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ETx™ – Electro Textiles

Alchemie Group scientists and engineers have pioneered the use of electro textiles or e-textiles for over two decades and during this time have developed the most advanced active thermoregulation systems using the E-Tx fibre, fabrics and composites. For example H-E-A-T garments provide the fastest thermoregulatory solution man has ever known.

E-Tx combines two fibres in a hybrid fabric consisting of metallic and carbon fibre monofilament yarns encased in semi-conductive polymer sheaths running at 0-90 in the warp and weft. This enables the fibres to act as independent wires to be used to form a tightly woven, knitted or unidirectional fibre grid with or without electrical contact between the wires. Such fabrics are known as electronic fabrics, e-fabrics and e-textiles.

E-Tx was developed in the cold war space race; it maintains the temperature of rockets during transportation and launch within ± 1oC, it enables astronauts and their equipment to function in absolute zero environments, thermally sensitive chemicals to be transported & produced at precise temperatures and jet fighter skins to be defrosted in seconds.

Most of the applications of E-Tx technology have to date been on heating, however there are numerous other areas where the technology can be applied.

Sensory textiles enable a wide range of conditions to be monitored including; thermal, pressure, stress & strain, moisture, break, fatigue, etc. these capabilities can be almost invisibly incorporated into textiles without significantly increasing their cost or compromising performance. Such applications would include textile keyboards, reactive composites where properties can be tuned, monitoring physical conditions in materials that could lead to failure of structures to be detected, etc. For example, E-Tx was used to create the world’s first entirely fabric temperature sensor, no additional components are necessary for temperature measurement, the fabric is the sensor. Temperatures in the range of -50 to +250 °C can be measured with an accuracy of ± 0.5 °C.

Alchemie Group® design stands for creative possibilities for the use of precision textiles. Fascinating new applications also open up for designers in many fields; the only limit to the uses of this new generation of versatile high-tech fabrics is the imagination of designers and the innovative uses they dream up for them.