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Conference proceedings of the Institute of Electrical Engineers Eurowearables 2003. Birmingham, UK

Power, Jess and Dias, T. (2003) Conference proceedings of the Institute of Electrical Engineers Eurowearables 2003. Birmingham, UK. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The advantages of producing 3-D conductive knitted textiles for the purpose of generating heat are enormous. Products may be developed that conform to complex contours providing a uniform heat distribution. Applications can be foreseen in the automotive sector; car seats, driving wheels and the interiors of door panel. Medical usage could involve conforming the knitted structure to the body, providing relief to sports injuries. In fact the development of 3-D knitted heating elements, could apply heat uniformly to any requirement whether technical, medical of merely a fashion aid. The area of electro-conductive textiles is currently under investigation, partly due to the amount of development that has been undertaken in fibres and yarns. Many textile products including garments are being developed for the purpose of generating heat or for use as electrical conductors. Past investigations in this area have given preference to weaving, due to the lack of awareness of the capabilities of the latest developments in electronic flat-bed knitting technology. The modern electronic flat-bed knitting machine is capable of producing a variety of structures, which contribute significantly to the fabrics' mechanics and often denote their final application. Recent developments in CAD/CAM and the integration of mechatronic concepts with flat-bed knitting machines have made it commercially possible to produce complex mixtures of shapes and structures utilising a variety of methods. The prospect of 3-D shaping a conductive textile structure on the flat-bed knitting machine, offers vast potential for both technical and apparel applications. In order to enable 3-D shaped shells to be produced accurately for usage in electroconductive textiles, it is essential to have a full understanding of the geometrical properties of the knitted structure; and the effects that the various shaping techniques enforce.

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