Japan - Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Electronic Functional Member, Knitted Product Using The Same, And Method For Manufacturing Electronic Functional Member”, for Approval (USPTO 20190156972)

Daily Asia Business |

2019 JUN 12 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Daily Asia Business -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventors KONDO, Masahiko (Nagaokakyo-shi, Japan); ONISHI, Osamu (Kitakatsuragi-gun, Japan); ANDO, Kanako (Kitakatsuragi-gun, Japan), filed on , was made available online on .

The patent’s assignee is Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Nagaokakyo-shi, Japan).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “The present invention relates to an electronic functional member, a knitted product using the same, and a method for manufacturing an electronic functional member.

“Conventionally, characteristics such as a heat retention property and an antibacterial property have been widely applied to synthetic fibers such as clothing articles by coating or impregnating surfaces of the synthetic fibers with a functional material. On the other hand, in recent years, the application of electric and electronic functions to yarns or fabrics by carrying electronic components on the yarns or the fabrics has been studied.

“For example, Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2013-189718 discloses a composite yarn and a fabric including the composite yarn. In the composite yarn, a support having an electronic component attached thereto is wound and fixed on the surface of a yarn on which a conductive pattern is formed, and a holding yarn is wound around the yarn to cover at least a portion of the electronic component.

“However, the composite yarn of Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2013-189718 has a problem that the holding yarn itself is not flexible, which is apt to cause the composite yarn to be broken if stress is locally applied to an electronic component or a wiring. When a bending or tensile force is applied to the fabric including the composite yarn, the force is apt to be locally applied to the composite yarn, which is disadvantageously apt to cause the disconnection and breakage of the component.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide yarn electronic functional members having electric and electronic functions and excellent flexibility and durability, knitted products using the same, and methods for manufacturing electronic functional members.

“An electronic functional member according to a first aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a core wire assembly including at least two metal wires, an insulating layer covering the at least two metal wires so as to expose a portion of the at least two metal wires, and an electronic functional element electrically conductive to each of the at least two metal wires; and a sheath including a knitted fabric covering the core wire assembly.

“The first aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention can provide an electronic functional member that has electric and electronic functions, is resistant to bending and impact, and is capable of being knitted.

“In a second aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the knitted fabric at least partially includes a thermoplastic synthetic resin.

“According to the second aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the knitted fabric is easily melted and deformed by heat to increase the coverage of the core wire assembly.

“In a third aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the core wire assembly is hermetically sealed to an outside in a region where the core wire assembly is covered with the knitted fabric.

“According to the third aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the water resistance of the sheath is able to be improved.

“In a fourth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in the first aspect, the sheath includes a first cover located on a side of the core wire assembly including the knitted fabric, and a second cover covering at least a portion of the first cover and pressing the first cover toward the core wire assembly.

“According to the fourth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the first cover is able to be further brought into close contact with the core wire assembly.

“In a fifth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the second cover includes an elongated member helically wound around the first cover.

“According to the fifth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the first cover is able to be brought into close contact with the core wire assembly without damaging the core wire assembly.

“In a sixth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the electronic functional element may be a chip component, an electronic functional substance-containing film, a battery, an input element, a display element, a sensor, an antenna, and a composite element and integrated circuit thereof.

“According to the sixth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a size and thickness of the electronic functional member to be mounted is able to be further reduced so that the electronic functional member can be thinner.

“In a seventh aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the core wire assembly includes a plurality of electronic functional elements, and the plurality of electronic functional elements are interconnected by the metal wires to define a circuit.

“According to the seventh aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a use of the circuit in place of a component such as a chip makes it possible to further downsize the electronic functional member.

“According to an eighth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the circuit includes a sensor as the electronic functional element.

“According to an eighth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the electronic functional member is usable as a measurement tool.

“In a ninth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the circuit further includes a controller that controls operation of the sensor, a communicator that outputs information from the sensor to the outside, and a power supply that supplies electric power to the sensor, the controller, and the communicator, as the electronic functional element.

“According to the ninth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the electronic functional member is able to be further downsized as a measurement tool.

“In a tenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a knitted product is obtained by knitting the electronic functional member according to any one of the first to ninth aspects of preferred embodiments of the present invention used as at least a portion of the knitted product.

“The tenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention provides a knitted product that has electric and electronic functions and is resistant to bending or impact.

“In an eleventh aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the knitted product further includes a power supply electrically connected to the electronic functional element via the at least two metal wires.

“According to the eleventh aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the need for an external power supply is eliminated.

“In a twelfth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the knitted product is obtained by knitting the electronic functional member used as at least a portion of the knitted product, the electronic functional member including a circuit in which a sensor, a controller that controls operation of the sensor, a communicator that outputs information from the sensor to an outside, and a power supply that supplies electric power to the sensor, the controller, and the communicator are interconnected.

