, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 4239–4249 | Cite as

Conductive and durable CNT-cotton ring spun yarns

  • Mengyun Yang
  • Chiyu Fu
  • Zhigang Xia
  • Deshan Cheng
  • Guangming Cai
  • Bin Tang
  • Xungai Wang
Original Paper


A facile and original method was developed to fabricate flexible conductive yarns using cotton roving and carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The CNTs were assembled to cotton roving and then wrapped around by fibers through twisting during ring spinning. The obtained CNT treated cotton yarns (CNT-CYs) showed great electrical conductivity and durability properties. The CNT-CYs were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy and Raman scattering spectroscopy. The electrical conductivity, mechanical property and flexibility of CNT-CYs were investigated. The results show that electrical resistance of roving, twist and linear density of yarn affect the electrical conductivity of CNT-CYs. Combination with CNTs increased the breaking strength of cotton yarns. The electrical resistance of CNT-CYs was relatively stable during stretching and human motions. Moreover, no obvious changes in electrical resistance were found after CNT-CYs were bent 100 times. The CNT-CYs possessed good durability to repeated washing and abrasion.


Ring spinning Carbon nanotube Cotton Composite yarn Electrical conductivity Durability 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 51503164 and 51403162), the MoE Innovation Team Project in Biological Fibers Advanced Textile Processing and Clean Production (No. IRT13086).

Supplementary material

10570_2018_1839_MOESM1_ESM.docx (7.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 7495 kb)


