, more preferably for at least 90 wt.%, even preferably for at least 95 wt.%. Increasing the amount of thermoplastic filaments in the nonwoven of filaments increases the tensile strength and/or tear resistance and increases the flexibility of the multilayer material.

[0022] In an embodiment the nonwoven of filaments is composed for 100 wt.% of thermoplastic filaments of the total weight of filaments in the nonwoven.

[0023] The thermoplastic polymer from which the thermoplastic filaments in the nonwoven are composed may be any type of thermoplastic polymer capable of withstanding elevated temperatures in the desired application. The thermoplastic fibers in the nonwoven layer of fibers may comprise a polyester, such as for example polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (based either on DMT or PTA), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT), polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) and/or polylactic acid (PLA), a polyamide, such as for example polyamide-6 (PA6), polyamide-6,6 (PA6,6) and/or polyamide-6,10 (PA6,10), polyphenylenesulfide (PPS), polyethyleneimide (PEI) and/or polyoxymethylene (POM) and/or any copolymer or any blend thereof.

[0024] The nonwoven may also comprise natural fibers, such as flax, hemp, cotton, wool, silk, or other fibers of cellulosic or polypeptide bio-origin.

[0025] The thermoplastic filaments may comprise up to 25 wt.%, based on the total weight of the filaments, of additives, such as for example spinning auxiliaries, fillers, flame retardant materials, UV inhibitors, crystallization retarders/accelerators, plasticizers, heat stabilizers, antimicrobial additives, coloring agents such as for example carbon black or any combination thereof.

[0026] The weight of the nonwoven comprised in the multilayer material may be in the range of 20 g/m2 to 250 g/m2, preferably in the range of 30 g/m2 to 100 g/m2, preferably in the range of 50 g/m2 to 150 g/m2.

[0027] In an embodiment the nonwoven of filaments, may be composed of a single type of mono-component filaments, which are bonded by any suitable bonding technique, such as for example by calendering the web of filaments between two calender rolls, by mechanical needling, by hydroentanglement, by ultrasonic bonding or by any combination thereof.

[0028] In another embodiment the nonwoven of filaments, may comprise two types of mono-component filaments, each type of mono-component filaments being composed of a polymer of different chemical construction having a different melting point. It is preferred that the melting points of the two different polymers differ by at least 10°C, preferably by at least 20°C. The melting temperature of a thermoplastic polymer is determined by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) as the temperature at the maximum value of the endothermic melting peak upon heating of the polymer at a rate of 20°C/min. Such a product could be thermally bonded by subjecting the web of filaments to a temperature in the range of the melting point of the polymer with the lower melting point.

[0029] In yet another embodiment the nonwoven of filaments, may comprise bicomponent filaments. Bicomponent filaments are filaments composed of two polymers of different chemical construction. A basic distinction is being drawn between three types of bicomponent filaments: side-by-side types, core-sheath types and islands-in-the-sea types bicomponent filaments. In an embodiment the melting points of the two polymers building the bicomponent fibers differ by at least 10°C, preferably at least 20°C. Such a nonwoven comprising bicomponent filaments, when composed of side-by-side types and/or core-sheath type bicomponent fibers, could be thermally bonded by subjecting the web of filaments to a temperature in the range of the melting point of the polymer with the lower melting point. In a preferred embodiment the nonwoven is predominantly made from core-sheath type bicomponent filaments. Predominantly is understood to mean that at least 50% of the filaments comprised in the nonwoven are core-sheath type bicomponent filaments, preferably at least 75%, more preferably at least 90%, even more preferably at least 95%, most preferably 100%.

[0030] Preferably the core/sheath ratio in the core/sheath bicomponent filaments lies between 95/5 Vol.% and 5/95 Vol.%. More preferably the core/sheath ratio lies between 50/50 Vol.% and 95/5 Vol.%.

[0031] In an embodiment the sheath of the core/sheath bicomponent filaments consists mainly of a polyamide, preferably polyamide-6 (PA6), and the core consists mainly of a polyester, preferably polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

[0032] Alternatively, the connector scrim may be laminated to or otherwise connected to a nonwoven or a woven fabric.

