Screen Print India Magazine

Screen Print India Magazine

A Premier Magazine on Screen Printing, Textile Printing, Digital Printing


HomeHighlightsElectricity-Conductive Ink can Replace Wires

Electricity-Conductive Ink can Replace Wires

04 August 2022: Taking wearable electronics to a new level are successful studies by the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) Advanced Electronics and Photonics (AEP) Research Centre and the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI). The information they gathered allows manufacturers to embed electronic functionality into garments themselves.

Using electricity-conductive ink to replace wires, the process draws working circuits onto various materials like paper, film or textiles. This eliminates moving parts, and ensures the circuits survive unlimited washing.

“Most inks now on the market are not stretchable, so when washed they can become brittle and lose conductivity,” said Dr. Ye Tao, team lead, printable electronics, AEP. “For the past five years, we’ve been working with TTRI on this printing technology to embed electronic function into fabrics and clothing without wires. Dr. George Xiao went to TTRI twice, working side-by-side with our TTRI partners to improve the ink quality.”

This stretchable conductive ink can withstand the 6 main washing tests: twisting, stretching, flexing, extruding, peeling and oxidation. And it can be cleaned with environmentally friendly chemicals, such as ethanol rather than highly toxic toluene or acetone.

The AEP’s intellectual property and TTRI’s manufacturing capacity were a good match for this end-to-end research.

“We own the patent for the ink, while TTRI provides the means for developing applications,” said Dr. George Xiao, the first inventor of the patent, principal research officer, printable electronics, AEP.

He explains that he and his team created the ink in small quantities in the lab, then sent the formula to TTRI for large-quantity testing. This determined shelf life, stabilization, stretchability requirements and other factors important to the industry.

This work by AEP and TTRI was recently awarded a gold-level Edison Award for best new product, one of the highest accolades a company can receive for innovation and business success.

Dr. Chiu, VP of TTRI, points out that stretchable conductive ink has vast potential for product design in the flexible electronics market.

“It is one of the most important core materials that can be combined with other substances for different applications,” he said. “For example, it could be printed on flexible film, display goods or various fabrics such as motion-capture and digital textiles.”

Share With:

Screen Print India Weekly News Letter

Subscribe Now...