Silver Coated Fibers

   The utilization of textile materials with nanotechnology is increasing in many industries especially for automobile, medical and health care. For all these technical applications, it is desirable to produce such textile materials with specially designed surface features to meet various needs. Various techniques have been developed to functionalize textile materials. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) has been applied to modify textile materials various functions and solvent-free process. High vacuum physical vapor deposition method due to its inherent merits, such as environmental friendly properties, to modify and functionalize textile materials started to find new applications. Sputter coating is one of the most commonly used techniques in PVD, which has been widely used in glass, ceramic and micro-electronic industries. Sputter coating produces very thin metallic or ceramic coatings (nanometer thickness) on to a wide range of substrates, which can be either metallic or non-metallic in different forms.

   Anti-static fabric and work clothes are a type of technical textile which is in need by uniform manufacturers.  Hospitals, electronic industry firms, electrostatic-affected-dyehouses, military personnel, transport personnels of fuel and gas, pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers, and research laboratories are using anti-static uniforms.

In this project, the surfaces of synthetic fibers (10-100 um in diameter PET, PP etc. fibers) will be coated in high vacuum with electrical conductors such as Ag and Ti metals and electrical conductivity is aimed to increase.  When these fibers are weaved to become fabric and due to their antistatic and antibacterial properties, these fabrics will take place of technical textiles which are imported from abroad.  To be defined a fabric as an antistatic it should show 106-108 ohm /sqr surface resistance.

   Therefore, the fibers will be coated with thick enough Ag and Ti to provide anti-static properties. Arising from friction or other events, the charge accumulates on the surface of a fabric.  It is possible to discharge the static charge by a very thin conductor, 20 nm or less,  on the surface.  In this project, the synthetic fibers and yarns will be coated with the metal in a high vacuum at high speed (10-100 m/min).  The vacuum coating machine will be designed and manufactured, and the process parameters will be obtained for optimal deposition.  These fibers will be weaved into fabrics and antistatic and antibacterial properties of these fabrics will be investigated.  Besides, the obtained fabrics have potentials to be used for electromagnetic shielding, radar absorbing materials and infra-red camouflage.

   Therefore, to make commercially available coating machine will provide a new patent and can be used in mass production and will provide us knowledge about construction of other types of machineries. This type of yarn production will bring Turkey in the leading position in the world for technical textile manufacturing technology.  Moreover, besides exporting as a fabric, it is possible to reach the end-user as a uniform etc.

   In order to maintain competitiveness of Turkish textile sector, it should be directed to the innovative and advanced technology products.  T.R. Ministry of Industry published a Textile Strategy Report in September 2008; as of the end of 2006, Turkey has the world’s seventh largest synthetic yarn capacity, at the same time that it has the the largest synthetic capacity in EU and emphasizes the  importance of directing technical textiles.  The proposed

Keywords: Nanotechnology, Anti-static textile, metalization in vacuum, electrical conductivity, magnetron sputtering, technical textile. Project is an interdisciplinary study that will serve this goal.