[0033] The first electrically conductive pattern may be composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a first group of parallel lines, onto a surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material. Preferably, the first electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern onto a coating layer which has been pre-applied onto the surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material.

[0034] The second electrically conductive pattern may be composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a second group of parallel lines, onto a surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material. Preferably, the second electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern onto a coating layer which has been pre-applied onto the surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material.

[0035] In an embodiment, the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern are printed onto the same surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material, and a separating material is provided between the printed conductive material of the first electrically conductive pattern and the printed conductive material of the second electrically conductive pattern at their crossing points. Preferably, the multilayer material comprises the first electrically conductive pattern as a first group of parallel lines of printed conductive material and the second electrically conductive pattern as a second group of parallel lines of printed conductive material, wherein the second group of parallel lines is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel lines to form a connector grid.

[0036] In another embodiment, the first electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a first group of parallel lines, onto a first surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material, and the second electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a second group of parallel lines, onto a second surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material, wherein the second electrically conductive pattern is separated from the first electrically conductive pattern by the textile material. Preferably, the multilayer material comprises the first electrically conductive pattern as a first group of parallel lines of printed conductive material and the second electrically conductive pattern as a second group of parallel lines of printed conductive material, wherein the second group of parallel lines is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel lines to form a connector grid.

[0037] In another embodiment, the first electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a first group of parallel lines, onto a surface of the textile material comprised in the multilayer material, and the second electrically conductive pattern is composed of a conductive material printed in a pattern, preferably as a second group of parallel lines, onto a surface of a further textile material comprised in the multilayer material, wherein the second electrically conductive pattern is separated from the first electrically conductive pattern by a separating material, which may be the textile material and/or the further textile material. Preferably, the multilayer material comprises the first electrically conductive pattern as a first group of parallel lines of printed conductive material and the second electrically conductive pattern as a second group of parallel lines of printed conductive material, wherein the second group of parallel lines is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel lines to form a connector grid.

[0038] The multilayer material may comprise the first electrically conductive pattern as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric, as a group of parallel threads in a connector scrim or as a conductive material printed in a pattern onto a surface of a textile material, and may comprise the second electrically conductive pattern as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric, as a group of parallel threads in a connector scrim or as a conductive material printed in a pattern onto a surface of the textile material in any combination.

[0039] The connector grid or connector scrim comprised in the multilayer material defines the location of the first electrically conductive pattern and the location of the second electrically conductive pattern in the multilayer material, enabling to connect devices exactly onto the connector grid or the connector grid, for example using a "plug and play", "pick and place" type of technology, for example by a robot.

[0040] Preferably, the distance between the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern in the multilayer material is at most 5 mm, preferably at most 2 mm, in particular when the multilayer material comprises at least a third electrically conductive pattern and a fourth electrically conductive pattern separated from the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern to form at least two connector grids or connector scrims, preferably in a single plane of the multilayer material, and wherein the at least two connector grids or connector scrims preferably have a length of 50 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 50 cm or less in weft direction. The fact that the multilayer material comprises at least two connector grids or connector scrims in a modular nature, each connector grid or connector scrim having a length of 50 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 50 cm or less in weft direction is advantageous for use of the multilayer material in textile architecture, such as for example as a membrane, in external and internal building application, such as for example walls, ceilings and floors.

[0041] Preferably, the distance between the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the second electrically conductive pattern in the multilayer material is at most 2 mm, preferably at most 1 mm, in particular when the multilayer material comprises at least a third electrically conductive pattern and a fourth electrically conductive pattern separated from the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern to form at least two connector grids or connector scrims, preferably in a single plane of the multilayer material, and wherein the at least two connector grids or connector scrims preferably have a length of 10 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 10 cm or less in weft direction. The fact that the multilayer material comprises at least two connector grids or connector scrims in a modular nature, each connector grid or connector scrim having a length of 10 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 10 cm or less in weft direction is advantageous for use of the multilayer material in wearables, garments, shoes, medical and healthcare applications, and mattress and cushioning comfort products.