  1. Baughman RH, Zakhidov AA, De Heer WA (2002) Carbon nanotubes—the route toward applications. Science 297:787–792CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Cai G, Xu Z, Yang M, Tang B, Wang X (2017a) Functionalization of cotton fabrics through thermal reduction of graphene oxide. Appl Surf Sci 393:441–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cai G, Yang M, Xu Z, Liu J, Tang B, Wang X (2017b) Flexible and wearable strain sensing fabrics. Chem Eng J 325:396–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Choi GR et al (2016) Strain sensing characteristics of rubbery carbon nanotube composite for flexible sensors. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 16:1607–1611CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cooper CA, Young RJ, Halsall M (2001) Investigation into the deformation of carbon nanotubes and their composites through the use of Raman spectroscopy. Compos Part A Appl Sci Manuf 32:401–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deng F, Lu W, Zhao H, Zhu Y, Kim B-S, Chou T-W (2011) The properties of dry-spun carbon nanotube fibers and their interfacial shear strength in an epoxy composite. Carbon 49:1752–1757CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dresselhaus MS, Dresselhaus G, Saito R, Jorio A (2005) Raman spectroscopy of carbon nanotubes. Phys Rep 409:47–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Egami Y, Suzuki K, Tanaka T, Yasuhara T, Higuchi E, Inoue H (2011) Preparation and characterization of conductive fabrics coated uniformly with polypyrrole nanoparticles. Synth Met 161:219–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gao Z, Song N, Zhang Y, Li X (2015) Cotton-textile-enabled, flexible lithium-ion batteries with enhanced capacity and extended lifespan. Nano Lett 15:8194–8203CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gao Z, Bumgardner C, Song N, Zhang Y, Li J, Li X (2016) Cotton-textile-enabled flexible self-sustaining power packs via roll-to-roll fabrication. Nat Commun 7:11586CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Guan X, Zheng G, Dai K, Liu C, Yan X, Shen C, Guo Z (2016) Carbon nanotubes-adsorbed electrospun PA66 nanofiber bundles with improved conductivity and robust flexibility. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:14150–14159CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Jiang K, Li Q, Fan S (2002) Nanotechnology: spinning continuous carbon nanotube yarns. Nature 419:801CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee T-W, Lee S-E, Jeong YG (2016) Carbon nanotube/cellulose papers with high performance in electric heating and electromagnetic interference shielding. Compos Sci Technol 131:77–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li Y, Samad YA, Liao K (2015) From cotton to wearable pressure sensor. J Mater Chem A 3:2181–2187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Li L, Fan T, Hu R, Liu Y, Lu M (2017a) Surface micro-dissolution process for embedding carbon nanotubes on cotton fabric as a conductive textile. Cellulose 24:1121–1128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li Y, Li Q, Zhang C, Cai P, Bai N, Xu X (2017b) Intelligent self-healing superhydrophobic modification of cotton fabrics via surface-initiated ARGET ATRP of styrene. Chem Eng J 323:134–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liang G, Zhu L, Xu J, Fang D, Bai Z, Xu W (2013) Investigations of poly (pyrrole)-coated cotton fabrics prepared in blends of anionic and cationic surfactants as flexible electrode. Electrochim Acta 103:9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lima MD et al (2011) Biscrolling nanotube sheets and functional guests into yarns. Science 331:51–55CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu X, Chang H, Li Y, Huck W, Zheng Z (2010) Polyelectrolyte-bridged metal/cotton hierarchical structures for highly durable conductive yarns. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2:529–535CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu C, Cai Z, Zhao Y, Zhao H, Ge F (2016a) Potentiostatically synthesized flexible polypyrrole/multi-wall carbon nanotube/cotton fabric electrodes for supercapacitors. Cellulose 23:637–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu H et al (2016b) Electrically conductive strain sensing polyurethane nanocomposites with synergistic carbon nanotubes and graphene bifillers. Nanoscale 8:12977–12989CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu Y, Song T, Jia X, Meng L, Mao X (2017) Gold nanoparticles decorated carbon nanotube probe based immunochromatographic assay on cotton thread. Sens Actuators B 251:1112–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lou C-W (2005) Process of complex core spun yarn containing a metal wire. Text Res J 75:466–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Makowski T, Kowalczyk D, Fortuniak W, Jeziorska D, Brzezinski S, Tracz A (2014) Superhydrophobic properties of cotton woven fabrics with conducting 3D networks of multiwall carbon nanotubes, MWCNTs. Cellulose 21:4659–4670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Osswald S, Havel M, Gogotsi Y (2007) Monitoring oxidation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes by Raman spectroscopy. J Raman Spectrosc 38:728–736. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pan H, Li J, Feng Y (2010) Carbon nanotubes for supercapacitor. Nanoscale Res Lett 5:654CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Pang Y et al (2016) Flexible, highly sensitive, and wearable pressure and strain sensors with graphene porous network structure. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:26458–26462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pu X et al (2016) Wearable self-charging power textile based on flexible yarn supercapacitors and fabric nanogenerators. Adv Mater 28:98–105CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Ren J, Wang C, Zhang X, Carey T, Chen K, Yin Y, Torrisi F (2017) Environmentally-friendly conductive cotton fabric as flexible strain sensor based on hot press reduced graphene oxide. Carbon 111:622–630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Soltani P, Johari M (2012) A study on siro-, solo-, compact-, and conventional ring-spun yarns. Part II: yarn strength with relation to physical and structural properties of yarns. J Text Inst 103:921–930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tang B, Zhang M, Hou X, Li J, Sun L, Wang X (2012) Coloration of cotton fibers with anisotropic silver nanoparticles. Ind Eng Chem Res 51:12807–12813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thangakameshwaran N, Santhoskumar A (2014) Cotton fabric dipped in carbon nano tube ink for smart textile applications. J Polym Mater Polym Biomater 63:557–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thostenson ET, Ren Z, Chou T-W (2001) Advances in the science and technology of carbon nanotubes and their composites: a review. Compos Sci Technol 61:1899–1912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tran C, Humphries W, Smith S, Huynh C, Lucas S (2009) Improving the tensile strength of carbon nanotube spun yarns using a modified spinning process. Carbon 47:2662–2670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wang H et al (2016a) Downsized sheath–core conducting fibers for weavable superelastic wires, biosensors, supercapacitors, and strain sensors. Adv Mater 28:4998–5007CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Wang Z et al (2016b) Polyurethane/cotton/carbon nanotubes core-spun yarn as high reliability stretchable strain sensor for human motion detection. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8:24837–24843CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang N, Xu Z, Zhan P, Dai K, Zheng G, Liu C, Shen C (2017a) A tunable strain sensor based on a carbon nanotubes/electrospun polyamide 6 conductive nanofibrous network embedded into poly(vinyl alcohol) with self-diagnosis capabilities. J Mater Chem C 5:4408–4418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang R et al (2017b) A Bi-sheath fiber sensor for giant tensile and torsional displacements. Adv Funct Mater 27:1702134. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wei Y, Chen S, Lin Y, Yuan X, Liu L (2016) Silver nanowires coated on cotton for flexible pressure sensors. J Mater Chem C 4:935–943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Weng W, Chen P, He S, Sun X, Peng H (2016) Smart electronic textiles. Angew Chem Int Ed 55:6140–6169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xia Z, Xu W (2013) A review of ring staple yarn spinning method development and its trend prediction. J Nat Fibers 10:62–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu P et al (2014) Carbon nanotube fiber based stretchable wire-shaped supercapacitors. Adv Energy Mater 4:1300759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xu Q, Fan L, Yuan Y, Wei C, Bai Z, Xu J (2016) All-solid-state yarn supercapacitors based on hierarchically structured bacterial cellulose nanofiber-coated cotton yarns. Cellulose 23:3987–3997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yang L, Li M, Zhang Y, Yi K, Ma J, Liu Y (2014) Synthesis and characterization of polypyrrole nanotubes/multi-walled carbon nanotubes composites with superior electrochemical performance. J Mater Sci Mater Electron 25:1047–1052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ye X, Zhou Q, Jia C, Tang Z, Wan Z, Wu X (2016) A knittable fibriform supercapacitor based on natural cotton thread coated with graphene and carbon nanoparticles. Electrochim Acta 206:155–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yildiz SK, Mutlu R, Alici G (2016) Fabrication and characterisation of highly stretchable elastomeric strain sensors for prosthetic hand applications. Sens Actuators A 247:514–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yu D et al (2014a) Scalable synthesis of hierarchically structured carbon nanotube-graphene fibres for capacitive energy storage. Nat Nanotechnol 9:555–562CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Yu Y, Yan C, Zheng Z (2014b) Polymer-assisted metal deposition (PAMD): a full-solution strategy for flexible, stretchable, compressible, and wearable metal conductors. Adv Mater 26:5508–5516CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Yu Y, Zhang L, Yildiz O, Deng H, Zhao C, Bradford P, Zhu Y (2017) Investigation of microcombing parameters in enhancing the properties of carbon nanotube yarns. Mater Des 134:181–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zahid M, Heredia-Guerrero JA, Athanassiou A, Bayer IS (2017) Robust water repellent treatment for woven cotton fabrics with eco-friendly polymers. Chem Eng J 319:321–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zeng W, Shu L, Li Q, Chen S, Wang F, Tao XM (2014) Fiber-based wearable electronics: a review of materials, fabrication, devices, and applications. Adv Mater 26:5310–5336CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Zhang H, Cao J, Wu W, Cao Z, Ma H (2016) Layer-by-layer assembly of graphene oxide on viscose fibers for the fabrication of flexible conductive devices. Cellulose 23:3761–3770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhao Z, Yan C, Liu Z, Fu X, Peng L, Hu Y, Zheng Z (2016) Machine-washable textile triboelectric nanogenerators for effective human respiratory monitoring through loom weaving of metallic yarns. Adv Mater 28:10267–10274CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Zhong W et al (2016) A nanofiber based artificial electronic skin with high pressure sensitivity and 3D conformability. Nanoscale 8:12105–12112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhu L et al (2014) Cotton fabrics coated with lignosulfonate-doped polypyrrole for flexible supercapacitor electrodes. RSC Adv 4:6261–6266CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wuhan Textile University, Key Laboratory of Textile Fiber and Product, Ministry of EducationWuhanChina
  2. 2.Institute for Frontier MaterialsDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

Personalised recommendations