Methode Development Company, a business unit of Methode Electronics, Inc., announces that its conductive inkjet printable ink can now print circuits directly onto treated polyesters.
The ink, formulated for thermal and piezo inkjet systems, makes it possible for engineers to print working electrical circuits, right from their desktops – facilitating product development, prototyping, and manufacturing processes. With this technology, scale-up for high volume manufacturing can be easily achieved.
Methode’s water-based #9101 ink has excellent adhesion to polyester substrates. The inkjet formulation contains conductive silver nano-particles, and does not require secondary curing or additional processing. Near full conductivity is achieved within a few minutes of printing. The ink is RoHS-compliant and negligible volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are created during printing, alleviating the need for specialized ventilation during application.
The addition of treated polyester substrates significantly expands the growth potential in the flexible circuit, membrane switch, RFID and photovoltaics markets. These markets have always required an efficient and cost-effective manufacturing alternative that inkjet printing provides. The treated polyester adds to Methode’s full line of substrates - none of which require thermal processing - including coated papers and synthetic substrates, such as Teslin(TM).
A development kit is available that allows engineers to create functional electrical circuits with a thermal inkjet desktop printer. The kit includes 3 substrates, a thermal inkjet printer, a cartridge filled with the 9101 conductive ink, a printer maintenance kit, and an owner’s manual. The cartridge simply replaces the existing black cartridge on the desktop printer. The desktop print head is the same head used for industrial print systems, allowing a direct path for production scale-up. The price of the kit is $1,850 with replacement 9101 ink cartridges available.