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Smart Textiles

Electro-osmosis the key to improved moisture transport

Active multi-layer material significantly outperforms conventional membranes.

23rd April 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Sweden

Protective, Sports/​Outdoor

Swedish company LunaMicro has received the Techtextil 2024 Innovation Award in the New Technology category for its patented active moisture management fabric​.

As shown in the graphic, the smart textile, based on patented research from Linköping University, sandwiches a nanoporous membrane (light blue) between electrodes (light purple) coated onto customer-selected materials (dark purple), creating a thin, flexible multi-layer textile.

When a small battery is connected between the electrodes, the fabric pumps water from one side to the other through a process called electro-osmosis, as an effective method of removing sweat from the body.

LunaMicro is working with companies in many end-use areas and using industry-standard techniques and commercially-available materials, can print its conducting polymer electrodes onto a customer’s choice of inner and outer materials with very convincing results – water transport at 0% external humidity of 20,000gsm per day has been demonstrated, which compares very favourably to an industry leading Gore-Tex ePTFE membrane which will remove around 6,50 gsm per day. At 100% external humidity, the LunaMicro material can still remove 12,000 gsm per day.

A textile pump about the size of an A4 sheet of paper is in most circumstances sufficient to transport the sweat an active person produces to the surface of the textile. © LunaMicro

As a consequence, the material will soon be used in outdoor and protective workwear as well as in personal protective equipment.

“The Techtextil Innovation Award is recognition of our work and will both raise our profile and open up new development and growth opportunities for us,” says founder and CEO Nate Robinson.

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