[0042] The conductive yarns, filaments or threads comprised in warp and/or in weft direction in the connector grid or connector scrim may be any conductive yarn, filament or thread, such as for example filaments, yarns or threads composed of a metal, or filaments, yarns or threads coated with a metal, or filaments, yarns or threads comprising a high content of carbon fibers and/or carbon black and/or carbon nanotubes, or filaments, yarns or threads of polyaniline conductive polymers, or filaments, yarns or threads comprising graphene and/or carbon nanotubes.

[0043] The conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern and the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the second electrically conductive pattern in the multilayer material may exhibit a capability to withstand mechanical deformation, in particular elongation, of the multilayer material of at least 1%, preferably at least 2%, more preferably at least 5% without interruption of the electrical conductivity of the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern and of the second electrically conductive pattern. The capability to withstand mechanical deformation may for example be obtained by filaments, yarns, threads comprising crimps or other deviations from a straight line. The capability to withstand mechanical deformation may also be obtained by embroidering or knitting the filaments, yarns, threads into or onto the textile material. The capability to withstand mechanical deformation may also be obtained by printing the printed lines in a pattern deviating from a straight line, such as for example a meandering pattern.

[0044] The separating material separating the second electrically conductive pattern from the first electrically conductive pattern is selected such that the separating material is non-conductive, i.e. is electrically insulating.

[0045] The separating material separating the second electrically conductive pattern from the first electrically conductive pattern may be comprised in the multilayer material only or at least at crossing points of the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the second electrically conductive pattern and the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern. The separating material is thus comprised in the multilayer material as multiple separate small amounts of separating material.

[0046] The separating material separating the second electrically conductive pattern from the first electrically conductive pattern may be comprised in the multilayer material as a separating material layer interposed between interposed between the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern, more particular interposed between the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the second electrically conductive pattern and the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern. The separating material layer is understood to be a continuous material layer, wherein all the separating material is connected to each other, i.e. the separating material is not present as multiple small amounts of separating material.

[0047] The separating material layer may be selected from a wide range of materials, as long as the material layer separates the second electrically conductive pattern from the first electrically conductive pattern.

[0048] The separating material layer may be a two-dimensional separating material layer, wherein the term two-dimensional material layer is understood to mean a material layer having a thickness of at most 2 mm, as determined according to DIN EN ISO 9073-2 (February 1997).

[0049] The two-dimensional separating material layer may be a nonwoven.

[0050] The nonwoven comprised in the carrier may be any type of nonwoven, such as for example staple fiber nonwovens produced by well-known processes, such as carding processes, wet-laid processes or air-laid processes or any combination thereof. The nonwoven may also be a nonwoven composed of filaments produced by well-known spunbonding processes wherein filaments are extruded from a spinneret and subsequently laid down on a conveyor belt as a web of filaments and subsequently bonding the web to form a nonwoven layer of fibers, or by a two-step process wherein filaments are spun and wound on bobbins, preferably in the form of multifilament yarns, followed by the step of unwinding the multifilament yarns and laying the filaments down on a conveyor belt as a web of filaments and bonding the web to form a nonwoven layer of fibers.

[0051] Preferably, the fibers in the nonwoven are filaments in order to provide higher tensile strength and/or higher tear strength to multilayer material.

[0052] The nonwoven may be composed of thermoplastic fibers for at least 50 wt.% of the total weight of fibers in the nonwoven layer of fibers, preferably for at least 75 wt.%, more preferably for at least 90 wt.%, even preferably for at least 95 wt.%. Increasing the amount of thermoplastic fibers in the nonwoven layer of fibers increases the tensile strength and/or tear resistance and increases the flexibility of multilayer material.

[0053] In an embodiment the nonwoven is composed for 100 wt.% of thermoplastic fibers of the total weight of fibers in the nonwoven.

