You already know that we love smart materials and this time, we want to tell you a little more about conductive inks, a very interesting material with great benefits.
What are conductive inks?
Conductive ink is a paint that contains silver or carbon particles. These particles are responsible for giving this ink / paint the conductive property. These inks could replace the wires and copper tracks in circuits. Do you remember the circuits that we used to make in school as children, the typical ones with thumbtacks and clips attached with fine copper wires? Surely, the next generations will not have to use the copper wire, it will be enough for them to take a pen with this ink and draw the circuit themselves.
On what materials can I apply conductive inks?
As we mentioned earlier, this conductive paint allows drawing electronic circuits in all kinds of materials. Some of the materials on which its operation has been verified and it is possible to create circuits on them are:
- Some types of plastics.
- Compressed Wood (cork.
- Paper products
Characteristics of conductive inks
Some of the characteristics of these inks are, as you can imagine, generating electrical conductivity between devices, energizing small devices… Furthermore, these inks are non-toxic and based on water.
They can work with small direct current voltages, generally the most conventional ones usually work at 12V.
The resistance of this ink depends on the amount of ink applied, that is, if we draw a line, to calculate its resistance, it will depend on the amount of ink applied on the surface and also on its dimensions.
In the projects section you can also find an example of luminescent inks another of the smart materials with which we work.
How are conductive inks applied?
The advance in the application of these inks allows their use by means of direct digital printing on different materials, providing them with energy and being able to transform them directly into switches just by touching them. These conductive inks are compatible with various printing standards, so it can be tailored based on application requirements.
Conductive ink applications
Currently, there is a great boom in flexible and portable electronic devices, such as textile wearables, whose function is to monitor health status, among others. These new devices need to be flexible to adapt to a surface or the user. Current electronic circuits would not adapt and would be uncomfortable to carry. These conductive inks, as discussed above, are compatible with various printing standards so they can be used for the manufacture of flexible and adaptable electronic circuits.
Conductive inks may be a great revolution in the future. Perhaps the new marketing campaigns of different companies incorporate this technology, since it can be very useful in the retail sector or even in signaling. This technology brings new frontiers in traditional design, allowing it to capture people’s attention either by surprise or by their interaction with the environment.
One of the most popular examples where these conductive inks could begin to be used is their application in the printing of RFID labels. These tags are used to automatically identify, for example, an item of clothing. Depending on their use, these inks could act as a sensor and function as RFID antennas, providing manufacturers and distributors with real inventory information for their products.
Do you want to apply conductive inks in any of your projects? Contact us!
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