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Interconnecting embroidered hybrid conductive yarns by ultrasonic plastic welding for e-textiles

Dils, Christian; Kalas, David; Reboun, Jan; Suchy, Stanislav; Soukup, Radek; Moravcova, Daniela; Krshiwoblozki, Malte von; Schneider-Ramelow, Martin

This article presents a novel approach for the electrical interconnection of embroidered conductive yarns with each other at defined cross-points using ultrasonic spot welding. The electrically conductive yarns are made of silver-coated copper microwires plied with polyester filament fibers into a hybrid embroidery yarn. In this study we evaluated the influence of different material properties (number of microwires of conductive yarn, fabric substrate, and adhesive film), the embroidery designs of contact pads, and the main parameters of the welding process (energy, force, amplitude, and tools) on the welded interconnection. The results were evaluated by the process yield and the contact resistance of the welded contacts. The electrical contacts were then tested for long-term reliability (elevated temperature and humidity, temperature shock change, bending, washing and drying) and analyzed. In addition, the contacts were examined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography and in the form of cross-sections with optical and SEM techniques to discuss interconnection and failure mechanisms. The results show that ultrasonic spot welding can enable the production of highly reliable interconnections of textile-integrated conductive yarns with contact resistances of a few milliohms that are resistant to mechanical, environmental, and washing conditions, leading to potential new manufacturing processes of e-textiles.
Published in: Textile Research Journal, 10.1177/00405175221101015, SAGE