[0054] The two-dimensional separating material layer may be a woven fabric comprising non-conductive, or insulating, warp and weft yarns or filaments. The insulating yarns or filaments comprised in warp and/or in weft direction in the connector grid may be any insulating yarns or filaments, such as for example yarns or filaments of a thermoplastic polymer or natural yarns or filaments.

[0055] The two-dimensional separating material layer may be provided as a prefabricated film or foil composed of non-conductive material.

[0056] The two-dimensional separating material layer may also be provided as a coating layer, an adhesive layer or a lacquer layer applied between the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern.

[0057] The coating layer, adhesive layer or lacquer layer may be applied as a resin layer. The resin layer may be a thermoset or thermoplastic resin. The resin layer can be applied as a coating, calandered or knife-coated, flat die thin film coated or laminated onto the fabric. A thermoplastic resin enables to obtain a flexible multilayer material. A thermoset resin enables to obtain a stiff multilayer material.

[0058] The resin of the resin layer may be selected to provide durability to the multilayer material, in particular to improve the UV stability.

[0059] In an embodiment, the multilayer material comprises a woven fabric the first electrically conductive pattern and/or the second electrically conductive pattern and a coating applied on a surface of the woven fabric applied in such a way that the coating comprises openings or apertures, preferably having an apparent diameter of 100 to 500 µm, which improves the acoustic of the multilayer material.

[0060] The two-dimensional separating material layer may also be provided as a two-dimensional mat of extruded entangled filaments. The filaments of the two-dimensional mat of extruded entangled filaments may be extruded as mono-component filaments. The two-dimensional mat of extruded filaments may be provided by any suitable process. Preferably, the two-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments is provided by extruding polymeric filaments and collecting the extruded filaments onto a two-dimensional flat surface by allowing the filaments to bend and to come into contact with each other, preferably in a still molten state. The filaments of the two-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments may thereby be thermally bonded to each other at their crossing points. Bending of the extruded filaments is preferably initiated by collecting the filaments onto a flat surface, which defines the flat structure of the two-dimensional mat of extruded filaments. Preferably, the filaments of the two-dimensional mat of extruded entangled filaments have a diameter in the range of 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm, more preferably in the range of 0.6 to 1.0 mm.

[0061] The multilayer material comprising a two-dimensional separating material layer will exhibit flexibility, which is advantageous, for example for clothing applications.

[0062] The separating material layer may also be a three-dimensional separating material layer, wherein the term three-dimensional material layer is understood to mean a material layer having a thickness of at least 2 mm, preferably at least 3 mm, as determined according to DIN EN ISO 9073-2 (February 1997).

[0063] The three-dimensional separating material layer may provide resilience and comfort to the multilayer material, which is advantageous, for example for cushioning materials such as mattresses, seat cushions, wall paddings and automotive interior linings.

[0064] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be a three-dimensional spacer material, such as a warp-knitted or three-dimensional woven material.

[0065] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be a high loft nonwoven having a thickness of at least 2 mm, preferably at least 3 mm, which may provide resilience to the multilayer material. The high loft nonwoven may be a vertically lapped nonwoven.

[0066] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be three-dimensional entangled mat of extruded filaments. Preferably, the filaments of the three-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments are extruded polymeric filaments. The three-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments may be provided by any suitable process. Preferably, the three-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments is provided by extruding polymeric filaments and collecting the extruded filaments into a three-dimensional structure by allowing the filaments to bend and to come into contact with each other, preferably in a still molten state. The filaments of the three-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments may thereby be thermally bonded to each other at their crossing points. Bending of the extruded filaments is preferably initiated by collecting the filaments onto a profiled surface, which defines the structure of the three-dimensional structured mat of extruded filaments. Preferably, the surface on which the filaments are collected is profiled such that the three-dimensional structured mat of filaments is shaped into a three-dimensional form which comprises hills and valleys, hemispheres, positive and/or negative cuspates, cups and/or waffles, pyramids, U-grooves, V-grooves, cones and/or cylinders capped with a hemisphere.

[0067] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be a thermoplastic honeycomb structure.

