Efficient and multifunctional as a composite
Today, we hardly encounter any homogeneous materials any more. As a rule, the composite material fulfils functions which cannot be provided by its basic materials alone. With regard to flexible material composites these are in most cases improved resistances, barrier effect, flame resistance, migration barriers, improved soiling and cleaning behaviour, water repellency and breathability or a pleasant haptics to name only a few.
More and more frequently we encounter so-called smart materials. They assume additional sensory or actuator-like functions or respond to environmental stimuli such as light, moisture, ambient temperature or mechanical stress. In this connection, the material-scientific and technological approaches are versatile. For instance, active hydrogels, storage polymers, phase-change materials, colour-change materials and functional nanomaterials are used.
Here, we follow the approach to transfer sensory and reaction properties to a flexible backing material using functional nanomaterials and conventional coating technologies. For this purpose we use electrically conductive layers based on different raw materials. The applications are versatile, the "intelligent" composites are able to record and transfer data, to heat or provoke a material reaction.