STEM Srl participated in the development of an innovation and experimentation project, within the Smart Living call funded by the Lombardy Region, in partnership with other local companies (Lct Srl, textile manufacturing and Centrocot Spa, research and testing body in the sector textile).
The project, started at the end of 2017 and ended in November 2019, consisted in the conception and realization of a textile panel, for applications in living and office environments, integrated with specific technical materials and built with widely known textile technologies, capable of bringing innovative properties, which act on indoor environmental conditions and can provide infotainment functions.
The project objectives were:
Environmental comfort: improve comfort in the rooms where the panel is mounted, thanks to the attenuation of electromagnetic waves (unwanted external WiFi networks); the physical principle that allows such a result is the known one of the Faraday cage, in which conductive metallic yarns are used both in weft and warp (rows and ranks in the case of knitted fabric)
Energy saving: reduce the consumption of air conditioning equipment, shielding the environment from solar radiation (especially infrared frequencies);
Design: enhance the environment in terms of aesthetics and furnishings, also thanks to the possibility of integrating special side-emitting optical fibers into the textile matrix, with which to generate desired lighting scenarios.
The product thus created is suitable, first of all, for covering windows and glass doors facing the outside of the room, with the possibility of using it also as a separating element of the internal environments and as a functional and decorative element on the walls.
The product has also been given hydro and oil repellency properties, through specific Sol-gel treatments, with the aim of making them resistant to dirt and easy to clean, reducing and simplifying maintenance procedures which are particularly difficult in the case of curtains and curtain panels .
Further functionalities have been the subject of research and experimentation, with the aim of integrating them into the existing textile product, such as:
Sound absorption: to obtain a reduction of the reverberation, a phenomenon particularly present in open-space work environments and in crowded rooms;
Photo / thermo-chromaticity: use of photo / thermo-chromatic inks, according to custom design, with the aim of giving the fabric the possibility of varying “transparency” according to the energy of solar radiation. In this way, in the event of high radiation, the panel would have a more opaque and darkening effect.