Most of the textile and plastic materials are electrical insulators. They accumulate electrostatic charge, which causes problems such as severe shock, fire, dust accumulation, etc. during processing. The electrical conductivity is required to dissipate the charges and use of fibres blended with conductive type of fibres prevents such risk. Hence there is an urgent need to develop various types of fibres and fabrics with electrical conducting properties.
Low and limiting electrical conduction is required in many practical applications such as electromagnetic shielding, electrostatic elimination, conveyor belts, aviation/space suits, dry filtration, carpets etc. For this purpose, various products having reasonably good electrical conductivity are required. This can be obtained by incorporating metal fillers or coating with some agent. The textile materials being flexible and easily workable are the most preferred one in such cases.
Recently, new types of electro active polymers have been synthesized which have high electrical conductivity. Being organic, their compatibility with fibres and other polymers is very good. BTRA has undertaken studies on such conductive textiles having high electrical conductivity. The application areas for the conductive textiles are:
- Bag Filters for air-filtration used in cement/thermal power/fertiliser plants
- Solvent Filtration
- Clean rooms for Electronic Assembly Plant and Computers
- Carpets and Conveyor Belts
- Shielding against Radio and Electro-magnetic Waves
Work At BTRA
BTRA is extensively working in these areas for developing electro conductive materials using various metallic and non-metallic fillers. Polymers like polyaniline, polypyrrole etc., are being used to prepare conductive textile materials. BTRA has very good infrastructure for pilot plant production of electro conductive products. The following infrastructure is available at BTRA for the development of end-use products.
- Melt Spinning Plant (Lab Model):
Polymeric materials like polyester, polypropylene, Nylon, polyethylene can be spun into filaments by incorporating the conductive materials. The filaments can then be used/admixed in various products.
- Non-woven Plant:
The conductive fibre blended non-woven products can be manufactured on the non-woven plant consisting of carding machine, cross lapper, needle punching and thermal bonding machine upto the width of 18".
- Chemical Treatment Plants:
Electro conductive materials like polyaniline, polypyrrole, etc. can be incorporated into the materials for making them conductive and then their performance can be evaluated.
- Testing Facilities:
By using the latest testing instrumentation facilities available at BTRA, the products/materials can be evaluated for electrical conductivity, pore size, air/water permeability, thermal ageing studies and many more.