[0068] The honeycomb structure may be produced by any suitable process. For example, WO 2006/053407 A1 discloses a folded honeycomb structure which is produced from an uncut continuous web of material by plastic deformation perpendicular to the plane of the material to thereby form half-hexagonal cell walls and small connecting areas. By folding the plastically deformed material in the direction of conveyance the half-hexagonal cell walls meet to form the honeycomb structure.

[0069] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be a double woven structure. Preferably, the double woven structure comprises associated double layers in some sections in the warp direction and/or weft direction, the woven structure plies that form the associated double layers being woven together at least at two or at three of their longitudinal edges and/or end edges, and comprising threads extending perpendicularly to the warp direction and to the weft direction which hold together the plies that from the associated double layers as disclosed in WO2019011482 A1.

[0070] The three-dimensional separating material layer may be a warp-knitted fabric.

[0071] A three-dimensional separating material layer enables to obtain a multilayer material having higher stiffness, in particular when the three-dimensional separating material layer is impregnated with a resin, especially with a thermoset resin, which enables piezo-electric energy harvesting, for example when the multilayer material is applied in dance floors, under roads or as railway sleepers.

[0072] The first electrically conductive pattern and a second electrically conductive pattern separated from the first electrically conductive pattern by a separating material forming a connector grid or connector grid comprise electrically conductive yarns, filaments, threads or lines enabling to connect devices onto the connector grid or connector grid for lighting purposes, such as light emitting diodes (LED's), capacitive devices for sensing purposes, low-conductive devices for heating purposes, or actuators and other systems reacting on an external stimulus and providing the desired functionality.

[0073] The devices may be connected to the connector grid or connector scrim for electrical power, trigger signals, digital data transmission, etc. The devices may be connected onto the multilayer material comprising the connector grid or connector scrim such, that connections can be made after the multilayer material has been manufactured, using a "plug and play", "pick and place" type of technology, wherein the connector grid or connector scrim is already present in the multilayer material, electrical (signal, power) conduction is provided as well as electrical insulation is maintained.

[0074] The multilayer material may comprise one or more additional material layers comprising one or more further electrically conductive patterns separated by separating material to enable connection of multiple devices having different smart functional ities.

[0075] The multilayer material may comprise at least a third electrically conductive pattern and a fourth electrically conductive pattern separated from the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern to form more than one connector grid or connector scrim enabling to provide a modular system for smart functionalities. Preferably, the multilayer material comprises at least two connector grids and/or connector scrims spaced apart from each other in a single plane of the multilayer material.

[0076] The dimensions of the at least two connector grids and/or connector scrims may be varied widely to support the desired application.

[0077] In an embodiment the at least two connector grids connector scrims comprised in the multilayer material may a length of 50 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 50 cm or less in weft direction, to enable that the multilayer material can be cut into desired dimensions, for example for application in carpet tiles, tents or mattresses.

[0078] In another embodiment, the at least two connector grids and/or connector scrims comprised in the multilayer material may a length 10 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 10 cm or less in weft direction, to enable that the multilayer material can be cut into desired dimensions, for example for application in clothing.

[0079] The electronic devices which can be connected to the connector grid or connector scrim comprised in the multilayer material may subsequently be attached to the connector grid or connector scrim. This attachment may involve a "pick and place" type of technology and is aimed at ensuring that the resulting "smart" multilayer material or fabric is ready for use in its final application. Ready for use means that the said devices are connected to the connector (power) grid in such a way that their function is secured, e.g. lighting, heating, sensing or actuating.

[0080] A multilayer material in which the connector grid or connector scrim is comprised or embedded in the afore described way, i.e. preferably with a coating or embedding resin, may also be referred to as an "enabling smart (coated) fabric".

