Conductive inks print circuits in moulded parts, eliminate PCBs

October 15, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
DuPont Microcircuit Materials is introducing a range of in-mould electronic inks, that increase the variables for mechanical and electronic designers, andaid functional integration.

The suite of in-mould electronic inks is designed to help streamline electronic devices by reducing the need for rigid circuit boards. By printing circuits directly onto plastic substrates, touch controls – such as electronic buttons, switches and slides – are readily integrated in applications such as home appliances and cars. The inks offer design, manufacturing, weight and cost advantages and mark the further expansion of DuPont advanced materials enabling printed electronics. The image shows a reference design using integrated printed circuitry that is enabled by DuPont ME series in-mould electronic inks. (Photo by TactoTek [Oulu, Finland]).

“In-mould electronics can simplify structures significantly while opening the door for more creative design possibilities since designers are no longer restricted to the shapes and form factors of printed circuit boards,” DuPont Microcircuit Materials adds, “These new inks will enable more beautiful appliances and lighter vehicles.”

The DuPont ME series in-mould electronic inks are designed to withstand demanding manufacturing processes such as thermoforming and injection moulding. They also simplify the assembly process because there is only a single connection point and no wires behind the console. This can reduce the weight of a console by more than 70%. In addition to increased design freedom and lighter weight, the technology can reduce cost by up to 50% compared to currently available buttons and up to 20% versus other electronic touch switch systems.

To help simplify implementation of the technology, DuPont also is launching a compatibility database that contains in-use testing and reliability data of the in-mould electronic inks when used with established films and graphic inks.

DuPont Microcircuit Materials;