Smart Functional Materials English

Professor: Ger Brinks
Associate Professor:
Gerrit Bouwhuis

“The future of fashion and textiles is materials"

Smart Functional Materials are everywhere and are becoming increasingly durable, smarter and more functional. The textile industry is able to innovate thanks to new technology, smart materials and durable processes. Society faces complex issues. Smart and functional materials can help address these issues. The digitisation of production networks is making it possible to rapidly introduce innovations on the market. The research group Smart Functional Materials (SFM) develops innovative concepts and products by way of practice-oriented research in collaboration with companies, researchers and students.

The most important research areas of the SFM research group are:

  • durable textiles
  • interactive smart textiles and
  • surface processing of textiles.

We link knowledge of both natural and synthetic fibres to durable textiles, process technology and physical chemistry. The high-tech equipment in our laboratories enables us to design, analyse and characterise products on a laboratory scale. By processing new materials on weaving and knitting machines, digital printing machines and technical embroider machines, we can actually integrate sensors, actuators and electronics into textiles. Digitisation makes it possible to include these devices into production chains. Read more about our laboratories and equipment (in Dutch) >>

Durable textiles

Within the research track "durable textiles", new materials are being developed such as SaXcell, an innovative recycled cellulose fibre. Research is done into biomaterials and locally produced fibres. Design for recycling, LCAs and the circular economy of the textile chain are important themes. Read more about the current projects within the research track "durable textiles":

Interactive smart textiles

Interactive smart textiles are textiles that respond to changes in the environment. Think of the integration of electronics in textiles, which makes it possible to measure body functions such as heart rate and temperature. The integration of sensors and actuators in textiles enables us to design an exoskeleton of textiles that can provide support in walking. Research is also being done into clothing or tents with integrated flexible solar cells to generate sustainable and off-grid energy. Below, you can read more about the current projects within the research track "Interactive smart textiles":

Surface processing of textiles

The research track "surface processing of textiles" covers many different surface processing techniques, such as finishing, coating and laminating techniques, but also 3D printing on textiles. Digitisation offers new possibilities, such as surface processing that makes textiles more comfortable to wear, or nano particles that adhere to textiles. The adaptations of material properties make the textiles innovative and functional. Below, you can read more about the current projects within the research track "Surface processing of textiles":

Collaboration with research group Smart Functional Materials

Thanks to multidisciplinary collaboration between business, research groups and education, innovative concepts and products are being developed. Collaboration takes place at the regional, national and international level. Read more about the collaboration between the research group Smart Functional Materials and textiles education at Saxion>>

Embedded conductive yarns by 3D printing , smart textiles
Optical fibres, Smart textiles