[0081] This enabling smart (coated) fabric can be made in such a way that the final desired "smart" functionality such as described above is not yet determined or added in the pattern or sequence it is meant to have in the final application. It is therefore fit as a "scaffold" coated smart fabric for multiple use and moreover a fabric from which the smart functional device can be removed in such a way as to render the fabric re-usable. It therefore allows a high degree of freedom of design and cost efficiency, rendering it as an attractive base coated fabric in applications such as, but not limited to, textile architecture, both for interior and façade exterior building, tenting and (solar) shading, automotive and transportation covers or tarpaulins, etc. In particular, for external applications, the fabric could be made in such a way that energy harvesting devices, such as (flexible) photovoltaic devices, could be integrated into, or laminated on, the enabling smart coated fabric providing the additional advantage of rendering the resulting smart textile independent of an existing power grid and providing its own energy harvesting function which, combined with a convenient (flexible) power storage device, allowing to have a light-weight, flexible, transportable, powergrid-independent, smart functional coated fabric for said applications.


Claims

1. A multilayer material for smart functionalities comprising a textile material, a first electrically conductive pattern, a second electrically conductive pattern wherein the second electrically conductive pattern is separated from the first electrically conductive pattern by an electrically insulating and separating material.
 
2. The multilayer material according to claim 1 wherein the first electrically conductive pattern is comprised as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric.
 
3. The multilayer material according to claim 1 wherein the second electrically conductive pattern is comprised as warp threads and/or weft threads in a woven fabric.
 
4. The multilayer material according to any of claims 2 to 3 wherein the first electrically conductive pattern is comprised as warp threads in the woven fabric and the second electrically conductive pattern is comprised as weft threads in the woven fabric.
 
5. The multilayer material according to claim 1 wherein the first electrically conductive pattern is comprised as a first group of parallel threads and the second electrically conductive pattern is comprised as a second group of parallel threads in a connector scrim, wherein the second group of parallel threads is oriented at an angle, generally at a 90° angle, to the first group of parallel threads.
 
6. The multilayer material according to claim 1 wherein the first electrically conductive pattern and/or the second electrically conductive pattern is printed onto the textile material or onto a coating layer which has been pre-applied onto the surface of the textile material.
 
7. The multilayer material according to any of the previous claims 1 wherein the separating material is applied at least at crossing points of the first electrically conductive pattern and/or the second electrically conductive pattern.
 
8. The multilayer material according to any of claims 1 to 6 wherein the separating material is a separating material layer interposed between the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern.
 
9. The multilayer material according to claim 8 wherein the separating material layer is a two-dimensional separating material layer, preferably selected from the group consisting of a foil, a film, a nonwoven, a woven fabric, a coating layer, an adhesive layer, a lacquer layer, and a two-dimensional mat of extruded entangled filaments.
 
10. The multilayer material according to claim 8 wherein the separating material layer is a three-dimensional material layer, preferably selected from the group consisting of a three-dimensional spacer material, a warp-knitted fabric, a double woven fabric, a high loft nonwoven fabric, a vertically lapped nonwoven, a three-dimensional entangled mat of extruded filaments, a thermoplastic honeycomb structure.
 
11. The multilayer material according to claim 1 wherein the first electrically conductive pattern and/or the second electrically conductive pattern is integrated in the textile material.
 
12. The multilayer material according to any of the previous claims wherein the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the first electrically conductive pattern and the conductive filaments, yarns, threads or printed lines of the second electrically conductive pattern deviations from a straight line comprise deviations from a straight line..
 
13. The multilayer material according to any of the preceding claims wherein the multilayer material comprises at least a third electrically conductive pattern and a fourth electrically conductive pattern separated from the first electrically conductive pattern and the second electrically conductive pattern to form at least two connector grids or connector scrims.
 
14. The multilayer material according to claim 13 wherein the at least two connector grids or connector scrims have a length of 50 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 50 cm or less in weft direction, in particular for textile architecture applications or building applications, or a length of 10 cm or less in warp direction and a width of 10 cm or less in weft direction, in particular for wearables, garments, shoes, medical and healthcare applications, and mattress and cushioning comfort products.
 
15. A system having smart functionality comprising the multilayer material according to any of the preceding claims and one or more devices connected onto the connector grids and/or connector scrims.
 





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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description