“According to the twelfth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the shape of the knitted fabric obtained by knitting the electronic functional member including the circuit including the sensor used as at least a portion of the knitted fabric is not limited to the shape of an object to be measured, and the knitted fabric is able to be attached to the object to be measured, such that the knitted fabric can be used as a new measurement tool.

“In a thirteenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a method for manufacturing an electronic functional member includes forming a core wire assembly including at least two metal wires, an insulating layer covering the at least two metal wires so as to expose a portion of the at least two metal wires, and an electronic functional element electrically conductive to each of the at least two metal wires; and forming a sheath covering the core wire assembly, wherein the forming the sheath includes at least knitting a knit fabric by weft knitting around the core wire assembly to cover the core wire assembly.

“According to the thirteenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an electronic functional member that has electric and electronic functions and is resistant to bending and impact is manufactured.

“In a fourteenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, in the twelfth aspect, the step of forming the sheath includes helically winding an elongated member around the knitted fabric.

“According to the fourteenth aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the first cover is able to be brought into closer contact with the core wire assembly.

“Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide yarn electronic functional members having excellent flexibility and durability and a knitted fabric using the same.

“The above and other elements, features, steps, characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the attached drawings.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. An electronic functional member comprising: a core wire assembly including at least two metal wires, an insulating layer covering the at least two metal wires so as to expose a portion of the at least two metal wires, and an electronic functional element electrically conductive to each of the at least two metal wires; and a sheath including a knitted fabric covering the core wire assembly.

“2. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the knitted fabric at least partially includes a thermoplastic synthetic resin.

“3. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the core wire assembly is hermetically sealed to an outside in a region where the core wire assembly is covered with the knitted fabric.

“4. The electronic functional member according to claim 2, wherein the core wire assembly is hermetically sealed to an outside in a region where the core wire assembly is covered with the knitted fabric.

“5. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the sheath includes a first cover located on a side of the core wire assembly including the knitted fabric, and a second cover covering at least a portion of the first cover and pressing the first cover toward the core wire assembly.

“6. The electronic functional member according to claim 5, wherein the second cover is an elongated member helically wound around the first cover.

“7. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the electronic functional element includes at least one of a chip component, an electronic functional substance-containing film, a battery, an input element, a display element, a sensor, an antenna, and a composite element and integrated circuit thereof.

“8. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the core wire assembly includes a plurality of the electronic functional elements interconnected by the at least two metal wires to define a circuit.

“9. The electronic functional member according to claim 8, wherein the circuit includes a sensor defining the electronic functional element.

“10. The electronic functional member according to claim 9, wherein the circuit further includes a controller that controls operation of the sensor, a communicator that outputs information from the sensor, and a power supply that supplies electric power to the sensor, the controller, and the communicator, as the electronic functional element.

“11. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the sheath directly contacts the electronic functional element.

“12. The electronic functional member according to claim 1, wherein the knitted fabric is a weft knitted fabric.

“13. A knitted product obtained by knitting the electronic functional member according to claim 1 defining at least a portion of the knitted product.

“14. The knitted product according to claim 13, further comprising a power supply electrically connected to the electronic functional element via the at least two metal wires.

“15. The knitted product according to claim 13, wherein the knitted product is obtained by knitting the electronic functional member defining at least a portion of the knitted product, the electronic functional member including a circuit in which a sensor, a controller that controls operation of the sensor, a communicator that outputs information from the sensor to an outside, and a power supply that supplies electric power to the sensor, the controller, and the communicator are interconnected by the at least two metal wires.

“16. A method for manufacturing an electronic functional member, the method comprising: forming a core wire assembly including at least two metal wires, an insulating layer covering the at least two metal wires so as to expose a portion of the at least two metal wires, and an electronic functional element electrically conductive to each of the at least two metal wires; and forming a sheath covering the core wire assembly; wherein the forming the sheath includes at least knitting a knit fabric by weft knitting around the core wire assembly to cover the core wire assembly.

“17. The method according to claim 16, wherein the step of forming the sheath includes a step of helically winding an elongated member around the knitted fabric.

“18. The method according to claim 16, wherein the sheath directly contacts the electronic functional element.”

For additional information on this patent application, see: KONDO, Masahiko; ONISHI, Osamu; ANDO, Kanako. Electronic Functional Member, Knitted Product Using The Same, And Method For Manufacturing Electronic Functional Member. Filed and posted . Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190156972%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190156972&RS=DN/20190156972

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Comments

Watchlist

Symbol Last Price Change % Change
AAPL

     
AMZN

     
HD

     
JPM

     
IBM

     

INTERVIEW: CEO Jason Goodman - Atlantic WeedBoard

Equities.com Host & Contributor Silvia Davi interviewing CEO of Atlantic WeedBoard, Jason Goodman.