Textile-circuit from KARL MAYER – established warp knitting technology produces highly innovative E-textiles.

Textiles can be used for heating, cooling and lighting. They can measure the heart rate, as well as monitor soil erosion on slopes, and can even be launched into space for use as space reflectors – as long as they are electrically conductive.

The electrical conductivity of warp-knitted textiles is the subject of extensive development work at KARL MAYER. In this project, entitled “textile-circuit”, multibar raschel machines are used with and without a jacquard facility to incorporate conductive yarns directly into the textile during manufacture. The first results are now available and show what can be achieved, including the use of textiles for remote control. The original control tool and its production principles were both successfully shown at the IDTechEx Show in Santa Clara and at the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference, both of which were held in November 2018.

The pattern provides electrical conductivity

Electrically conductive structures with a virtually unlimited range of designs can be produced on multibar raschel machines. This is possible, thanks to multibar patterning using KARL MAYER’s innovative string bar system, with which the yarns can be positioned individually and as required onto a ground – following the principles of tailored fibre placement.

The ground can be produced with a wide variety of different designs, and jacquard patterns can also be worked, depending on the type of machine.

As well as offering extensive design freedom, warp knitting also delivers maximum efficiency when producing electrically conductive textiles. Furthermore, the typical performance features of textiles, such as softness, flexibility, elasticity and breathability, are fully retained.

Production without any problems
At the functional heart of these innovative E-warp-knitted textiles are filaments containing metal, such as ELITEX®. In the experience of Sophia Krinner, a textile Product Developer at KARL MAYER, “silver-plated polyamide can be processed very easily on multibar raschel machines.” Her aim in the next few stages is to optimise the sequences on the machine to suit mass production. This textile engineer studied the processing of functional yarns in her master’s degree. As well as ELITEX®, she also achieved good results with the warp knitting of other fine, insulating metal filaments and metallised yarns, e.g. Shieldex® and Agsis™.

Of course, the flexibility and diameter of the conductive yarns must generally be harmonised to suit the machine gauge and the characteristics of the base fabric.

Five guide bars, countless shoe fabric patterns

New shoe fabric patterns and more – the COP 5 M-EL is extending the design portfolio of tricot machines

KARL MAYER presented its five-bar tricot machine, the COP 5 M-EL, to the wider public at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018 in Asia for the first time. The former COP 5 version has been combined with KARL MAYER’s EL pattern drive in this model to create a tricot machine capable of producing an extensive range of patterns. Its performance was demonstrated at the in-house show held at KARL MAYER (CHINA) at the same time as the fair and was a complete success.

The visitors were particularly impressed by the possibilities it offered to produce shoe fabrics. A coarse machine gauge was developed at KARL MAYER to produce a multifaceted collection for this particular end-use.

The articles in this collection for use in tough, hardwearing sports and leisure shoes feature stylish, graphic patterns with a contrasting, two-tone colored effect. Two fabric samples are shown in the pattern part of this issue. Polyester was used to produce all the types: a textured, spin-dyed black yarn was used in ground guide bars, GB 1, GB 2 and GB 3, and a smooth, semi-matt, raw-white version was used in GB 4 and GB 5. The pattern is based on a 1 in/1 out threading arrangement in GB 4 and GB 5. Openings of different sizes can be produced in the ground by varying the lapping. The wide variety of motifs is produced on the ground pattern during production and protrude clearly from the ground as a result of the spin-dyed yarn. A fully threaded pillar stitch in GB 1 increases the stability of the fabric.

At the same time, the underlaps of the other guide bars are protected in order to improve the abrasion resistance.

The patterned fabrics weigh approximately 300 g/m². They are produced in a gauge of E 20 and can be worked at an exceptionally high operating speed. The COP 5 M-EL has a maximum speed of 1.200 min-

As well as shoes, the COP 5 M-EL in a gauge of E 28 can produce sports goods, apparel fabrics and other semi-technical textiles, such as upholstery fabrics, automotive textiles, and coating substrates. The electronic guide bar control, in combination with the five guide bars, gives this all-round machine maximum flexibility.

A new machine is shaping the standard sector

The new TM WEFT for the standard segment is complementing the WEFTTRONIC® II HKS for the premium segment

KARL MAYER is transferring its successful two product line strategy to its Technical Textiles Business Unit and is supplementing its premium weft-insertion machine with a standard model. In addition to the WEFTTRONIC® II HKS, there will also be a TM WEFT in future. This new warp knitting machine with weft-insertion facility bears all the hallmarks of the high-end version in terms of its quality and reliability, but its optimized cost: benefit ratio targets a different market.

The right machine for every market segment

This new machine is a machine from Asia for Asia. “Our target market is China and the mid-range segment in particular”, explains Hagen Lotzmann, the Sales Manager of KARL MAYER Technische Textilien GmbH.

To score points here, the TM WEFT delivers a 50% higher cost: benefit ratio than the WEFTTRONIC® II HKS.

The considerable increase in speed has been achieved by completely redeveloping the machine and modifying the production logistics. The engineering know-how and the core areas of expertise for the TM WEFT are being provided by locations in Germany, and all the other work is being done by KARL MAYER (CHINA).

This has led to the exceptional quality and operating reliability typical of all KARL MAYER’s machines, and also delivers an attractive performance package for producers of standard goods for the interlining market. With its fine gauge, the WEFTTRONIC® II HKS is still the number one machine for producing fine interlinings and high-quality automotive textiles, for use in e.g. sun protection.

Customized technical features
The TM WEFT is available in a gauge of E 24 and a working width of 247″, which can be reduced by 62″. Its features include two stitch-forming ground guide bars, the KAMCOS®2 Single Speed and integrated Laserstop facility for the early detection of yarn breakages. Up to 24 wefts can be inserted at the same time during production. The yarn is delivered from a creel with yarn storage feeders. An electronically controlled, 4-roller system is responsible for fabric take-down, and the fabric is wound by stand-alone batching unit no. 64. It has friction drive, with control in line with the stitches.

An eagerly anticipated sales release
The TM WEFT was announced at ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018 in Shanghai and proved to be a hot topic of conversation. “Our customers are extremely interested in our new weft-insertion warp knitting machine, and are already looking forward to the official market release,” says Hagen Lotzmann. This sales expert is expecting that the first orders for this standard model, with its excellent cost-benefit ratio, will be placed this year. The sales release is scheduled for the second half of January 2019. An in-house show will also be held in January at KARL MAYER (CHINA) in Changzhou, where the TM WEFT will be demonstrating its features.

Press release
KARL MAYER Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH
Brühlstraße 25
63179 Obertshausen
Ulrike Schlenker
Tel. 06104/402-274
Fax 06104/402-73-274
E-Mail: ulrike.schlenker@karlmayer.com