Italian-based Lati Thermoplastic Industries SpA and extrusion machinery supplier Gimac di Maccagnan Giorgio jointly developed an electrically conductive yarn, which offers interesting properties and potentially suits for a wide range of industry.
As introduced, the yarn obtained features a thickness of less than two-tenths of a millimeter. First and foremost, its electrical conductivity, making it potentially suited for applications from electronics to automotive, medical, and mechatronics industry.
Carbon nanotubes, evenly dispersed in the matrix, allow the provision of uniform electrical properties on the yarn. A resistance of about 8k is measured per centimeter of yarn, but Lati says it is possible to change this performance by operating on the carbon nanotubes (CNT) content as well as on the conversion parameters.
The electro conductive yarn is not fragile, but remains flexible, even when bent with strong curvatures, due to the absence of CNT agglomerates that may give rise to discontinuity in the polymer matrix, according to the company. Good yarn deformation is combined with an interesting tensile strength and optimal mechanical properties.
Lati and Gimac have collaborated to evaluate the possible conversion of special compounds manufactured by the former using micro-extrusion technology on machines built by the latter. Different materials and thicknesses were extruded during several experimental tests.