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Use of Rotary Ultrasonic Plastic Welding as a Continuous Interconnection Technology for Large-Area e-Textiles

Dils, Christian; Hohner, Sebastian; Schneider-Ramelow, Martin

For textile-based electronic systems with multiple contacts distributed over a large area, it is very complex to create reliable electrical and mechanical interconnections. In this work, we report for the first time on the use of rotating ultrasonic polymer welding for the continuous integration and interconnection of highly conductive ribbons with textile-integrated conductive tracks. For this purpose, the conductive ribbons are prelaminated on the bottom side with a thermoplastic film, which serves as an adhesion agent to the textile carrier, and another thermoplastic film is laminated on the top side, which serves as an electrical insulation layer. Experimental tests are used to investigate the optimum welding process parameters for each material combination. The interconnects are initially electrically measured and then tested by thermal cycling, moisture aging, buckling and washing tests, followed by electrical and optical analyses. The interconnects obtained are very low ohmic across the materials tested, with resulting contact resistances between 1 and 5 mOhm. Material-dependent results were observed in the reliability tests, with climatic and mechanical tests performing better than the wash tests for all materials. In addition, the development of a heated functional prototype demonstrates a first industrial application.
Published in: Textiles, 10.3390/textiles3010006, MDPI