AATCC research committee RA111, Electronically-Integrated Textiles, recently approved its first evaluation procedure! AATCC EP13, Evaluation Procedure for Electrical Resistance of Electronically-Integrated Textiles. It will also be included in the 2019 AATCC Technical Manual Mid-Year Supplement to be published this summer.
There was a need, willing volunteers, and methods to use as templates.Manufacturers approached AATCC about developing standardized test methods to allow everyone—large and small companies alike—to objectively evaluate and sell e-textile products. Not surprisingly, the top priority was a laundering test. The world needs a reliable way to determine whether e-textiles can withstand repeated home laundering.
More than 100 people expressed interest in forming a committee to develop e-textile test methods. Many attended the first meeting and RA111 officially became an AATCC research committee in March 2016.
By then, a task group of volunteers was already drafting the first standard. They determined that a test method was needed to measure change in electrical resistance after home laundering. Existing AATCC documents were referenced for the laundering procedure, so the first step was to develop an evaluation procedure for electrical resistance of e-textiles. The group agreed that the first procedure should be as simple and accessible as possible—no expensive or complicated equipment; just a basic multimeter for resistance measurements.
Three test materials were selected for the first interlaboratory study of the method.
– Stainless steel thread stitched onto cotton twill fabric
– Ripstop fabric woven with metallized nylon yarns
– Silver-based ink printed on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film, fused to nylon/spandex knitted fabric.