At this year’s Techtextil, Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH, Messstetten-Unterdigisheim/Germany, will be presenting its latest projects from the area of smart coating products. Along with an adaptive heating system activated by pressure, there will also be conductive, luminous or heating coatings on display. Furthermore, among other things, the established ceramic coating Cerapur will also be exhibited.
One exhibit is a 3D heating paste consisting of carbon nanotubes, printed onto a textile carrier material reminiscent of a wetsuit. Lightweight, flexibly shapeable and undemanding in energy requirement, this composite material can be used as a door panel that heats in an electric vehicle. Because the heating paste is printed on the back of the textile, the front is available for customers’ requirements or for further functionalities. It is also possible to print a conductive carbon paste on the front to e.g. operate the window regulators too.
The smart textile’s heating capacity is about 10 W, the company says, with a difference in potential of around 12 volts. Reflected from the surface of the driver’s and the front seat passenger’s door, that is enough to heat the vehicle interior.
Mayer’s 3D heating paste solution means that the coated surface is equivalent to the heatable surface. The coating enables the heat to be brought precisely where the customer wants it. The entire surface can be heated but does not need to be. Even sewing edges do not have to be considered.
That by no means exhausts the possibilities of coatings. Adaptive heating systems are the next step. Activated by pressure, they are designed to heat only where and when heat is required. The concept can be explained in terms of a forklift seat: A forklift driver works in a cold and draughty hall. To keep his seat warm he switches the seat heating on. It stays on and carries on heating even if the driver gets down from time to time to do other jobs. Textildruckerei Mayer’s adaptive heating with its built-in sensor system would notice that and switch off, only heating again when the driver is back on his seat. This approach is supported by the very good heat storage properties that the heating paste of carbon nanotubes has demonstrated in trials. The temperature and radiation value barely fall over a period of 30 seconds. The company sees easier processing as a further advantage of its system. Unlike conventional seat heating, which usually consists of 3 layers – an underlay, the heating mat itself and the upholstery – the Mayer solution is a single-layer composite. There is a coating of heating paste and a formable thermal fleece on the back of the carrier material. The front can be designed to the customer’s specifications. That saves time and work in cutting and processing.
Cerapur is a 3D hard ceramic coating. Customers in the furniture and automotive industries use this solution. It too is a robust composite consisting of the ceramic coating, the carrier material and a rubberized layer that completes the smart textile. The choice of carrier material, the composite’s properties and its purpose naturally depend on the customer’s requirements. Cerapur can be flame-retarding, antibacterial or can shine in the dark.
The main focus of the company may be on technical textiles and solutions, but they have not abandoned classic textile printing. The portfolio ranges from roller and screen to digital printing.